Certain Instruments for Certain Tunes
Lately it’s annoyed me to hear piping tunes played by instruments other than a wind instrument. Certain tunes fit certain instruments because of tone progressions, ornamentations commonly used, rhythms, etc., whatever. As for wind instruments…the wind instruments, including voice, have the ability to “cut air” or “release air” (I’m not talking about farting) that give the instruments part of their distinct sound which are key to piping tunes. Stringed instruments especially cannot replicate this cutting of air sound.
There are tons of tunes out there that I would consider piping tunes that are commonly played by instruments other than the pipes or other traditional Irish wind instruments. But one that really pisses me off is The Walls of Liscarroll. I heard this tune played on guitar (or similar instrument) by a member of Danu. What a mess! The musician, although highly talented I’m sure, managed to take all of the piping magic out of the tune. The musician turned it from a bouncy, elusive, mythical (in my mind) and epic piece to a bunch of notes strung together with a weak rhythm. I feel this to be common when instruments other than ITM winds play piping pieces.
I know, I know…there need to be innovation within ITM. I agree, but not everybody can be an innovator. As a matter of fact, very, very few of us (the world, this site, whatever) are successful innovators. I would venture to say much of the innovation is contributed by musicians who at the time do not realize exactly what they are doing. I also appreciate that somebody, other than a piper, can appreciate a piping tune and want to replicate it…but…
Without writing a whole essay here, I’m just gonna say, as a purist would, piping tunes should be played on wind instruments only, preferably in solo format.
1-Do you guys know of any other tunes that you strongly feel should be ‘restricted’ (dangerous word, I know) to a certain instrument?
2-Is it the instrument or the musician…because if it’s the musician, there are a lot of really crappy musicians out there.