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TOPIC: Printed Bagpipe Music in different keys

Printed Bagpipe Music in different keys 3 years 1 month ago #24

  • stewart323
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This post has been copied from the comment added by Bateman637 on the article about the Society's 'Blue Book' [available to members for download]:
This is not so much a comment as a request. Is there any easy way for me to obtain the "Blue" book transposed down a major 2nd into the key of mixolydian G so that the 6-finger note is read as G on the second line up of the treble clef? I'd be willing to spend a little money on this if it would help. If I could be put in touch with the person (George Greig?) who edited the edition, then it may be that he could easily transpose the source files into another key for me and send them to me as an email.

More generally, I wonder how many other people have the same problem as me with Scottish bagpipe material. I haven't come to Border pipes through the GHB tradition but through more mainstream classical music where, on woodwinds, the 6-finger note is often read as G. Certainly many people with the same background as me would find the publications a great deal more immediately accessible if they could be had in 6-finger G notation.
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by stewart323.
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Re: Printed Bagpipe Music in different keys 3 years 1 month ago #25

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I would recommend that any piper wanting to play from music other than GHB-based traditions, or such lowland music as has been recently published, should spend a little time learning to transpose; there are only 9 notes to figure out, it can't be that hard. and you really only have to master two or three other settings; for chanters in C D or G and you'll probably only ever need D & G.
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Re: Printed Bagpipe Music in different keys 3 years 1 month ago #28

  • ggreig
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Hi,

I'll send you a more detailed response off-line but the short answer is that I wrote the tunes out using the excellent program Braeburn Music Publisher and it can transpose anyuthing to anything. However, I don't think that I would encourage you to start transposing. Jim Buchanan (last Society Chairman) plays the oboe and I used to play the clarinet and we have no trouble accepting the custom of the 6-finger note being A. Are you really going to transpose every LPBS publication, not to mention the huge resource of Highland material?

You wonder if others would find it helpful to have tunes set in mix.G. I have no idea since this is the first time I have encountered this suggestion.

If you do decide to go down the transposing route, I would offer only one word of caution: make sure that the key signature is correct in the starting material. The Blue Book is deliberately written in 2 sharps as a convenience to our members; it avoids scattering accidentals all over the place or putting a Gnat sign in the key signature - those classically trained would argue that there is no such key. I go into this in more detail in the introduction to our most recent publication 'A New Way to Melrose'. Writing in 2 sharps says to the classical musician that the score is in D. Well, quite a few are in A (mix.) not withstanding the shorthand use of 2 sharps. What this means is that if you transpose down a major second, the notes will appear on the desired lines but the key signature will be wrong (in classical terms). It is easy enough to correct but I tend to the view that it is better to accept the reality that on Border pipes the 6-finger note really is concert pitch A and work from there.

Hope that helps,
George.
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Re: Printed Bagpipe Music in different keys 3 years 2 weeks ago #38

  • dirdum
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I put this elsewhere, but here again is a link to Bernard Hill's website:
www.braeburn.co.uk/mp.htm
His program has a very easy to use transpose function, and you can scan sheet music into it. Bernard is very easy to work with and quick to reply to questions.
I hope this helps.
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