Why is the third part of a pipe march often played softly?
I’ve noticed that the third part of Highland pipe marches is usually played a little softer and gently than the first two and is then followed by a more “rousing” final part(4).
I’m assuming that this has to do with the part of the military aspect of the pipe band tradition and, possibly, represents a more cautious or slightly covert(even) stage of the march before the final onslaught or entry into battle.
Of course, many modern day tunes aren’t really about battles but, perhaps, this style of playing has just continued because it sounds “Musically” right. Maybe too, of course, it has always just been a musical ploy and I’m overthinking things?
I’m not a piper, as you’ve probably guessed, but I’ve noticed we also have to do this at fiddle rallies/concerts and such. I don’t hear much of this in sessions, however, and it’s not something I generally do in my normal playing. Should I?
It’s also not something which most modern pipers would do regularly in a band performance (Trad/folk group as opposed to pipe band) with other musicians either although anything might go these days in these situations.
Anyway, I was hoping to hear from some GHP players and pipers in general. Also, players of any instruments who enjoy playing pipe marches. I’m interested to know how this “tradition” developed and whether or not it’s something you do yourselves. Or is it only confined to the pipe band and/or certain other special performances?