It's often said that bagpipe adjudicating can be a very subjective thing. Individual taste and personal opinion are often thought to play a part in a judge's final decision to greater and lesser degrees.
Where do you want to go with your bagpiping?
Have you ever asked yourself this? It's a fair question and one that might make you uncomfortable to think about. We tend to be stuck in the present when it comes to piping. Cramming on tunes, hammering your repertoire, all keep us focussed on what we might be doing at any giving moment. But where is it all taking you?
he next tune in our continuing series of Tunes of the First World War takes us to the end of the war, during the Hundred Days Offensive. The tune, “The Seven Heroes of Moeuvres” commemorates a small, almost forgotten event in the war that shows the valor of the Highland troops.
Have you ever felt that you were struggling with your pipes, or that they were too hard to blow, or that you just couldn’t blow enough air into the bag to maintain the correct pressure? Can you play for no more than 10-15 minutes, even with an “easy” chanter reed? Have you answered "yes" to any of these questions?
Listen to the Piper's Dojo Audio Experience, #206, Audio Lesson With Grade 3 Solo Competitor. You will note that, if we momentarily set aside the comments on tuning, Andrew's constructive criticisms revolve around the first five finger work fundamentals:
Knowing a tune is good. Knowing a set is better. Being able to play a good sounding set that also lets you check the tuning on your pipes is the best. Having a good tune, or set, that allows you to make sure everything sounds correct, but you can also use to entertain, kills two birds with one stone and gives your repertoire depth.
The playing of bagpipes has been around for thousands of years. The Highland bagpipe and its music has existed for mere hundred. The unique style of playing and its’ associated traditions could have been lost without the standardization and writing down of the tunes. One of the unknown heroes in keeping the music alive was Donald MacDonald.