Week #330 ~ The Burning of the Piper's Hut

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is the Burning of the Piper's Hut. According to thesession.org, it's also known as The Burning Of The Piperís Hat, Burning The Piperís Hut, The Defaulterís March.

    Here is a link to seven settings of the tune on thesession.org.

    Here is a link to the abc on abcnotation.com

    Here are some videos:

  2. John Kelly
    John Kelly

    Here's a link to my version, on octave mandolin with backing on guitar, recorded about three years back, hence the early entry here this week! It's interesting to hear the very different versions you have posted here, Barbara.

    Tune may have its origins as far back as the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising in 1745 when the wearing of the kilt was banned in Scotland after the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden in 1746 and the attempt by the British Government to suppress the culture of the Highlands. Another rumour is that it was a fiddler who decided to get the piper who could outplay him for volume!
  3. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    John, that's one fine down-to-earth rendition of what appears to be really a 2/4 march* at heart. Comforting, exactly what you expect a piper to play while his house is burning down...

    (*) although the name does not follow the usual pattern of "The 123rd's Farewell to You-know-where".
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, Bertram. I note that the version I acquired was written as a 4/4 and had only 2 parts whereas in the version in the 1st video above, played by Fiona Cuthill (who is one of the tutors at the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop), she says it is a 4-parter.
    Re the name, perhaps we could offer as an alternative "The 123rd Piper's Farewell To His Hut". You're right about the jaunty feel of the tune - it is clearly written by the burner rather than the burnee!
  5. dustyamps
    I really like your version John. Here's my somber take on this.
  6. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    That's a colorful collection of huts Dusty! (I liked the one at 1:46)
    And a slightly more introvert rendition.
  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, Dusty. Your version offers a whole different take on the tune, and may well be more in keeping with the title! You have the four parts and I think your playing would be an excellent teaching version for anyone wanting to learn the tune by ear - every note cleanly picked and clear and the note values well differentiated.
  8. Frithjof
    Dusty, clean as ever. You get a great tone out of your instrument.
    John, I like the doted version you performed. In my playing the dots unfortunately tend to blur.
    I also tried an accompaniment but wasnít successful to choose the right chords.
    It was also fun to play this tune on my bouzouki but I couldnít get it synchronous with the mandolin.

  9. dustyamps
    Take 2. I've played this for a week now and finally got the timing down for the first part which I omitted from my first version. I dropped the third part on this. Thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement.
  10. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Good stuff, everybody. It's another of these tunes that can be played at just about any speed. My recording is from January 2014, in a set with "The Smith's A Gallant Fireman".

    This arrangement is from the website of the Scots Music Group / Ceilidh Caleerie, to accompany the dancing of the Highland Schottische. I'm playing the set at the correct speed given on the site for this particular dance, but each tune should be repeated once more for the full dance.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    1925 Zimmermann waldzither
    Ozark tenor guitar

  11. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    I am observing a certain convergence of versions here - Frith's and Dusty's recent ones seem to set a melody standard, with Martin's merely adding nice harmonies but not deviating. Someone should actually start dancing now. Round a burning hut, or, as Frith suggested, around the sunset.
  12. dustyamps
    I rely on sheet music to learn a tune and learned the 2nd version on thesession.org, and then, unaware of Martin's nice version, I listened to John's recording over and over and over.
  13. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    More super versions here, guys. Martin, your picture at around 44 seconds shows the famous Niel Gow, one of the greatest ever Scottish fiddlers and composers, with his brother Daniel on cello at a function on the Atholl Estate in Perthshire around 1780. Gow's fiddle now is on permanent show at Blair Castle, the home of the Dukes of Atholl. I believe the painting is by David Allan.

    Frithjof, I used just 2 chords in my version - B minor and A major, a common pattern in many of our Scottish pipe tunes and coming from the modal structure of pipe music. Use of the minor and the major a whole tone below this lets you accompany very many tunes. Also used are E minor and D major, A minor and G major as pairings.
  14. Frithjof
    Thanks, John, Iíll try that. Obviously I played to many chords.
    Dusty, my approach is almost the same. I try to learn a lot from all members. Sometimes I try and play my own humble variations but they come out to clumsy. BTW, I take it as a compliment to be mentioned in the same breath with Martin and you.
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