The Function Of Ornaments

The Function Of Ornaments

There’s a sentence in this book http://www.sarc.qub.ac.uk/icmc2008//blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/pipes-5.pdf suggesting that a slur is useful "in order to avoid the difficulty of doubling the low notes on the pipes". I don’t play pipes, so is this right i.e. it’s easier to play parts of the melody with ornaments than straight? One of the functions of ornaments is to make it easier for the piper?

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I’m not a piper but I think that some pipe ornaments evolved as a way to play things that can’t otherwise be played. For instance, if you want to play the same note twice in a row it would be hard to do unless you could somehow close the airflow from the bellows briefly…or you could use a quick interruptor note between those two notes to put a break between them. And I think a lot of these pipe ornaments found their way to other instruments as an imitation of the sound of the pipes.

I’m no expert on the evolution of ornaments, though, I’m just repeating what I’ve heard/read elsewhere. So take it with a grain of salt.

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Pipes are essentially unplayable without ornaments (or articulation) because you cannot tongue the notes, as you can on a flute. The flow of air is also constant, which further creates the need for a way to articulate the tune. When one learns to play pipes, you study all the various ornaments associated with each note (there are only nine on the GHB) of the scale. When you have learned all the ornaments used for each note of the scale, you have the foundation for playing pipes.

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I’m of the opinion that the so called ornaments are part of the tune. I don’t think it’s possible to prize what is tune and what is ornament apart. There’s some pertinent stuff in this discussion (provided you can wade through the sh*te that is.

https://thesession.org/discussions/17606

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This is not actually the case. The uillean pipes can be stopped by use of the popping strap, or the knee so staccato playing, whereby each note is separated from the other ,can be achieved. Same with the Northumberland pipes only the end is completely closed.. A lot of the ornamentation is simply a stylistic choice. listen to Northumbrian pipes which are often played with far less ornamentation than Uilleann pipes. though perhaps uilleann pipe ornaments are not possible?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkAKK5dlFUY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZHRnjnyZUY&feature=related



With the GHB the situation is different the flow of air can not be stopped, but this is also the case with various other smallpipes. Small pipes are often played with far less ornamentation than Highland pipes. you tube is full of evidence to support this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77CrdcDY8dw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfNDxVUZHHA&feature=related


In my opinion a lot of the ornaments are there to differentiate the various styles in ‘opposition’ to ‘the other’ over the border, the sassanach .etc.

Ornaments are mainly a stylistic choice. Not entirely of course on open ended chanters , small pipes grace notes are need to separate two note of the same pitch.

Of course the ornaments are great fun! I think that traditions that neglect them , though they make beautiful music are missing out. But I also think that traditions that dont encompass ‘simple ’ notes are also. simple note just mean unadorned , there is nothing particularly simple about this;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkAKK5dlFUY&feature=related



Here we have two traditions;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZHRnjnyZUY&feature=related

|and finally Irish Pipes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-uhowyUuqE&feature=related


I hasten to add I only play open ended chanters. So allthough I do have a set of uilleann practice pipes I am no expert! to say the leastπŸ™‚ And I have never played Northumbrian pipes.

This is just what I have gathered as an interested party.

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Mike, as a guitar player, what’s your interest in "ornamentation" on the pipes?

One of the reasons I prefer the term "articulation" over "ornament" is that ornament implies some sort of embellishment added to the tune. In some cases, this is indeed all they are. But more often, at least in Irish trad music, the articulations are integral to creating lift, pulse, and nyah.

Think of the B parts to Humours of Tulla or Last Night’s Fun: without some form of articulation on those dotted quarter note fs, the tune can quickly lose its interest. Chances are, the tunes were "composed" with rolls already in place. In this sense, then, the articulations do make playing the tune (with lift) "easier" than playing those notes unarticulated and still creating the same degree of lift. It’s also a matter of, once you can execute the roll or triplet or other twiddly bit, it comes off as a unit. It can be less to think about, and can often save a fiddler, say, some work with one hand or the other.

This also hints at a distinction between ornaments as often used in Classical music—mordents and trills, say. They are often used truly to embellish a note, to adorn the melody. In trad music, the rolls, cuts, triplets, and other twiddly bits are primarily rhythmic devices, rather than melodic ones.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some players are more melodic in their use of articulations even in trad music.

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Will, I was struck by this piece on pipe ornamentation for a few reasons. I play fingerstyle guitar but recently taken up mandolin, and having to find new articulations and techniques to carry the tunes along. On the guitar I’ll sometime find I play a triplet or some grace note hammer-on or pull-off, not just to add melodic interest or drive the tune forward, but because it’s somehow easier to do it. And while I’m under no illusion that what I’m doing is "traditional", I do wonder to what extent my articulations are authentic.

So anyway it was an eye-opener to read that pipers maybe don’t play an ornament because they like it, or because it helps the rhythm, or because it’s part of the tune: they play it because it’s actually quite hard to play certain sequences of notes without it.

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Mike, you misunderstand the point that if it is played, then it is part of the tune. Playing the fiddle with the pipes is a good example of the contradictions inherent within this topic, especially if you are attempting to play quite tightly. The pipes will try to copy certain phrases that are easy on the fiddle and vice versa.

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Ah, I understand.

Well, as you realize, playing tunes on guitar isn’t something that dates back very far within this tradition. So I wouldn’t worry about whether what you’re doing is "authentic" or not. (That said, if you want your playing to *sound* like Irish traditional music, it helps a great deal to listen closely to the sounds of a good uilleann piper, fiddler, or whistle player and mimic those.)

I don’t play pipes, but I think the general concept applies to any instrument, and I know that on flute and fiddle, there are times when it feels "easier" to do a triplet run or a cut or tap instead of some other way of getting the same notes. But I wouldn’t put articulations in unless I thought they enhanced the tune, even if they were somehow "easier." The exception to this would be if I were just really tired, toward the end of a long session, and wanted to give my fingers a break. By the time fatigue is making those sorts of decisions for me, I’m usually off to bed anyway. πŸ™‚

Mandolin is somewhat limited in the sorts of articulations you can do in a session setting and still be heard. Picked triplets, of course, and hitting an adjacent string for drones and double stops. But hammer-ons and pull-offs are often lost in the wall of sound. In a quiet enough setting, however, they can be effective.

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Michael I think your point is about the extent to which you are prepared to tolerate deviations from a way of articulating the tune, while still being prepared to acknowledge it is ITM?

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The function of ornaments on the pipes is quite simple. They are part of the tune and have the same function as the rest of the notes. They separate consecutive notes but a similar thing is done on the fiddle where the bowing separates consecutive notes. On the highland pipes, and many others, the ornaments are learned as soon as the notes have been learned, even before learning a tune. The reason being they are pretty much as important as the main notes on that particular instrument.

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In the highland tradition, that is correct. However, the smallpipes , being a modern invention dont have that tradition as such they clearly demonstrate that a similar instrument can be played with little to no ornamentation. As my pipe instructor says, if in doubt, leave it out. The highland pipe tradition was kept alive through the british army and the ‘queens’ patronage.

It has been suggested that Even the Piobaireachd has changed . There is controversy over this. One camp suggesting that they have a live unbroken tradition, and another suggesting ‘old settings’… very interesting to an aficionado such as myself. Now there is no doubt that the ornaments are part of that music, the variations etc. But that is not to say that Irish music and the Irish tradition holds similar views. Piobaireachd is a strictly Classical discipline which can not be played on other instruments correctly.

Were a highland piper to play Irish music he would decide where he was to ornament the notes . It is a different tradition. The Bagad tradition plays the same instrument but from a different perspective. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0—ixukQKA

If the ornaments are an integral part of the tune the fiddlers simply wouldn’t be able to play highland pipe tunes.
Where does the tradition of song interact with the GHB? the old language?

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There are a number of seperate issues. The instrument. The Tune, and the style. I class the ornaments as a part of the style. In ITM the performer is free to embelish the tunes as they see fit. It is not a military, notation driven tradition. Even the tune settings them selves vary considerably. We are free to ornament as we choose, toi roll or cut or triplet etc. It is a rare case indeed that a tune must have a roll in it, clearly a mandolin, guitar or and banjo would therefor not be able to play the tune in that case. Can you suggest any tune where this is the case? Fiddlers would not be able to play pipe tunes and pipers would not be able to play fiddle tunes… This is clearly not the situation, Each instrument ornaments from within its own idiomatic pallet.

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Bogman and Michael described it well when they said that the ornaments are part of the tune. If you are playing Irish (or Scottish) music on the pipes and you refuse to use certain articulations, then it will not sound like Irish or Scottish music. The articulations are part of the game, part of the instrument. All my teachers taught basic rolls, crans, cuts, and taps when I was at the earliest of beginning stages. As you continue learning, you learn more complex articulations (say staccato triplets, trills, backstitches, etc) and then cool, you have even more tools at your disposal to color a tune.

Jig is right in saying that an uilleann piper can, technically, play two staccato notes instead of cutting or rolling. Lots of people do it. However, if you did that every time you had two of the same notes together, your phrasing would sound abysmal. It sharply emphases those notes and if you care about how the tune sounds, then you want to use that kind of sharp articulation in places where it makes musical sense.

You also need ornaments to emphasize certain notes. Bagpipes are at a fixed volume and as mentioned above, you can’t control the air with your breath. So in order to have any kind of dynamics whilst playing, you must play ornaments. Flute and whistle players can emphasize notes with their breath, fiddlers and plectrum players can hit string harder, boxes and concertinas can use more bellows. Pipers can’t do any of that. Therefore a cut, a roll, various methods of lifting the chanter off the knee, triplets, trills, all help you achieve dynamics. If you just play a series of unornamented notes, you lose the dynamics, the "nyah" (as Will would say πŸ™‚) and you get a boring series of notes that doesn’t quite sound like Irish music.

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The articulations are part of the game, part of the instrument. ” absolutely , but thats not in question, what is in question is where you place what ornaments. If you want to play a triplet you can, or a simple note, or a roll, its up to you. They are a part of the ‘style’ of Irish music on the pipes. No one is saying that a complete lack of ornaments is an aim, but for some people including Micheal Russel, his two flute tracks on ITM from Clare. they are a stylistic choice . That also is not in doubt.
Ornaments are a part of the whole spectrum of variation available to us as musicians. Whether you choose to use them is up to you, are you suggesting that Micheals playing doesnt sound like Irish Music?

These ornaments are a stylistic choice, you choose to use them where you choose. you are not obliged to play the tunes in a certain way are you? that would be classical music..

What do you think of the northumbrian pipes? any idea why they dont use all these ornaments yet sound great? or dont you think they do?

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1. I just listened to some of Katherine Tickell’s playing on my itunes. I heard lots of cuts, triplets, vibrato. Not sure where you’re coming from when you say Northumbrian pipes don’t use them.

2. It’s a moot point anyway. Northumbrian piping isn’t Irish piping. That’s like asking an apple how an orange feels.

3. I’m getting a strange sense of deja vu, like this discussion has happened here before. Can’t imagine why.

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I just find it such an odd question, the "function" of ornaments.

It’s analogy time again: I know some like to dissect tunes and analyse them like they are parts of an engine, but I’m not convinced. I really don’t think you need to know how an engine works to be able to drive a car. The way I play tunes is similar to the way I drive a car. Am I sitting comfortably? Can I see and hear all around me? Off we go. What’s the speed limit? Stick to just under it. If you come to a hill, slight adjustments to keep the speed steady. If you are stuck in traffic? Don’t lose your temper. Basic stuff.

You could say the "ornaments" are like the cam shaft. Little perfectly designed and timed protrusions on a perfectly weighted and spinning rod. The protrusions control the movements of the eight valves in the four cylinders and there you have your reel. Perfectly balanced and chugging away.

But I don’t thing about the cam shaft when I’m playing reels. The twiddley bits are simply part of the process and just come out naturally.

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Michael I like your analogy and I think the ornamentation is an essential part of the tradition and I think your attitude is probably the right mind-set. But to try and understand why people talk about it as an added extra there is the perception that if two people can play a tune with different ornamentation there must be an underlying basic tune that could in theory be played without ornamentation. I am not agreeing with this but just pointing out that this is the other (wrong) mind-set or way of looking at the music.

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I have no idea what a camshaft is but I’d guess you can’t buy a car without one, whereas you can buy or hear recordings of ITM tunes and the amount of ornaments will vary widely, as will the type of ornaments used. So it’s only natural to ask what the function of the ornament is. And the answers seem to be:
1. make it sound like ITM (that one is a bit circular though);;
2. emphasise the rhythm;
3. drive the music forward, make it sound faster or give it "lift"
4. assist the piper with technically problematic phrases (like a repeated note)

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Northumbrian pipes can get away with little or practically no ornament when they’re playing in their accustomed musical territory, which is Northumbrian and a lot of Scottish and Shetland music. The reels simply have more crotchets in these traditions, helping to articulate the tunes and making them easier to play.

There are Northumbrian pipers who can play Irish reels time-perfect, but the N pipes seem very difficult to play, even in good hands, without lapses in timing and a scrabble of notes to catch up. But personally, I can happily listen to the melodious sound of the instrument as a whole and not be too bothered by a few glitches in the melody playing.

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The camshaft analogy falls down in many ways (it’s a feature of analogies that they all can be torn apart. The important thing about them though is to try to understand the spirit of them) not least that a camshaft is a fixed piece of machinery, rather than the flexible and malleable things that tunes are.

However, as to your points Mike:

1. I like this one, it really comes down to a thing where the function of the tune is merely to be itself. A little existentialist, but I like anyway.

2. The twiddley bits don’t really emphasise the rhythm as such, they are the rhythm. Not all of it, but a good deal of it.

3. If they make it sound faster, then your timing is out. It’s a feature of not so good players that their music sounds kind of rushed, on the edge, a bit jittery. A feature of good players though is that their music can actually sound slower than it is. How many times have you listened to good playing and thought, hey, I know that tune, picked up the instrument and given yourself a shock about how fast it is. This comes from a combination of ease and extreme accuracy.

4. This was your original point and I’m intrigued by it. I suppose if you look at two extremes, a) finding ways to be at ease with the music; and b) finding ways to test yourself and be impressive, I know which one I’d choose any day. So yes, I can agree with this one.


I was thinking about the driving analogy though: Thinking of the road as the tune. And you diving along the road, nice and steady, as fast or as slow as want really. The engine is your ability and the parts of the engine are the twiddley bits and variations (same thing really). Then, (bear with me here) to make the drive more interesting, you have the ability to spontaneously transform your engine back and forth between a 6 litre V8 and a 1.3 diesel and a 2 litre fuel injected whatever etc. While all the time maintaining a constant speed. And keeping to the road of course. Some roads are wider than others, some have more bends in them, but whatever you do, don’t slow down round the corners, speed up on the straight bits, or heaven forbid, pile through a hedge and drive through the field adjacent to the road … like the jazzers do.

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I’m not quite sure I understand that analogy, Michael. I think the can shaft one made more sense.

Another driving analogy is that when you’re first learning to drive, you first see all the things you have to do as separate elements. You have to work out how much accelerator you apply to start the car moving or to speed up, you have to learn how much brake to apply to slow down. You have to learn the best combination of brake and accelerator and steering wheel to turn a corner. If you’re on a manual transmission, to have to learn to shift gears. All these little tasks make up the big task of driving and once you get to a certain level of proficiency you don’t think of them as totally separate tasks anymore. You just do them.

Most complex skills, whether it’s driving, playing music, riding a horse, involve learning small tasks that eventually, if you learn them properly, they become part of the whole. Are not ornaments similar? Maybe that’s why some people believe that they aren’t fundamental to the tunes, because they may have been taught them separately and continued to believe that they were separate.

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"How many times have you listened to good playing and thought, hey, I know that tune, picked up the instrument and given yourself a shock about how fast it is."
HA! LOTS!

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Ha, you are right spear. Mine was a bit of a garbled analogy.

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”the ornamentation is an essential part of the tradition.”.

I would agree, most would, but where does that leave folk who play tunes without ornaments, like the two tracks I mentioned of Micheal Russel? Clearly he is not ‘outside’ the tradition.
My point is really that the tradition encompasses a greater range of playing than we might think. It also includes the old farmer who scratches away at the fiddle once in a blue moon when he is not Minding the stock.
Understanding this offers more musical freedom. Your concept of the tradition, and mine , simply do not encompass the reality, which is actually highly inclusive, not as some might have us believe , exclusive.
Yes I think ornaments are a big part of the tradition, but not the be all and end all. It is up to personal taste as to whether we as individuals choose to listen to , and play highly ornamented of sparsely ornamented music , or a combination.
You may think the scratchy old farmer is not part of the tradition, but in this particular case Johny Moynahan does, and I agree.

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1. is circular - why does twiddly music have twiddly bits? Because otherwise it wouldn’t be twiddly music! But I can see the existentialist appeal.
2. & 3. weren’t very well defined by me, but the twiddly bits are performing a musical function, adding liveliness, interest, tension and release, maybe trompe l’oeil (make it sound faster or slower than it really is), or whatever. Others can define these better.
4. Is why I started this thread, as I hadn’t considered before that an ornament may have been added to a tune, or a tune may have been composed with the ornament already there, to enable a piper to play it.

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BTW Michael and SilverSpear while I would happily listen to you playing and expect to learn from it, I’m not sure I’d want to take driving lessons from you!

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Yes, liveliness, interest, tension and release, but not speeding up or slowing down or even the appearance of speeding up or slowing down.

And yes, my driving sucks. ha.

Try this analogy then:
You are at the top of an enormous powder field with your mates, boards strapped to your feet, and off you go. Little natural jumps and banks, steep bits and flatter bits, but you just let gravity do its job. You are all turning in different spots, some wide turns and some tight carving, running over each others tracks but never colliding. All blissfully boarding down the mountain together, no body in the lead, no body bringing up the rear.

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I like that one better πŸ™‚

To take it one step further, you can ski without turning. You can point your skis straight down the slope and just go. If you want to ski well, you learn proper carving technique. In fact, if you want to not die, you will learn proper turning technique because doing the former often results in flying into trees, chairlift towers, other skiiers/boarders, rocks, etc.

You can learn to snowboard as well without learning to carve turns. Your upper body faces downhill and you scrape down the slope on the edge of the board. This annoys everyone else because you scrape off all the powder and it doesn’t look like much fun to boot.

BTW, I’m a pretty good skiier and driver but still trying to learn to turn without hitting trees, in a metaphorical sense, when it comes to the music.

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The better question, though, is are there enormous powder fields in Scotland and if so, where are they? I will be looking next winter.

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No powder fields in Scotland I’m afraid. There was some powder this season but its bloody hard work skelping your board off the rocks. It doesn’t take a very large rock to protrude out of 4" hard pack and 5" powder. Or worse, only just get covered. I can’t think of anything analogous with music for that.

But yeah, I like the analogy of boarding without turning. I remember doing that thing of trying just to stay on my heels, arms out like Boris Karlof in The Mummy. Bruised arse and knees. The sooner you learn to turn and carve the better. And in keeping with the point of the original post on this thread, it’s a heck of a lot easier.

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is Micheal Russel any relation to Micho Russell?

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I tried your analogies, llig and silver spear. Turned out more like this:

http://xkcd.com/409/

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And bog man, are not crawling babies part of the tradition? Were you not a crawling baby once? which is better , to play well and simply or badly with all the ornaments? Granted to play well with all the bits is the aim, but not all of us will achieve that. We are talking about the road, the path , not the aim which is to play like W M MacDonald,Donald MacLeod,, Willie McCullum Angus MacColl, Gordon Walker, Roddy Macleod DR Barrie MacLachlan, Murray Henderson etc etc etc. is it not? Where are you in comparison with these, still a crawling baby, or you stand up there with the masters?

If in Doubt , leave it out, is the advice I received. I will stick with a man who has won numerous clasps ,thanks.

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Crawling babies may be part of the tradition but you shouldn’t use them as an example of how to walk

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Or to use normal music speak - You are using youtubes of generic piping to try and prove nonsense.

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I thoroughly agree with Michael that well-played music seems, somehow, mysteriously spacious, however fast it is - well, that’s not quite how he put it, but I don’t think it’s a contradiction.

Never having taken cars apart but having once been a keen trout angler, I instinctively see a trad tune as being like a river - pools being like the long notes, rapids and broken water being like ornaments/rolls/fast note sequences, all within an entity bowling along at a uniform speed.

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‘Where are you in comparison with these, still a crawling baby etc’
I think if I got piping advice from the peatbog’s piper I’d listen to it…

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What advice is that? sorry did I miss something? the advice:, if in doubt, leave it out was recieved from a man who has been piping and teaching for 60 yrs at least. No disrespect to bog man but i think that puts it in perspective.
Lovely whistling bogman.

yohan, Michael was his given name.


Bog man, different tradition s and different people have varying approaches, that doesnt make one right and one wrong.

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Varying approaches are fine but there are certain fundamentals that all decent players, certainly in Scotland use. The reason is simple. The basic method of playing pipes has been refined for generations to get the best from the instrument. All the pipers you mention play all the ornaments we all learned as beginners.

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Absolutely, My point was that the other traditions use the same instruments but not in the same style.
The GHB tradition uses fixed tunes and ornaments, diametrically opposed to ITM where freedom is allowed, nay encouraged in interpretation, the tunes have different settings, are played on different instruments you can cut roll to your hearts content, or not at all, . This is from the heart of the tradition.

Smallpipes are often played with out as much ornamentation, there is greater freedom without the rigid military tradition to consider.
The case in Ireland, last century, offers an example, One isolated area, played all their tunes in the simple style untill they encountered the more ornamented style. Was that progress? or standardisation?

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I certainly don’t consider it a rigid military tradition.

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How about the Irish Warpipes? What is the traditional style for them? Are we to Accept the Highland tradition ? From The British Army? or carve out our own ? I know what my position is.

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Oh come on, surely you know your history? Where is the flexibility in interpretation? You know full well yourself the Wrath of the ‘old guard’ will fall on your head are you to differ an inch from the tradition. The tunes are written down, ornaments and all, Fair enough the solo pipers have some flexibility but stick a ‘throw’ in the wrong place! and duck 😎 Where did this come from? where was the playing of the instrument kept alive through the clearances? You couldnt wear a Kilt outside the regiment! you think this had no effect?

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Play the pipes, sentence; death
wear any highland dress, sentence death.
speak gaelic, sentence death,
bear arms, death,
gather together, death.

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That was not yesterday

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I have never been sentenced to death for any of those things, though admittedly I have never born arms.

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I went to the Nevis Range at the end of the season. Lots of rocks and bare spots on the front side, but the Back Corries were pretty sweet. Decent snow (once you’ve given up your Colorado standards) and a terrifying yet brilliant cornice of death. What more do you need?

Jig, I’ve been reading loads of 18th and 19th century Scottish court cases. While I am aware of the laws you refer to, I’ve not yet seen any evidence of legal action taken against people for piping, speaking Gaelic, wearing tartan (which was sort of invented by the Victorians anyway), etc. The only crimes that carried capital charges were treason (no, wearing at the kilt isn’t treason, but shooting at the Queen or Prime Minister is) and murder. Even then, juries in Scotland were pretty reluctant to sentence people to death so you have many murder cases where the defendant got convicted of the lesser offense of "culpable homicide."

Anyway, I wouldn’t dismiss bogman’s advice on piping if I was you. There is no doubt he knows what he is talking about. I’d also take another listen to Micho Russell. Wait…. is that, no, yes, a ROLL I hear?

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I’d have thought that every one of the bagpipes mentioned - and every other instrument standardly used in ITM, for that matter - has this in its history: enthusiasts will have experimented to the limits with its ornamentation at one time and another, sometimes making it as diverse and elaborate as they possibly could - and maybe drawing back from this, feeling that something seen as more essential was being lost through over-elaboration.

I don’t know about GHB styles but I’d have thought it likely that quite a few players thoroughly drilled in the army and standard teaching methods would have gone on to test these to destruction with lots of experimentation and trying out other ways of ornamenting, sound effects, et cetera. It’s human nature not to leave things alone - indeed, let well alone - but to b*gger about with them!

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silver, have you heard his two flute tracks? not a roll in sight. sure he uses ornaments on the whistle, but not on the flute. Now can you tell me why that is?.If you have his ITM from Clare album.I cant post a link …. worth getting.

”That was not yesterday” No really, well I never would have guessed.

Im not talking court cases silver, summery execution. Trials didnt come into it.

Can’t keep my mouth shut

To set this straight, Micho Russell uses "ornamentation", only in a different sense than pipe-ornaments. There is the so-called sligo style amongst flute players, which basically means rhythm is the most important thing, ornaments blur the rythm, so they are used most sparingly, in turn, the flute player does something a piper simply can’t do, emphasize and embellish the tune through his breathing, so there you go, in a way "huffing" is Micho Russell’s go at ornaments.

I understand "ornamentation" as the means of an instrument to breathe life into a tune, and these means are very different on the flute to the pipes, so that’s a useless argument. For further reading, a great site:

http://www.theflow.org.uk/styles/styles_sligo.html

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Classic, so Micho ornaments by not using ornaments? πŸ™‚

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replace the word "ornament" with the more acurate "articulation" and you’ll understand it better.

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Re: The Function Of Ornaments

"Try this analogy then:
You are at the top of an enormous powder field with your mates, boards strapped to your feet, and off you go. Little natural jumps and banks, steep bits and flatter bits, but you just let gravity do its job. You are all turning in different spots, some wide turns and some tight carving, running over each others tracks but never colliding. All blissfully boarding down the mountain together, no body in the lead, no body bringing up the rear." -llig leahcim

Lets assume then that yer flute playing mate is skiing, and while all the boarders are doing their turns, the skier is taking the whole slope in very tight turns (wedeln in german, don’t know the equivalentπŸ™).
Is he not having fun because he misses some jumps, takes no wide turns? No he’s just enjoying the ride in a way that suits his skies and he likes, he could take the big turns, but he likes short turns more. And trust me, these, while more subtle, demand just as much technique.

So there you have the reason why articulation is better than ornament, every instrument articulates tunes differently, but yet you can’t leave the articulation aside. It was my mistake, I should have used other words, but huffing and delicate use of tonguing is really as much an articulation as a roll, try the flute and you will agree.

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Re: The Function Of Ornaments

Good post tmb, thanks.

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