A bagpipe lesson taught by Pipe Major Bill Robertson
The composer for The MacNeill's of Ugadale was Pipe Major John M. MacKenzie BEM. The biographical information below was extracted from www.pipingworld.co.uk
MacKenzie, John M, B.E.M. 1922–1996
The Argyllshire Gathering
1. John Finlay; 2.Pipe Sergeant Charlie D. Scott (City of Glasgow Police);
3. William Connell (Glasgow); 4.Donald MacLean (Lewis); 5.John D. Burgess;
6. George Stoddart (R.S.F.); 7. John M. Mackenzie(8th A.& S.H.); 8.Bob Henderson (Dundee).
The compound time of 6/8 with two beats to the bar has a basic pulse/beat rhythm of 1–2,3–; 1–2,3– and so on. The often dotted 8th note downbeat “1” has the longest relative duration. The 16th note “2” is relatively short, while the eighth note “3” must have the remaining relevant duration of the upbeat.
In some music books including a more recent one and some through the internet in compound time tunes particularly might have too many grace notes. I call it “overloading” that can spoil the melody and perhaps the proper rhythm. Maintain the flow of the piece and consider a suitably controlled musical tempo when playing for your own enjoyment and that of others. Half tachums on upbeats in 6/8s etc, not the full tachum that is too much.The MacNeill's of Ugadale
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