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Writing rondos for Union pipes?

Will Fly 18 Nov 10 - 09:42 AM
giles earle 18 Nov 10 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Nov 10 - 10:49 AM
Desert Dancer 18 Nov 10 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Nov 10 - 11:04 AM
Will Fly 18 Nov 10 - 11:11 AM
Jack Campin 18 Nov 10 - 11:18 AM
Anglo 18 Nov 10 - 11:27 AM
Les from Hull 18 Nov 10 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Nov 10 - 11:49 AM
Will Fly 18 Nov 10 - 12:12 PM
Will Fly 18 Nov 10 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Nov 10 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Nov 10 - 02:30 PM
Will Fly 18 Nov 10 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Nov 10 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,RWM 18 Nov 10 - 02:36 PM
Will Fly 18 Nov 10 - 02:41 PM
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Subject: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 09:42 AM

A recent thread on digitised Irish music - and in particular a link mentioned by Peter Laban - took me to the Irish Music Collections Online (IMCO) website. And a fascinating resource it is.

What was particularly fascinating was a particular collection entitled

A Collection of Irish Airs and Jiggs with Variations, Adapted for the PIANO FORTE VIOLIN, & VIOLINCELLO by John Murphy, Performer on the Union Pipes; at Eglinton Castle

Browsing through this I came across a piece by one J. Clarke (I'm assuming Jeremiah Clarke) called, A Favourite Rondo, composed for the Union Pipes. It caught my ear immediately, and I've spent a happy couple of hours transcribing the first two parts of it as a guitar piece. It starts in 4/4 and then kicks into gear with a terrific rondo in 2/4.

I've only ever seen and heard the Uilleann/Union pipes playing very traditional Irish music. Can any more enlightened soul comment on their historical use as 'classical' instruments?


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: giles earle
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 10:21 AM

Is this of any interest, by way of some background?


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 10:49 AM

Thanks very much for the lead, Will. I don't know anything about pipes in classical music, but I'm much intrigued by the site.

However, it doesn't work for me. I downloaded Sibelius Scorch, as directed. (It shows on my list of programs on Control Panel.) I turned off my pop-off blocker. Yet when I click on that tantalizing rondo, all I see is a blank page with an x in the corner.

Does anybody have any suggestions for making the score appear?


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 10:53 AM

Looking forward to your posting a video link to the guitar adaptation, Will!

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 11:04 AM

The pipes were in their early stages a 'gentleman's instrument' their cost was prohibitive for anyone other but the relatively wealthy and the professional.

They were used a lot for drawing room music as fashionable at the time and their repertoire included light classical pieces, operatic airs etc. and some of that repertoire is reflected in the early collections.

Only later the pipes moved from the big house to the cottage and the street.


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 11:11 AM

Thanks for the wiki link, Giles - an interesting background, but not a huge indication of style other than "baroque" and "pastoral" in the article. I suppose from the music itself in this collection that composers wrote fairly complex baroque-style airs for an instrument that I'd always associated with traditional tunes.

Leeneia - I use a Mac Book and Scorch has always worked for me. Sorry I can't help here. :-)

Becky - you can see the actual transcription (A Favourite Rondo) at Will's music & tabs page. I haven't got my fingers all the way round it yet, but I will do ... eventually!


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 11:18 AM

The union pipes were invented in Newcastle as a development of the pastoral pipe, parallel to the evolution of the smallpipe into the keyed Northumbrian pipe. (I'm not sure if any union pipes from Newcastle actually survive complete - they very rapidly became an exclusively Irish possession). Accordingly their earliest repertoire will have been taken from that of the pastoral pipe, which in turn got its repertoire from flute music. This may be of interest:

Ross Anderson's pipe music pages

as it includes complete scans of early tunebooks for the pastoral, union and Northumbrian pipes.


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Anglo
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 11:27 AM

Leeneia, you need to restart Safari (or your other browser) after installing the Scorch plug-in.


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 11:31 AM

And allow it to run the plug-in.


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 11:49 AM

Jack, there's overwhelming evidence that the pipes in more or less their present form were conceived by Kenna. In Mullingar. But I don't think there's much point in opening that discussion here as there are many dark areas we're not certain of.

I can recommend The Journal of The Séan Reid Society as a means of further reading and discussions of recent research.


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 12:12 PM

It's interesting that, in the various recommended links I've browsed through - particularly those of recorded music, the greater part of the recording is, as far as I can tell, of traditional tunes. The rondo that I've been looking at is written in a pleasant, if slightly predictable, two-part harmony, with overlapping, fugue-like lines.

My knowledge of the Uilleann/Union pipes is very sketchy, but I had always assumed that the keyed drones were capable of chordal accompaniment, and were not suitable for a true, two-part harmony piece.


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 12:25 PM

If you're at all interested, here's a quick link to the sound file of the guitar transcription of this rondo. Not me playing!


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 02:19 PM

Sketchy is right Will ;-)

The drones are not keyed and are just drones (same note in three octaves) the regulators are the keyed bits. When you hit more tha none key you play chords but when hitting one, and if you have a hand free, you can play al sorts of things. Limited but still.

Try look up Leo Rowsome playing The Castle of Dromore (or Tommy Kearney or Geoff Wooff playing same).

The arrangements in the collection you mentioned were for the piano forte though.


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 02:30 PM

Anglo, thanks for the tip about restarting. I restarted from the Start menu, and after telling it to allow the program 2 or 3 times, it worked.

Ta da!


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 02:30 PM

Thanks for the info, Peter. Being basically a 'strings' man, many squeezy and blowy things are in a different universe from me!


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 02:35 PM

I know Will, they're a different universe compared to just about everything.


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: GUEST,RWM
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 02:36 PM

Well this is right up my alley... :)
There is a terrific new CD out by Jerry O'Sullivan
playing tunes of O'Farrell available at CD Baby
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/osullivan2
This is his second outing with O'Farrell, and this new CD includes
the Ulster Rondo which was written for Union pipes. I played the
pastorals for a while, but the damned chanter is a BEAST to reed..
even worse than union and that is saying something.

Robert Mouland
www.wireharp.com


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Subject: RE: Writing rondos for Union pipes?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 02:41 PM

Hey Robert - just had a listen - excellent stuff!


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