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This is not a “commercial” tape. It isn’t
meant to be. ‘Informative’ might be a better
one-word description.
Collected, collated, and copied by the hardworking
Secretary of the LBPS - Manuel
Trucco - it fills a much needed slot in the
Society's growing collection of "state-ofthe-
art" material.
The broadsheet that accompanies the tape
(available from The Secretary, LBPS, 107
Marchmont Road (TFL), Edinburgh at 4.00
incl UK p & p) states "This is the first informal
tunes tape of the Society. The main
aim is to provide members abroad with a
collection of tunes which, we hope, can
prove interesting and maybe can contribute
to increase the “common ground” repertoire
of all members."
Why single out the membership abroad? In
my view it is of interest to any member
who can strap on a set of bellows and
finger a tune - and even those who cannot.
No claim is made for quality of reproduction.
(To keep the price at an acceptable
level all recording studio costs were
avoided). Nor the accuracy of (some of)
the playing. It includes samples of different
tunes, different techniques, different pipes
and different tuning - warts and all. And yet
it is very good to listen to.
On one track the pipes played are an exact
copy of the Montgomery Small pipes, made
by Julian Goodacre (originals dated 1757),
which, with the sharpened 7th and pitched
in the key of near ’E’ gives a whole new
dimension to some familiar tunes.
There are Small pipes pitched in the more
usual keys of ’D’ and "A’. Lowland pipes
pitched in "A’ and ’Bb’ - the latter an old
(probably 18th century) set with sharpened
top leading note and flattened bottom leading
note. A modern set of Border pipes in G
capable of being over-blown well into the
second octave. One track features a set of
small pipes pitched in 'C’ with double
The pipes alone do not have a monopoly.
There are two examples of ‘Pipe and Song"
- a combination of piper playing and
singing at the same time and which has
become such an enjoyable category at the
annual competition. And a jazzy track
featuring small pipes and saxophone.
Some of the drone arrangements are well
worth some attention. Tunes played in 'E’
flat on a ’D’ set of pipes, the drones tuned
up to 'E’ give much the same effect as
another track played in ‘A’ minor (with
cross fingering) and the drones tuned, of
course, to ‘A’, One set of pipes has the
three drones tuned each an octave apart.
So to the nitty gritty of what is actually on
the tape:-
Side A.
1. Gordon Mooney - How she'll never be
guided; Hey ca’ thru, Wee Totum Fogg,
Geld him lasses, geld him; Traditional.
2. Various pipers (in unison) - Mary Scott,
Drops of brandy.
3. Andy Hunter - The Gipsy Laddie
4. Jock Agnew - I’ve Lost My Sgian Dhu
5. Iain MacInnes - Low Country Dance,
Highland Vocal Air, (trad 1784), Skye
Dance, Harris Dance, Joseph Mac-
Donald’s Jig, (trad), Jig From Lady
D’Oyly ms, Boys of Ballymote, (trad Irish)
6. Manuel Trucco- The Old Bean Waltz
7. Douglas Walker - Eagle’s Whistle, Boys
of Ballymote, The Hag at the Church.
Side B.
1. Hamish Moore and Dick Lee Quartet -
A Jazzy Track!
2. Andy Hunter - Traditional Song
(Gallowa’ Hills)
3. Jonathan Swayne - Jon’s Jig, Newbury
4. Jim Gilchrist - Johnnie Cock Up Your
5. Manuel Trucco - Mary’s Tune, Glasgow
Police Pipers
6. Gordon Mooney - “Garua”, Swiftly
Flow, (Mooney), Last Cradle Song (Trad)
7. Julian Goodacre - The Joys of Mary
8. Gordon Mooney - The Rock & The Wee
Pickle Tow, Keel Row
All in all a good mix. If I have a mild
complaint it is that there were no examples
of pipes in harmony. Perhaps that will be
covered in the next collection. A final quote
from the broadsheet; “This is not a commercial
tape. Members can obtain it on a
confidential basis only”. JHA