Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie reel

By Allan MacDonald

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie has been added to 6 tunebooks.

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Four settings

1
X: 1
T: Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:dAAA defa|afef dBBB|dAAA defa|afef d4:|
|:fade fade|faef dBBf-|fade fade|faef d3 e|
faaa faef|dffe dBBB|dAAA defa|afef d4:|
|:dBBB defa|afef dBBB|dccc defa|afef d4|
cddd defa|afef dBBB|deee defa|afef d4:|
2
X: 2
T: Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:GDDD GABd|dBAB GEEE|GDDD GABd|dBAB G4:|
|:BdGA BdGA|BdAB GEEB-|BdGA BdGA|BdAB G3 A|
Bddd BdAB|GBBA GEEE|GDDD GABd|dBAB G4:|
|:GEEE GABd|dBAB GEEE|GFFF GABd|dBAB G4|
FGGG GABd|dBAB GEEE|GAAA GABd|dBAB G4:|
3
X: 3
T: Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:dA A/A/A defa-|afef dB B/B/B|dA A/A/A defa-|afef d/d/d de:|
fade fade|fade dB B/B/B|fade fade|fade d/d/d de|
fa a/a/a fade|dffe dB B/B/B|dA A/A/A defa-|afef d/d/d de||
4
X: 4
T: Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
dA A2 defa|afef dB B2|dA A2 defa|afef d2 fe|
dA A2 defa|afef dB B2|dA A2 defa|afef d2 de||
fade fade|fadf eB B2|fade fadf|edfe d3e|
fa a2 fade|dffe dB B2|dA A2 defa|afef d2 fe||
# Added by JACKB .

Five comments

Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie

Ridiculously catchy tune on Scott Wood Band’s album Upsurge. Tenth track, first tune. Wish we could transcribe the rest of the tunes on the album. Here’s to hoping to this being the first of many.

Couple things I feel the need to put forward. The tune is in E♭. For the life of me I can’t figure out how to post a tune with three flats on TheSession. I’ve settled on posting it in G. I play flute and whistle and may be biased. Please transpose a major third down for original tuning.

I tried notating cranns as semiquaver triplets, but the transcription became very muddy and ultimately decided against it. Pipers, flautists and whistlers, think "crann" every time you see three equal notes one after the other. It happens quite often and you’ll probably pick it up after a couple of listens, but I figured I’d write it down anyways.

Re: Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie

Really it’s in D. Written for the Highland pipes by Allan MacDonald, Glenuig, which would be in Eb as you say. But it would be written a semitone down, as all Eb Highland pipe tunes are. You’ll only hear it in D in sessions.

Re: Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie

Bogman, thank you so much for your input. I edited my setting in order to have it be in D, surely closer to how Allan MacDonald might have originally written it. I noticed Scott Wood has a transcription for Barber Ave. (eponymous second tune of the set) on his website. Incidentally, the tune is in G, (concert pitch A flat), so bogman’s point is exactly right. Might get around to posting it later. Upsurge is a remarkable album and it would be great to have it all here on TheSession.

I may also add a second setting of Dr. Alastair MacKenzie in G, as I myself have taken a liking to it being in this key on whistles and flute. I’ve been playing it and the cranns on D, E and d sound quite well. I don’t see it working as well with rolls on A and B.

Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie, X:2

As stated above, this is X:1 transposed a fourth down, posted for flautists and whistlers wanting to play it with G fingers in order to be able to crann D, E and d. Play X:2 on a B♭ whistle to have it be in tune with Scott Wood’s recording on Highland pipes. Thanks again to Bogman for their input on my first pipe transcription.

Dr. Alasdair Mackenzie, X:3

This is how the tune was presented to participants by Rick Taylor at his last (and final) Skye Ensemble Week in April 2019 - almost the same as in The Moidart Collection II apart from the tied (syncopated) notes.
Rick had no idea of the title (he had heard it on a recording and called it Rick’s Beauly Tune) and it was an enquiry by me on this site (https://thesession.org/discussions/43439) that led to it’s identity being uncovered by bogman (thanks).

You don’t want to know the chords Rick chose to accompany the tune!