Preview of a Session in the Reading Room

Welcome to the Reading Room. Please sit down and have a seat. Here you will find articles: some historical, some technical and others for just general interest. The Reading Room will be updated regularly. To avoid a large backlog of papers, articles will be moved periodically from the Reading Room to the Library where they may be used for a period of time, after which, they will be archived.

Style and Penmanship

The following tune was written for John Walsh, the well known pipe maker
from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The composer is the famous Canadian scribe, Michael Grey, of Dundas,Ontario. From Michael's imaginative pen have come some of the best new tunes of the last quarter century. All his music can be found in his music books and CD's available at all leading bagpipe shops or bought directly from
Michael himself through Dunaber Music

So many tunes are written out by hand for distribution to the band. How they are written out can either aid or hinder the learning process. For example, notice the tune in the first image below. It was written by hand and not a pretty one at that! The first line has 3 bars (measures) while the remaining lines have 4, forcing an "overlap" of phrases on the lines. This makes it extremely difficult to memorize because of the lack of visual pattern of phrases and poor penmanship.

Also note that the score has been written in a "dot-cut" mode, thus giving the tune a strong "up and down" feeling, which in many opinions, disturbs the flow of the hornpipe.

Below this handwritten copy you will find the original score as published by
Michael himself ... and note the two bar phrasing and 4 bars per line ... the symmetry of the parts and the flow of the tune.

"John Walsh's Walk"

Click on Image to Enlarge


This is the original score, published by Michael in Highland Bagpipe Music, 1989 - his first collection.

"John Walsh's Walk"

Click on Image to Enlarge

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