Friday, February 3, 2017


Chicago Games
Tunes, we call them tunes. Sometimes it sounds like it is pronounced "choons", but tunes they are. A bagpiper without tunes is a sad creature indeed, forlornly thumbing through the Green Book looking for something exciting to get the fingers dancing and the pipes skirling.

A wise piping teacher once said (last week when he set my ass straight) that breadth of tune knowledge is far more valuable than knowing a few tunes backward and forward. I need to learn more tunes, of different idioms (marches, slow airs, hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, reels, and piobaireachd), to become a better piper. I'll create three lists of tunes here: those I know and can play well, those I can play passably while hiding in a band, those that I'm working on, those I want to learn (yes, that's four lists, counting can be difficult at times).

Tunes I know and play well (well for ME at my level as opposed to objectively good):
  • Scots Wha' Hae
  • Amazing Grace
  • I See Mull
  • Skye Boat Song
  • Green Hills of Tyrol
  • Brown Haired Maiden
  • Mhairi's Wedding
  • Prince Charles Welcome to Lochaber
  • The Company's Lament (Urlar and 1st Variation)
  • Will Ye No Come Back Again

Davidson Scottish Arts Academy
Tunes I can play while hiding in a band:
  • Going Home
  • Wings
  • Rowan Tree
  • Bonnie Galloway
  • Scotland the Brave
  • Bide Awa (Johnnie Scobie)
  • When the Battle's O'er
  • Balmoral
  • Murdo's Wedding

Tunes I am working on:
  • Captain Norman Orr Ewing
  • Spogan
  • The Judge's Dilemma
  • Black Stream
  • O'er the Bows to Ballindalloch
  • Aspen Bank
  • Malts on the Optics
  • The Stone Frigate
  • Donald MacLean's Farewell to Oban
  • Dorrator Bridge
  • Captain Lachlan MacPhail of Tiree
  • Dr. Ross' 50th Welcome to the Argyllshire Gathering
  • Castle Dangerous
  • The Company's Lament (remaining Variations)
  • Lament for the Rowan Tree
  • Jean Mauchline
  • Oft in a Stilly Night
  • Rocking the Baby
  • Loudon's Bonnie Woods and Braes
  • Gravel Road
  • High Road to Gairloch
  • Wearing of the Green
  • Minstrel Boy
  • Boys of County Cork

Three seasons of solo competition
Tunes I want to learn:
  • Mist Covered Mountains
  • My Home
  • Flower of Scotland
  • Flowers of the Forest
  • Captain Colin Campbell
  • Sleepy Maggie
  • Piper's Wedding
  • The Lochaber Gathering
  • Lochaber No More
  • The Thief of Lochaber
  • Dumbarton's Drums
  • The Mason's Apron
  • Lament for the Children
  • Afternoon at the Green Monster
  • The Rose of Kelvingrove
  • Farewell to the Creeks
  • Steam Train to Mallaig
  • Battle of the Somme
  • Heights of Dargai
  • Hector the Hero
  • Highland Cathedral 
  • The Gael
  • The Dark Isle

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