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Frequently Asked Questions

"What Is a 4/4 March?"

John Holcombe
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A tune with a time signature of 4/4 (also known as "common time") means that there are four beats in every bar, and a quarter note gets each beat. Thus, the upper number indicates the number of beats, and the lower number designates which note value gets each beat. Some 4/4 marches are simple and straightforward to play, but others can seem daunting with their complexity.

"What Is a 'Dotted' Note All About?"

"What Key is the Highland Bagpipe?"

Tom Crawford
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One of  the questions pipers are often asked is what "key" the bagpipes are in. Usually, you'll hear this from other musicians. And like most things bagpipe, the initial answer is "well, it's complicated . . ." That's because are several answers to the question “What key is the Highland bagpipe?” and the question needs to be taken in context.

"What Is a 'Dotted' Note All About?"

"What Is a 'Dotted' Note All About?"

John Holcombe
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387
Do you recall the frustration, as a beginner piper, being told to play the music as it is written, but then told to “hold” certain notes longer than others? It takes some time and experience to understand and to appreciate that the music for the bagpipes is not often “played as written”, especially when the music involves “dotted and cut” notes. It's important to understand what this really means if you expect to get more musicality out of your playing.

What is the Graduated Tuning Effect?

“How Do I Know When a Tune is 'Too Difficult'?”

Vince Janoski
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266
The general degree of difficulty in a bagpipe tune is typically gauged by the frequency of certain technique relative to the note groupings and timings, as well as frequency of finger and hand changes within musical beats. The concentration of these aspects puts a demand on the player’s mastery of certain fundamental skills. High fundamental

"What Is a 'Dotted' Note All About?"