I haven’t done a tune of the month in over a year or so as I felt toward the end that I was too often grasping for something to share. But, I watched the online concert linked below and was struck by this awesome tune written by Fin Moore: The Wedding in the Woods.
Being unable to sleep early this morning I got up and figured it out, I hope correctly! I’ve got no sheet music for you as it’s under copyright but I do have a recording of it for you on highland pipes: Glencoe drones, Colin Kyo chanter, Husk chanter reed, Overtone drone reeds (Ackland). Just absorb the smoothness of those drones…
You could look at my fingers in the video I posted to BookFace if the audio isn’t enough for you to figure the tune out. Also, the microphone is directly behind me because my bed is currently acting as camera and sheet music holder as I sight read.
The Merry Blacksmith is an Irish tune requiring low F# and low D. Some smallpipe chanters can play low F# if they have tone holes and you tape over one them and close the other on your leg when you want low F# instead of low G. This also requires the remaining length of the chanter below the tone holes to be just right to give an in tune low F# once both tone holes are closed (my Hamon chanter does this). Of course, there’s still low D to contended with so I just play our normal “high” F# and “high” D in the ending phrases and use birls on low A for the low F# elsewhere, as seen in the arrangement given here. The Irish setting will also tie the low As together across the bar lines, without a gracenote were applicable. I utilized this pause in the first part between the first and second bars, but inserted a gracenote between the second and thirds bars.