3. Extra Pipe Tunes

Extra Tunes: Projecting into the Future

It's been brought to my attention that I left out some tunes from the list.  Hmmm... we have a lot of tunes floating out there, but these should also be accessible and available for you and for us to acquire as a band.

These are not in a specified order.  (That means you should learn everyone at once!)


Learn your tunes by copying them down.  Do one tune per sheet of blank music manuscript paper.  (Click on this link for blank music manuscript paper, or click on the link at the bottom of this page.)



Bonnie Dundee (quick march in 6/8 time)   To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.
[WUSPBA Massed Bands setting]
Additional historical and musical background information on Bonnie Dundee by Stéphane BEGUINOT



Clan Campbell's Gathering (piobaireachd)   To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.
A piobaireachd (pronounced "pea-brook") is not normally a piece performed by a pipe band.  We are intending to play this as a performing piece, in an abbreviated form... that is, to play basically just the third line of the Ground and each variation (phrase A once only and phrase B once only).  At a later time, we may expand it (or not).  For now, it serves the purpose to both learn (and perform) a piobaireachd, and to blow tone; it's also a great piobaireachd.



Blue Bonnets (full name: "All the Blue Bonnets are Over the Border") (quick march in 6/8 time)
This is a "79th Highlanders 'legacy tune'," because it was actually played by the regimental band in 1861, when the 79th NY Regiment, crossed the bridge over the Potomac River, into Virginia.  This tune has four parts, and is also a tune used for a Scottish Highland dance called, "Blue Bonnets."

To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.




The Green Hills of Tyrol (a "Retreat" March in 3/4 time) To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.
[WUSPBA Massed Bands setting]
This tune is a "Massed Bands Tune" played at every Highland Games and Celtic Festival.  It's played as a set with "When the Battle is Over" as the second tune.

Additional historical and musical background information on The Green Hills of Tyrol by Stéphane BEGUINOT

See the opera that this tune came from:  It's from "William Tell," by Gioacchino Rossini, and found in Act III. Go to 20:00 and you'll recognize the tune!  (It was adapted by Pipe Major John McLeod of the 93rd Regiment of Foot (The Sutherland Highlanders) of the British Army.)  Most people know the story of William Tell--a famous Swiss archer (cross-bowman) who shot an apple off of his son's head.  Also, most people know the "Lone Ranger Theme" from the "William Tell Overture."  The basis tune was actually older than the opera... it was a Tyrolean folk song.

In the opera scene....

Act III, Scene 2: The main square at Altdorf

The day is the hundredth anniversary of Austrian rule in Switzerland. Soldiers sing of the glories of Gesler and the Emperor. In commemoration, Gesler has had his hat placed on top of a pole and the Swiss are ordered and then forced to pay homage to the hat. Gesler commands that there should be dancing and singing to mark the century during which the empire has "deigned to sustain [Swiss] weakness", and a variety of dances and choruses follow. Soldiers have noticed Tell and his son in the crowd, refusing to pay homage to the hat, and drag him forward. Rodolphe recognises him as the man who assisted in Leuthold's escape, and Gesler orders his arrest. In a complex choir and quartet, the soldiers express their hesitation at arresting this famed archer (C'est là cet archer redoutable – "It's that redoubtable archer"), Gesler forces them to act, and Tell urges Jemmy to flee, but he prefers to stay with his father.

Gesler notices the affection Tell has for his son, and has Jemmy seized. Inspired, he devises his test: Tell must shoot an arrow through an apple balanced on Jemmy's head – should he refuse, both of them will die. The assembled Swiss are horrified at this cruelty, but Jemmy urges his father to courage, and refuses to be tied up for the challenge. Resigned, Tell retrieves his bow from the soldiers, but takes two arrows from his quiver and hides one of them. He sings an anguished aria to Jemmy, instructing him (Sois immobile – "Stay completely still"), and the two separate. Finally, Tell draws his bow, shoots, and drives the arrow through the apple and into the stake. The people acclaim his victory, and Gesler is enraged. Noticing the second arrow, he demands to know what Tell intended for it. Tell confesses his desire to kill Gesler with the second arrow, and both he and Jemmy are seized for execution.


Even though Rossini's second full ballet from "Tell" is joyful and lively it actually deals with a most dreadful situation: the Austrian oppressors are making the Swiss celebrate the one hundredth year of the Austrian rule and occupation (the furious dance that occupies the second half of the upload is actually a dance of Swiss women with Austrian soldiers that turns into a truly awful display of the latter's power over the people of Switzerland).




When the Battle is Over (a "Retreat" March in 3/4 time) To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.
[WUSPBA Massed Bands setting]
This tune is a "Massed Bands Tune" played at every Highland Games and Celtic Festival.  It's played as a set following "The Green Hills of Tyrol."

Additional historical and musical background information on When the Battle is Over by Stéphane BEGUINOT




Highland Cathedral (a slow air in 4/4 time)
Many of our additional pipers (that is, folks who already play, or those that are with other pipe bands), play "Highland Cathedral," a slow air often played at church services and just as a solemn and beautiful tune, usually standing still.  It was going to be a tune played at the Air Force Academy Football Game halftime show, for instance...with full brass band, which would have been really impressive.  It deserves to be on our list.

Additional historical and musical background information on Highland Cathedral by Stéphane BEGUINOT

To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.



The March of the Cameron Men (a quick march in 6/8 time)
A regimental march of the 79th Cameron Highlanders of the British Army.
 
To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.


The Campbells Are Coming (a quick march in 6/8 time) To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage
Further, I need to include another "79th Highlanders Legacy Tune" (a tune they were known to play): "The Campbells are Coming" (a quick march in 6/8 time).  For the source, I've adapted the tune from the 1841 "Alexander Glen Tutor for the Highland Bagpipe."

Additional historical and musical background information on The Campbells Are Coming by Stéphane BEGUINOT




The High Road to Linton (a Scottish reel in 2/2 time--played very fast)
If we aspire to be a very good pipe band, we need this tune to play with "Orange and Blue" (strathspey).  This is a well-established combination of tunes (strathspey and reel), and is also used for Highland dancing.  This tune is from
the 1841 "Alexander Glen Tutor for the Highland Bagpipe," and is a well-known "first reel" for pipers.

(Tune to be posted soon)  



The 79th's Farewell to Gibraltar (a four-part quick march in 2/4 time)
This was composed in 1848 (a little over ten years before the 79th New York "Highlanders" were formed),  by Pipe Major John Macdonald of the 79th Cameron Highlanders.  He composed this tune in June of that year when his Regiment left Gibraltar for Canada.  For three years, that regiment had been part of the garrison stationed on the strategic (but small) Rock of Gibraltar, located at the far southern part of Spain.  The regiment was really happy to get off "the Rock," to go some where else.  But, once aboard ship, the winds were becalmed (that is, the winds didn't blow), and the transport ships (then only sailing vessels), could not leave the harbor for three days!  So, now the troops were in an even smaller place, looking at where they had been, ...and going nowhere. 

This is a great march, and is a good solo competition march or a band competition march (for Grade III contests, for instance).

Additional historical and musical background information on The 79th's Farewell to Gibraltar by Stéphane BEGUINOT

To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.




Ghillie Calum: The Sword Dance (a Strathspey and Scottish Reel)
To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.



Whistle O'er the Lave o' It: The Seann Triubhas (a 3-part "Slow Strathspey," used for the slow time part of the dance; "Campbeltown Kiltie Ball" is used for the quick time part of the dance)
To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.



My Love, She's But a Lassie Yet: The Sailor's Hornpipe
(a two-part quick march / hornpipe in 2/4 time)
(Tune to be posted soon)  




The Black Bear (a quick march (or hornpipe) in 2/4 time)
This is one of the really great pipe tunes.  It's a rousing tune.  Often played after Scotland the Brave.  Very effective.
This would make a great "charge" tune.

Pipe Major Bill Robertson, retired from the Royal Scots (and now living in New Zealand), has a great website and teaches on-line.  The Black Bear is one of the tunes he offers a free tutorial on.  He gives this explanation:

"In most Scottish infantry regiments of yore it was customary for a battalion led by the Pipes and Drums re–entering their barracks after, say, a route march, to play the tune. Similarly, when a company was coming back from a route march of ten or more miles, usually the Company Piper would play the tune as they entered the barracks (as I did as young piper in my regiment). Often the drummers and the soldiers would shout the likes of “HI” very loudly when the tune came to the fourth bar* two beats only of the first part to further herald their arrival."

*Count to (beat) seven, then yell "Hi" (or "Hey") on beat eight."

Additional historical and musical background information on The Black Bear by Stéphane BEGUINOT

To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.




The Barren Rocks of Aden (a quick march in 2/4 time)
[WUSPBA Massed Bands setting]

This is one of those tunes that every piper should know.  Many pipe bands play it, and it's often a Massed Bands tune, too. The Barren Rocks of Aden was an unnamed composition composed by Piper James Mauchline, when he was with a detachment of the 78th Seaforth Highlanders, stationed in Aden.  Pipe Major Alexander Mackellar re-arranged (adding parts 3 and 4 for a longer version) and named the tune. 

Aden was a British Colony from 1839 through to 1967.  It is now part of Yemen and is located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula.  It is a strategic location, near the confluence of the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean.  It was in Aden, that the bombing attack on the U.S.S. Cole took place (Oct. 12, 2000).  For the British, it was halfway between the Suez Canal and India, and they needed a "coaling station" as well as a base to help control piracy (still a problem there).

To download this tune, go to the bottom of this webpage.



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