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Lowland Piping Workshop

A Lowland and Border Piping Weekend

with PETE STEWART

A unique opportunity to spend a weekend with one of the leading figures of the Lowland and Border piping revival. Pete will be well-inown to members of The Lowland and Border Pipers Society, both as membership secretary and as editor of the journal Common Stock, and to others as the author of two books about the Lowland pipers and their music, 'The Day it Daws' and 'Welcome Home My Dearie'. He has also spent the past twenty years researching and interpreting the Lowland and Border repertoire and has developed a distinctive style of performance.

When asked to say something about himself Pete replied

"I came to piping from a background of playing traditional dance music on fiddle. My early days of piping were mostly influenced by the music of Central France. When I moved to Scotland in 1992 and discovered the music of the Lowlands, which at that time was hardly being played, even in the LBPS, I was immediately drawn to this unfamiliar repertoire. Twenty years on I am still discovering aspects which are new to me. In this workshop weekend I hope to share some of these discoveries. It won't be a masterclass in technical wizardry, but I hope it will introduce participants to this music and open up new ways of interpreting it.

 WHO IS THIS WEEKEND FOR?

Anyone who wants to know more about the music of Scotland outside the highlands, with a particular focus on the dance music. You should be familiar enough with your pipes to be able to play fairly simple new music and to explore new techniques. An ability to read music will be a help, but is certainly not essential.

pipes of all types are welcome. Ideally they should be in A440hz but we may be able to accommodate others.

 WHAT WILL I LEARN?

The structure of the workshop will be determined by the preferences of the participants, but will cover some of the following:

1 Repertoire and resources; just what is Lowland music and where do I find it?

2 Interpretation; this music is unlike any I've played before - how do I make sense of it?

3 Technique; the use of ornament - is there a Lowland technique and how can I learn it?

4 History of piping in the lowlands

5 How to learn new music

6 Other topics suggested by you as participant

We are unlkely to be able to cover all these, so participants will be asked to indicate their preferences.

The focus will be principally on the first two which wil inevitably involve item 3 as well; we will look particularly at rhythmic types and tune structures; 6/4, 4/4, 9/4, 3/2, 3/4 etc., the ways in which these forms relate to the dances, and ways in which we can bring these tunes to life from the written page.

VIDEOS

There is very little Lowland and Border music on the web but Pete does have his own Youtube channel where you can hear some of the repertoire, though Pete says that he hasn't uploaded anything in a while and his understanding of the music has moved on in the meantime. Pete also keeps a blog 'Lowland Amusement' but again, not much has been added here for a while. 'Its been a very busy time, what with workshops, Edinburgh Festival shows, conference papers and suchlike - there's not been much time for writing about piping', he says.

'Lowland Amusement' is HERE

The You Tube channel is HERE and here's Pete paying 'Mr Preston's Hornpipe':