Week #88 ~ Atholl Highlanders

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  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's winner is Atholl Highlanders, which is a 6/8 march.

    Here is the link to this tune on www.thesession.org

    Here is the abc:

    X: 1
    T: Atholl Highlanders, The
    M: 6/8
    L: 1/8
    R: jig
    K: Amaj
    |:e2e ecA|ecA Bcd|e2e ecA|Bcd cBA|
    e2e ecA|ecA Bcd|eae fed|cdB A3:|
    Ace Ace|Adf Adf|Ace Ace|Bcd c2B|
    Ace Ace|Adf Adf|eae fed|cdB A3:|
    |:a2a aec|a2a aec|a2a aec|Bcd cBA|
    a2a aec|a2a aec|eae fed|cdB A3:|
    c2c cBA|d2d fed|c2c cBA|=G2=G BA=G|
    c2c cBA|d2d fed|eae fed|cdB A3:|
  2. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    No time for recording just now - this is an older recording of mine, Atholl Highlanders is the second tune in the set.

  3. GKWilson
    Thanks a lot Bertram. I just checked in before I went to bed. Now my foots tapping and my bloods pumping. And, I'm reaching for my mandolin. Happy New Year to You and All.
    I picked up a Q3 today. Maybe in a few months when I figure out how to use it I'll be posting.
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Taking a leaf out of Bertram's book and posting a version I had done earlier, back in October. second tune is "Kenmure's Gaen and Awa".The pictures were taken around the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge in Inverness-shire.

  5. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto
    Here's a version from one of my Scottish fiddle tune books which leaves out the second stanza all together and has a bit different ending. I can't tell you how many "takes" I did trying to get it clean. The problem was, even with listening to a metronome before starting I could not help but play it a skosh faster than my "clean speed". Darndest thing, nerves.

    The worst thing is that the cool, dissonant B note in the first ending of the second stanza is obscured by sloppy fingering. It only appears once and I blew it! The sort-of-Strathspey rhyhtm in my second stanza is similar to what's in John Kelly's third stanza and does not appear at all in Bertram's version.

  6. mculliton123
    here is the .tef for Std Notation and TABs
  7. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Happy New Year everyone.
    Nice efforts, Bertram, John, and Brent.

    Here is a question for you Celtic experts. I am not sure about the tempo of this tune:
    Are these Highlanders marching in a stately fashion, or rather goose-stepping?
  8. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto
    I'm no expert but in Scotland they seem to play pipe marches (on pipes) at something more like 90bpm than the 120bpm "march tempo" I learned in American high-school band playing Sousa and so forth. And when pipers do formal March, Strathspey, Reel competitions the march is usually closer to 75-80bpm.
  9. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Great stuff so far Bertram, John and Brent. The vids may be old but are great as usual.
    Brent, the red light phobia is normal. I've used Guitar Pro for accompaniment in this using the cello pizzicato function. I almost lost it on the second section second time around but persevered. Manfred, happy new year to you too and to everyone at the Cafe....

  10. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto

    Your "persevere" worked well, the next stanza after the problematic one was very strong and emphatic. Once I bumble a bit it often means stumbling home in tatters. It's always rewarding to shrug it off and nail the ending!
  11. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Thanks Gary, Manfred and Tosh, a Happy New Year tae ye!

    Brent, that "strathspey-sort of" rhythm (short note first you mean, I guess) is often left out in our sessions, since that is the very moment for everybody to jump up (see this version of Rapalje), typically played at an advanced state of intoxication, and you don't really care for fine structures in such a moment.
  12. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Great stuff there lads!

    Brent and Tosh - you both have me alternately coveting either a Mike Black or Paul Shippey A, sweet sounding instruments the pair of them!
  13. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Tosh, great job. Good tempo, and very clean. I just tried to play along with you and stumbled frequently. Have to do some homework before I can post.
  14. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Thanks for the kind words guys. Jill, I can't recommend Paul's instruments highly enough, they are fantastic, I'm hoping to get my hands on a demo A5 in Feb....
    Manfred, I did a rush job as usual and didn't go for perfection, more the feel! You're more capable than me and I know you will post soemthing good. For your info, I played the second section ddu ddu. Unconventional I know but it's what I'm comfortable with......
  15. GKWilson
    That was great Tosh. If you think that was losing it, you haven't seen me play yet. I concur with Jill. Those are 2 fine sounding mandolins. But, being a semi newbie I can barely handle 4 courses. I don't know what I'd do with 5. I DO however covet Brent's A5.
    [ But don't tell him.] For those that prefer round holes. Mike Black is just finishing up 2 nice A4's.
  16. Tosh Marshall
    Tosh Marshall
    Yeah I concur re Brent's A5 by Mike Black, sounds lovely. But I love my Shippey's and I wouldn't swap them for anything.
  17. MOJOHAND40
    Well...here's my first song post to this group..I'm primarily a bluegrass guy and would never have found this song if it weren't for this group! So thanks! I like stretching into other genre's and trying new stuff...which is why I joined.
    Anyway, Excuse my runaway tempo's and a few clams here and there. ... here's "Atholl Highlanders"
  18. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Welcome here, MOJOHAND40 - nice job on your first post as well!
  19. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Here's my go at the Atholl Highlanders, played on my Mid-Mo M-0W. I tried it out on my Ozark tenor guitar as well but didn't much care for the result. This one I think is better.

    I play it from Nigel Gatherer's version (tab/notation here).

  20. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto
    We're getting a lot of play on this song, it seems. I love it when lots of folks contribute on the threads with a song I really like!


    You're using a different picking technique than most of the posts in this thread. Bluegrass guy indeed, in the "plays it like Monroe" vein. Or at least it looks a little like that to my inexpert eye.
  21. Ryan H
    Ryan H
    This is my first post. It took me a while to get through all the technical mumbo jumbo, but here it is.
  22. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto

    That's rhythmically my favorite treatment yet of this song. Excellent.
  23. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Some nice interpretations of this. I did mine on the fiddle. That's the bad news. The good news is I don't own bagpipes.

  24. MOJOHAND40
    Nice fiddling! Really liked the double stops in the last section...(I may have to steal those myself...)
  25. HddnKat
    Those of us that like to see sheet music - here it is on a bagpipe site- with a bunch of others I intend to move to my repretoire (grin)

  26. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Congratulations, Mojo and Ryan H, on your first postings to the group. Fine renditions of the tune from you both. Interesting to hear a self-confessed Bluegrass player trying out a Scottish tune - not such a big difference, really, but then we Scots and Irish brought over the originals and you guys over there adopted and adapted them! (Sit back and await comments now!)
    Others who are regular posters, such as Tosh and Martin, once again excellent versions all round. Good to get so many versions of a tune up for comparison and to pick up from each player little bits which we might build in to our own playing later.
  27. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Just had a look at the excellent site posted by HddnKat: http://breizhpartitions.free.fr/en/d...ll_Highlanders. I notice that the header for the tune puts it in the key of Bb major, but the Key Signature is in D major (or indeed A Mix).

    For those not familiar with the written scores for the Highland Bagpipe, please note that generally pipe music scores do not display a key signature. Moreover, the highland bagpipe is a transposing instrument which traditionally plays a half tone higher than it reads, so a tune in key of A Major sounds in Bb when played, which is why pipers playing highland pipes are not always welcome in traditional sessions and why small pipes and other variations are used in mixed instrument sessions. Let the discussions begin!
  28. harrywhohaa
    Mojo and Ryan, They are a couple of great first posts thanks for sharing them
  29. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    the highland bagpipe is a transposing instrument which traditionally plays a half tone higher than it reads, so a tune in key of A Major sounds in Bb when played, which is why pipers playing highland pipes are not always welcome in traditional sessions and why small pipes and other variations are used in mixed instrument sessions

    Interesting John, never occurred to me that that was the reason - I used to think it was a sheer volume issue (I played in a session with border pipes once and those drove your ears into your skull already). But coming to think of it, I also have a transposing instrument at hand. They call it a capo
  30. Ryan Zerby
    Ryan Zerby
    I have read that they are tuned in "around Bb" because of players wanting the instruments to sound brighter and brighter for competition, so the tuning has crept up.

    I played highland pipes for a while. I stopped because the instrument is so regimented and competitive. It feels like more people play GHB to be competitve than to actually enjoy the instrument. Having said that, I own a set of "kitchen" pipes (super cheap smallpipes that use my GHB practice chanter), and considered trying to get my atholl highlanders to a state where I could record it... but I've not picked them up in a while and poorly played bagpipes are a torture method in some countries Plus, it seemed odd for my first video on mandolin song-of-the-week to be bagpipes

    Mandolin just seems like a more friendly instrument, both in playing it, and in the community
  31. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Ryan, my two daughters are both highland bagpipe players and both also have the excellent Fagerstrom midi pipes which can give GHB, samll pipes and border pipes tunings and drones. Great for playing along with as they are capable of being tuned and just plug into a small amp when required. My younger daughter also has the kitchen set you mention and they are a lovely, sweet instrument. There is a link to my daughter playing Campbell's Farewell to Redcastle" on the midi pipes on my website: http://www.luthierjohn.co.uk/page7.html
    Thanks for listening.
  32. Ryan Zerby
    Ryan Zerby
    I've had my eye on a Fagerstrom, actually! I had to choose between that and a mandolin with my tax returns. I think the mandolin will be more fun for me than the fagerstrom as I have such a love/hate relationship with the pipes. I'd consider getting into uilleann pipes if I had a place to practice. I live in an apartment, and it can be a pain to find a place to practice anything loud. When practicing my pipes, I was walking a couple of blocks to the highway... The fact that there was so much car noise made me feel less worried that my pipes would bother anyone

    This will be my first mandolin, and I'm chomping at the bit to get it. I'm hoping that I have a love/love relationship with it and can put the fickle siren call of the pipes behind me..... but probably not.
  33. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    Welcome to the Jan 2nd first post club, Ryan and Mojohand. I cheated and posted in the first SAW song; as I'm still slow at learning new tunes. Great renditions with nice rhythms.
  34. Marcelyn
    After my first dismal attempts at recording this tune, I have even more respect for all the great posts up here. Especially those from the first timers. Great work.

    John, I love the rhythm you get in your arrangement. It really feels like a dance tune.

    I'm glad to see your mandocello getting another workout, Tosh. It adds a lot.

    Bertram, as usual, I'm stunned by your lightning sppeed.

    Mike, I like the way the tune sounds on fiddle. I have a fun practice chanter buried somewhere around here. If I can ever get this song sounding decent on mandolin, I might unearth it and give it a try (definitely not under the watchful eye of the camera though).
  35. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    John, those midi pipes sound surprisingly pipey, and well played, too. There remains an electronic impression, however, reminding me of that most famous pipe band ever...
  36. Ryan H
    Ryan H
    Thanks for the kind words, all.
  37. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Alasdair White, the fiddler with the Battlefield Band, uses two fiddles -- one tuned off a half step to accommodate the bagpipe tunes. He said the tuning on the pipes tends to creep higher as they warm up, which makes things extra interesting. He also plays a Tim Phillips fiddle. Check them out. They're pretty avant garde. I'd love to have one of Tim's five-strings. http://www.timsviolins.co.uk/
  38. Marcelyn
    Am I the only one who thinks an AABBCCDD song is just a bit too long? Here's my Atholl Highlanders (as good as it gets for now) on a 2002 Old Wave.

  39. mculliton123
    Yes, great version, Marcelyn. wish I could laugh like that when i missed a few notes! <i may have broken my toe!>
  40. Marcelyn
    Be careful what you wish for. It's the maniacal laughter of someone who's spent far too long recording this song only to get through a semi-decent version and flub the last line.
  41. Martin Whitehead
    Martin Whitehead
    Nice as usual Marcelyn. Love the critter on back of the couch! And the ending takes the cake!
  42. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    Tap, tap, tap, tap! Couldn't keep my foot still during that tune, Marcelyn! Lovely and lively!
  43. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Very lively there, Marcelyn, and I particularly enjoyed seeing your wee critter lurking there behind your shoulder as well!
  44. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Lovely trills in the A part Marcelyn, and humor is just what it takes. I don't think 4 parts are long, though, given the large percentage of reused phrases (not too much practise time) and the intended speed those pipers play it in (not too much playing time per round).
  45. Marcelyn
    Thanks everyone. And you're definitely right, Bertram. It's not too long for enjoyment's sake. It just seems a little too long to fit onto my camera.
  46. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    So many varied and nice posts above. I am late, but here is my effort:

  47. Brent Hutto
    Brent Hutto
    Very well ornamented, Manfred.
  48. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Here comes the cavalry - you make it very much sound like a march, Manfred - which it is! And not even those stately triplets/quintuplets/multiplets make you stray from exact timing. Auf geht's Buam, hau mer drauf!
  49. Eddie Sheehy
    A Scottish tune played on a Scotch-drenched Fylde Touchstone Single Malt mandolin...

  50. GKWilson
    I figured I better get this done. I thought I had it down pretty good. But with the camera on I tightened up. Marcelin. The music I found only had AABBCC. Didn't really catch it till you said something. Guess I'll have to learn it later.
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