Incorrect timing in MacLeod tunes and Sgt. MacKenzie

Playing the Gellaitry’s today. Blowing in a Husk chanter reed for this pipe so steadiness is a bit of an issue as is tuning with this set of recordings. Alas, at band practice we whipped out Flett from Flotta by Donald MacLeod and I had to remind everyone that both high As at the end of each part are quarter notes. Often, the second high A is played as a dotted eighth instead of a quarter, with the remainder going to the E followed by a C which is then given the quarter note value instead of the high A. Everyone does this, I’ve heard Gold Medalists do this. Donald probably isn’t rolling in this grave but come on, it’s not that hard. So I was listening to Scottish Power rock their medley at the Scottish Championships (YouTube, not live) and what did they start their medley with? Flett from Flotta. No, just kidding. They started with the Battle of Waterloo, and they got the pick-up notes wrong. Okay, so Donald probably still isn’t rolling over in his grave. The pick-up notes in this tune all start on E, an eighth note, followed by a couple of sixteenth notes. Invariably, everybody plays the E as a sixteenth along with the next note, placing the eighth note value on the 3rd note in the pick-up series instead of the first note, the E. So, I figured somebody needs to shout to the world, “Look at your music!” Without further ado:

Flett from Flotta, Battle of Waterloo, Roderick MacDonald’s Favorite, and Balmoral Castle

Then I decided I’d suck at some 6/8’s I never play.

Bonawe Highlanders and Frank Thomson

I got a request this week for the sheets to Sgt. MacKenzie. The Pekaar Index didn’t come up with anything so I googled it and found out it is a song by Joe Kilna MacKenzie. There’s audio files of the tune everywhere and while the piping wasn’t the most consistent (mine certainly isn’t) I wrote the tune down from the recording and figured I’d play it here. Its claim to fame is the movie We Were Soldiers. I threw in a hornpipe at the end as that seems to be the most common solo pipe medley out there, play something slow then something fast. Go figure.

Sgt. Mackenzie and PM Calum Campbell’s Caprice

Then I felt bad for calling Chris Armstrong out on the whole Battle of Waterloo thing (he’s the PM of Scottish Power) so I played a tune he wrote that I was learning at one time to play with a band headed to the World’s (though I didn’t even make it to one practice – grad/med school between me and wife and 2 kids, I don’t know how I thought that was ever going to happen, hey, I got my Ph.D. a couple days before that band played at the World’s, fair trade I guess). Anyways, the first tune is Chris’:

Mr. F. Octave Anno, The Snuff Wife, and Rakes of Kildare

I substituted another taorlauth for a GDE on BAA but it’s messing up the G grace note to B following so I gotta work on that in Rakes of Kildare. Then I was like, I haven’t sucked enough at jigs today.

Pipe Major Jimmy MacGregor and Thief of Lochaber

So, I’ve got 2 of my Colin Kyo chanters going with Husk reeds now. So, I think I can safely say I won’t have to worry about getting reeds from Gilmour anymore. Yay! Cause those things are scarce!

I played the Henderson’s, the other pipe with the Husk/CK combo, the other day for 1.5 hours and the last tune I recorded was my first competition 2/4 march, which probably hasn’t been played since the first and last time I used it in competition. Since I haven’t sucked enough yet in this blog post, I figured I’d post what I sounded like sight reading a tune I haven’t played in 12 years at the end of 95 minutes of straight sight reeding every tune from Scots Guards between pages 106-156. Enjoy!

79th’s Farewell to Gibralter