Hello Smallpipe workshop attendees!!!
I’ve put together a few tunes that you can look over if you want in preparation for the workshop. I’m going to make sure everyone gets something out of this regardless of skill level so there will be plenty to chew on for the advanced players and we’ll also have easily digestible material for the newest or more casual players.
Here are just 5 pieces for the folks who want to get a head start. More tunes to come! — EJ
This following tune is in two voices so it’s a great piece to play on two pipes, even Highland pipes, or a pipe and another instrument. It’s easy technique-wise but interesting enough that advanced players can play around with the ornaments. It’s a fun tune that is new to the pipers repertoire and has a lot of potential for public performance and collaboration. Nick Blanton is the name of the dulcimer builder and piper who sent me the pieces which I re-scored for two pipes.
Next are two tunes that are real crowd-pleasers while also being accessible to the new player and engaging for the advanced player. My best piper friend Richard Kean and I have played Dick Gossip for years and we enjoy improvising harmonies back and forth. It’s an easy tune for that. The Boys of Malin is an often played tune in Irish sessions all over so a smallpiper could take this page as-is into an Irish session just about anywhere and have these two tunes in common with the players there.
The next two tunes I probably should have listed first since they are foundational smallpipe tunes from the Northumbrian pipe repertoire. These tunes are very fun and easy to play on the Scottish smallpipes and they even make great Highland pipe tunes.
I have a recording here of me playing the two on a D smallpipe with other instruments. We’ll be going over these tunes on A smallpipes or practice chanters at the workshop.
There’s no pressure to get these learned and I’ll be presenting a lot more material both at the workshop and for you to take home.
I’m going to focus the workshop on presenting information and helping players have more of the experiences we really want with the pipes.