Teach Yourself Bagpipes by Lindsay Davidson - Piobaireachd

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'There are various ways to think of and describe a crunluath. We alwasy precede the theme note with a High G gracenote (or thumb gracenote if to High  - high A remains lpain without fraceote) and it always ends on full E. This is what it looks like in staff notation from each note in the scale:

Crunluath from each note of the scale

This is how the same thing looks in typical notation:

Crunkuath example as in staff not

As with grips and taorluaths, when coming from a D, the D gracenote changes to a B gracenote.

The canntaireachd word for a crunluath is "-bandre". This suggests one historical way of playing, which considers it to be a grip (or taorluath) to low A followed by a throw to E. There are many people who play this style.

However, the more common style is to consider a crunluath as a single movement.

The low Gs and low As are all  equally spaced and are divided by a D, E and F gracenote in sequence. The sub-beat generally occurs on the first low A of the crunluath. The E at the end is an interesting feature..it hangs a little in space and time - minimally, but never the less, it hangs!

The 'internal rhythm' of this is as indicated below:

Crunluath internal rhythm
This indicates an idea of the dominant, 'active' sounds you would describe if listening to this movement played very slowly. The D,E and F gracenotes are so short that we do not completely process them as pitches.

Here is a video to play along offering the movement from each note of the scale super slowly and opened up. You should play this until you can 'feel' and correctly reproduce the rhythm seven times correctly in a row. Every time you find yourself with errors in tunes, you should return to this exercise.

And the same again at high pitch:

Whilst it is traditional to notate this movement in common time, or 4/4, with only a quarter note and the letter C underneath it, it is actually played in 12/8 time. Here is a video with the movement as typically notated and at a typical tempo:

Low pitch

High pitch

The internal rhythmical complexity is part of what makes piobaireachd such an interesting challenge to conquer...

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Lindsay Davidson
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