BONNY MILLER, THE. English, Old Hornpipe? England, Northumberland. B Minor (reconstruction) or D Mixolydian? (original MS. version). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC. Similar to "Pawky Adam Glen" (Seattle). Seattle suggests a few changes to Vickers’ manuscript version, including changing the metre to 3/4 and the key to two sharps.
Lovely version recorded by Hannah James and Sam Sweeney on their album State and Ancientry, paired with ‘Strike a Bell’, a tune which I’m currently writing out the ABC for.
Say something? :-/ It’s interesting that we’ve had a run of 3/2 tunes this month, great fun…
However, don’t forget your maths ~
* L: 1/8
|: A2B2 B2g2 f4 | G2B2 B2e2 c2A2 | G2B2 B2g2 f4 | e2A2 A2e2 c2BA :|
|: f2ga f2d2 g2e2 | fga2 f2d2 e2A2 | fga2 f2d2 g2f2 | e2A2 A2e2 cBA2 :|
|: d2B2 f2B2 a2B2 | f2B2 B2e2 dcB2 |d2B2 f2B2 a2B2 | e2A2 A2e2 dcB2 :|
I was too quick, but I did play through the tune a few times first. :-D
Thanks for this contribution, appreciated… (& the last one too.)
Please consider adding the recording to the database here, so it will link through, and adding further support for the music… Is this a transcription from the album? Always, to further support the music and musicians, credit any sources…
“The Bonny Miller” / “Strike A Bell” - Sam Sweeney & Hannah James
- performing a House Gig in The Well House in Bedfordshire October 2011
Hannah James & Sam Sweeney
Hannah James & Sam Sweeney - The Bonny Miller / Strike A Bell (The Holy Moly Sessions)
It is with regret that I admit I misunderstood this tune when I edited it for the early (1986) Vickers edition. It is with greater regret that I hear my own mistakes played by others who trusted that I knew what I was doing! Vickers has several inaccuracies and arbitrary inconsistencies which I am now in a better position to clarify:
T: The Bonny Miller
* L: 1/8
|: G2B2 B2g2 f4 | G2B2 B2e2 c2A2 | G2B2 B2g2 f4 | e2A2 A2e2 cBA2 :|
|: fga2 f2d2 g2e2 | fga2 f2d2 e2A2 | fga2 f2d2 g2f2 | e2A2 A2e2 cBA2 :|
|: d2B2 f2B2 a2B2 | f2B2 B2e2 cBA2 |d2B2 f2B2 a2B2 | e2A2 A2e2 cBA2 :|
Only strain 2 is in B minor. Strain 1 is G lydian, strain 3 in D. This is one of a few ‘extended-mode’ tunes in the Border piping repertoire, one kig sig or scale, three centres of gravity. Try it the way I’ve posted it, I think you’ll find it makes better sense.
Only strain 3 is in B minor. Strain 1 is G lydian, strain 2 is D.
It will be good when the ‘edit’ facility kicks in…
And, imo this is one of the best of the shorter 3/2s, it really motors.
So, C#s in the first 2 parts?
The Bonn(e)y Miller
I am no great musical theoretician. Statements I have made on this site previously have been proved to be wrong, but here goes…
Being an accordionist I have, as I have stated before, got to do something with my left hand. This leads to, what some would term, a harmonic and/or rhythmic straight-jacket.
But it does give different insights to some of the music presented on this site.
Yes, ethical blend, I reckon all three parts have the sharpened C. It helps give the tune what it is, so they stay.
I have added harmony (sorry chaps) using Colin Hume’s WebEdit (which has a useful abc section). Here is my take (using Matt Seattle’s notes, as posted above)….
T:The Bonny Miller
%%MIDI gchord czc
%%MIDI beat 100 95 80
|: "Em"G2B2 B2g2 "Bm"f4 | "Em"G2B2 B2e2 "A"c2A2 | "Em"G2B2 B2g2 "Bm"f4 | "A"e2A2 A2e2 "A"cBA2 :|
|: "D"fga2 f2d2 "A"g2e2 | "D"fga2 f2d2 "A"e2A2 | "D"fga2 f2d2 "A"g2f2 | "A"e2A2 A2e2 "A"cBA2 :|
|: "Bm"d2B2 f2B2 "Bm"a2B2 | "Bm"f2B2 B2e2 "A"cBA2 | "Bm"d2B2 f2B2 "Bm"a2B2 | "A"e2A2 A2e2 "A"cBA2 :|
When copied into Hume’s programme it asks how the MIDI guitar chords should be played (as the um-pah-pah of a waltz or chum-rest-chum of a minuet?). The result is the line "%%MIDI gchord czc", which sets chords on the first and last beats of each bar. I have set my abc notation in this way to show it as well as hear it.
The line "%%MIDI beat 100 95 80" is a volume thing, I think, usually used to define how a waltz is played by the guitar chords in MIDI; so probably not needed here. Just put in by Hume’s auto-pilot!
The tune could probably go quicker than "Q:1/2=120".
I tried "G" and "D" chords in the A music (instead of "Em" & "Bm"), but it did not sound "right" in the context of the tune. So I am not sure about the "G lydian" suggested by Matt Seattle. Could it be E dorian? and does it matter?
The B music seems to be D and the C music Bm, as stated.
If I were to end this tune with a "chord", in the allegedly "Scottish" style that I play, I would resolve to "Bm" after the "A" of the last bar.
I find it quite interesting that, with this rhythm going on in my left hand, the tune seems like a "reel" version of a slip-jig (well, as I would play it). Is there any such thing as a "slip-reel"?.
All the best
Here are mine
[|: G / / | G / A | G / / | A / / :|]
[|: D / G | D / A | D / G | A / / :|]
[|: Bm / / | Bm / A | Bm / / | A / / :|]
I understand yours, my taste for this tune is that ‘less is more’. For ex. in line 1I prefer holding an f# over the G chord to make a Gmaj7 rather than changing to a Bm.
This is not a ‘tune in isolation’. It belongs to a tradition in which there are well-established procedures for constructing tunes, which were understood by many over a long period and in different parts of ‘what-is-now-the-UK’. I have written extensively on this elsewhere (‘Harmonic Proportion’, Appendix to The Master Piper). It was only after some years of exploring this that I clearly saw the corrections I have proposed for Vickers’ notation.
Harmonic Proportion is not a watertight ‘system’ in that there are certain specific flexibilities, and the chords I have given mirror these. Another way to describe this particular tune is the ‘fluid tonic’ - the dominant is fixed as A, the chord of the drones, while the ‘tonic’ extracts triads from the extended opposing chord GBDf#a. If this sounds complicated, ignore it. The tune rocks.
X: 2 = X: 1
With corrections for L: 1/8…
Corrections - added as X: 4 above
On Saturday I enjoyed taking part in Matt Seattle’s workshop on Border tunes at the Border Gaitherin 2014 Coldstream, Scottish Borders. My favourite tune was this one, and the only one I’ll end up with in my (limited) repertoire.
I have just taken a look at Matt’s notes - See "Correction" above. I thought that the version that Matt now teaches as the Vicker’s version should appear in the tune section rather than in the notes. So I have just copied the abc text into the editor.
From what I recall Matt saying, Vickers ms. is the only source of this tune. So here it is;
I think that from looking at this we can forgive Matt’s slip when he edited it back in 1986.
Now I have looked at the original on the Farne site, http://www.asaplive.com/archive/show_images.asp?id=R0309101&image=1
I see only one "error". The very first note could be a G or and A. Is this the error Matt is referring to, or are there others?
Compare X:1 and X: 4
I was referring to several other errors, look closely at William’s original. I’m very certain about the pitch corrections made in the 2008 Great Northern Tune Book, and pretty certain about the rhythmic corrections. Philip’s version incorporates these corrections and is as I play it now.