band will have its own goals and own repertoire needs. However, if you are here,
then the assumption is you must be a beginner band, or one that is looking for
ideas with beginners and inexperienced members in mind.
are a number of tunes regarded as standard repertoire, played almost universally.
Likewise there are standard drum settings, well known across the globe.
from this there are a several roles that a band must perform and the repertoire
below should make this obvious.
the band will teach the parade music to the beginners and make the
accomplishment of this a criteria for getting bagpipes, or joining the band. The
apprenticeship will be made up of parade playing. Setting a minimum standard for
entry to the band is a good way of establishing and developing a quality base.
the availability of pipe music printing software, such as ‘Pipewriter’,
BMW, PiobMor and others, there is no need for sheet music to be of a poor
quality. It is a good idea to print a book or folder with all the tunes for the
year and issue each member with their own copy. Additionally, it is useful to
have a folder containing extra copies of the tunes, plus an archive, at each
sections of such a book should be well organised – permanent music at the
front (standards/parade music for example), and each year’s repertoire coming
how the band will go about learning such a repertoire will be different in each
case. Many bands spend the Autumn and winter learning new material for the next
year and change everything except their standards, whilst others learn new tunes
as a goal in itself and do so when there is a need. If the band is very busy in
summer, they will not have time to learn new material, but will want to have a
lot of fresh material each year. Survey the individuals discreetly and find out
the group feeling on the matter.
the beginning it should also be noted that the standard achieved when a tune
goes into the repertoire for public performance will not get better with time.
The standard of the band is raised through learning new material, so be ready to
work very hard on a small repertoire at the beginning and change it frequently.
Bring in new sets and throw out old ones to avoid retaining any bad habits that
were learned with those tunes.
music for parades. 3/4, 4/4, 6/8 and ‘other’ marches. This will include
‘family favourites’ or the standard international repertoire.
this context, used to primarily to help inexperienced bands build up awareness
of good tone production and steady blowing. These can also be good for the
group of tunes of different types which can serve as a good all round learning
of, and about, the different types of pipe music. A medley for an inexperienced
band should have tunes of each type –march, strathspey, reel, air, maybe a
hornpipe, and jigs. Each tune should be short and quite easy, as the big issue
is concentration over longer sets. It may also be an idea to introduce medleys
of two or three tunes, for example and air and a jig, then two small strathspeys
and two small reels etc whilst building up to a longer set of 6 tunes or more.
March, Strathspey and Reel or ‘MSR’
style tune to seriously challenge a band’s technique. This belongs to
intermediate work. The files which will appear here will also be useful for
jigs can be simple, although faster than other tunes. These can be used for
display purposes and to build confidence at higher tempi.
Repertoire 1 - Basics
Highland Laddie (Standards)
The Green Hills of Tyrol
When the Battle’s O’er (Standards)
Scotland the Brave
Bonnie Galloway (Standards)
Amazing Grace (Standards)
Highland Cathedral (Standards)
Corriechoillie (Very well known)
Bonnie Lass of Fyvie
Repertoire 2 – More advanced – keep the standards
Farewell to the Creeks
Lord Lovat’s Lament
Marquis o Huntly’s Highland Fling
My Darling Asleep
Piano di Sorrento
Paddy’s Leather Breeches
Loudon’s Bonnie Woods and Braes
Jenny Dang the Weaver
of these tunes are available on the tunes page.
note that in due course pages will be added for each of the tunes above. These
Music – drum music and pipe music
Advice on how to approach the tune and suggestions for preparatory exercises
Midi files at various speeds and pitches to help home practice
these pages have been completed a further section will be added on how to raise
the standard of the band to intermediate level, with MSRs and longer medleys.