A great 6/8 pipe march by Pipe Major Angus MacDonald.
How many times do I have to say this ? There are no G sharps in the repertoire of the Highland bagpipe.
Nice tune; heard it played by The Clutha on a Kinross Folk Festival album of the Seventies.
There are no G sharps in the repertoire of the Highland bagpipe
You’ve said this before, Kenny. Even to me. 🙂
However, this tune has been published as such, ie with the G sharp unchanged in various books including The Ceol Na Fidhle series(Vol 2).
Of course, I do realise that this series was published mainly for the benefit of fiddlers and the like and also appreciate that many of the settings are not accurate. The late Iain Grant(sadly missed) also used to comment on this too.
While I respect the view that we should be true to the original repertoire, it is a fact of life that many of these tunes are now being played by fiddlers and other musicians who do not fully understand the piping tradition. I’d include myself here, obviously. Many have learned them "the wrong way" from various sources and I wonder if the "genie is now out of the bottle" as regards how these tunes are now tackled?
It’s a fairly easy task for fiddlers, mandolinists etc to play either G sharp or G natural, of course. Perhaps, we should just conform to whatever the practice adopted by the company we are in at the time. As long as we understand what the correct way should be?
I wonder whether it is really the piano accordion (if in doubt, blame the PA 🙂) that is principally responsible for sharpening the Gs in pipe tunes. Since most Scottish piano accordionists make extensive use of the bass and chord buttons (and in part, perhaps due to the way the basses and chords are laid out and the way the chords are voiced) there is perhaps a tendency to force the harmony into a diatonic mould. In turn, the tunes then need to be tweaked so as not to clash with the chords. As you say, Johannes, a fiddler is equally capable of playing a G# or a G natural (and anything in between), so it should make no odds. It is more a case of what people’s ears are accustomed to.