Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

Hello πŸ™‚

I am currently writing my dissertation comparing the fiddle styles of these three friddle traditions. I am working on my repertoire chapter at the moment and I’m struggling to find
out if Marches are popular in Ireland other than in Donegal….
They seem to have originated in Scotland from the pipes and then the obvious links with Cape Breton make it popular in thier repertoire…but there isn’t so much info on Ireland

Anyone know if Marches are popular in the Irish reportoire??

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

"march of the high kings"
"March Of The King Of Laois"
"Quigney’s March"
"Kelly from killane"
are all marches very popular in the Co. Clare reortoire of Irish Music. Ireland is full of marching bands, and Ceili Bands Such as the Tulla and Kilfenora have recorded countless marches in their albums. They are still very much grounded in the tradition.
Hope that helps πŸ™‚
F.C

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

P.s. most of Northern Ireland is also a region awash with Marching bands πŸ™‚ they compete in the fleadh competitions each year

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

Not many fiddles in a marching band though…

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Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

"Not many fiddles in a marching band though…" gam

No, but many marches played on fiddle.

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

"Not many fiddles in a marching band though…"

I awoke to the sound of concertinas playing ‘The Fields of Athenry’ marching up a street in Ayrshire one morning. It was the local orange order - seemingly, they have their own take of the song.

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

"I awoke to the sound of concertinas playing ‘The Fields of Athenry’ marching up a street in Ayrshire one morning. It was the local orange order - seemingly, they have their own take of the song." Weejie

Maybe the screws take perhaps?

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

I was talking to a piper last night, who said that he had been in the pub on Sunday and he played "The Dawning of the Day" as a march, a tune which isn’t uncommon in sessions, although it’s a bit twee in my view. However, the pub management came over and said they had received a complaint about the pipes. Evidently the tune has a different name in Scottish, or maybe just Clydeside, tradition, and is considered a sectarian "Celtic" tune. The complaint came from an irate Rangers fan.

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

BTW, we could be more helpful to tassiemcmorran by providing references, if anyone knows any. Random people on an internet message board does not a source make.

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

Here’s one: https://thesession.org/tunes/3655 (the Centenary March) which according to the notes was written by Arthur Kearney from Drumquin,County Tyrone to celebrate 100 years of the Christian Brothers in Omagh, so perhaps this could be described as a Christian tune for Jerone (next thread). It is printed in an EFDSS tunebook where it is described as being popular in East Anglia, and I have heard it played here.

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

Just about any tune can be used as a march if you want. But: there are two main uses for march tunes. One is in the army, and for historical reasons not a lot of military march tunes made it into Irish tradition while still sounding like marches. The other use is for processional dances, which don’t feature a lot in Irish dancing.

David Murphy’s "Lord Mayo" is one fiddle tune which is usually played as a march, though it started out as a harp song. I kinda doubt if Carolan would have liked so many of his tunes done in the march tempi they tend to get these days, but I am no Carolan scholar and will defer to anybody who really knows.

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

Hi πŸ™‚ Thank you everyone for your replys, that definately helps…

The fist comment about Irish Marching bands?? Are we talking brass marching bands?

In Scotland Marches are heavily influenced by the reportoire from the Gaelic pipers …Does anyone know if these Marches from Scotland would have influenced Ireland? Or did they appear in the Irish fiddle repertoire as an influence from pipes/Marching bands happening in Ireland itself?

Jack Camin: Thanks for the post - What were the ‘historical reasons’ why not a lot of military march tunes made it into Irish tradition while still sounding like marches??

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

"In Scotland Marches are heavily influenced by the reportoire from the Gaelic pipers …Does anyone know if these Marches from Scotland would have influenced Ireland? Or did they appear in the Irish fiddle repertoire as an influence from pipes/Marching bands happening in Ireland itself?" tassiemcmorran23

Scottish marches have been heavily influenced by military piping over the past few hundred years. However, very many marches have nothing to do with the military in conception and weren’t composed for that purpose, they simply conform to a rhythm or style that is military in origin. Very many non military marches of course often find their way into the military repertoire. Some marches are purely military in concept.

Then there are the other instruments taking from piping, fiddles box etc Playing tunes that may or may not have started out life as military marches in a non military setting. And then of course there are fiddle and box marches composed in the march style, that find their way onto the pipes and into both military and non military pipe bands.

2/4, 3/4, 9/8 (3/4 & 9/8 usually retreat marches), 4/4 & 6/8 are the usual march time signatures.

Then there are "clan" marches, which were military also, many of which found their way into the main stream military repertoire. I’d look for both Irish and Scots clan march melodies tucked away in both military piping as well as traditional music repertoires, but in the latter their often presented in non march settings, works in reverse also especially with jigs. In both scotland & ireland when people were recruited into the army it was often en mass from the same area (only stopped that after WWI when whole generations from he same area were wiped out, sometimes on the same day). Many people would have taken their traditional tunes with them and from there many found their way into the regimental books we have today.

Marches are a military idiom.

I posted this quote from Burns over on the god thread and here is a little bit from Tam O’Shanter thats of interest:

"Warlocks and witches in a dance:
Nae cotillion, brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels."

No marches mentioned. That could be due to poetic considerations or it could be that there were no popular marches being danced by the lower social strata of the population in late 1700’s southwest scotland, who may have preferred indigenous hornpipes jigs strathspeys and reels?

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

I’ve marched with Fife and Drum Bands/ Pipe Bands/ Brass Bands and Accordion Bands. The marches we played came from every genre of music.and there was a great cross over of tunes between the various types of bands. The Irish and Scots for instance have numerous suitable tunes that can be played as marches but there is a bottomless pit of tunes to pick from. For example in the in the sixties a tune that I often heard the late Jimmy Power play as a march was ‘A world of our own’ by The Seekers, and that was a chart hit from 1968

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

I know people who play The Dawning of the Day as a march also, in fact, I play it that way myself sometimes, and it makes a good march. It had other words to it before it was attached to the words to the poem Raglan Road by Patrick Kavanaugh, although I don’t know that they had any political implications.
A friend of mine who learned from a flautist from Tipperary was told by the old man that marches were more popular than reels in that area in the early half of the last century.
And don’t think marches are just for marching, you can dance to a march (think the Gay Gordons, for example).

Re: Marches in Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton

AlBrown, Ok i’ll rephrase:

"Marches are a military idiom." Me above

Marches started out as a military idiom, later becoming absorbed into the popular music and dance repertoires.