Bagpipe Lessons for Rachael Rae and Pigeon on the Gate
These two reels I used to play many years ago as part of the tunes that the then famous Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band (now Lothians and Borders Police) played under the direction of Pipe Major Donald Shaw Ramsay.
It was my Pipe Major Willie Denholm in my early days in The Royal Scots (early 1950's) who introduced his pipers to learn much of the ECPPB repertoire including these reels and more. Willie Denholm was guest piper with Donald Ramsay's band along with Piper Bob Gibson and two of our good side drummers for a season or so. After compulsory National Service Bob Gibson joined the Edinburgh City Police and the band, and was a valuable member for many years.
Donald Ramsay composed many fine light music tunes and arranged many of the smaller tunes such as Strathspeys, reels, jigs, and hornpipes that formed part of the band's repertoire and to my mind led the way for today's pipe band medleys event. The link will direct you to a a biography Pipe Major Donald Shaw Ramsay, MBE
For both tunes endeavour to relax within reason on the pointing as in most reels and strive for good clean, clear execution. That is why reels are written in split common time (2/2) rather than 2/4 time in having the short notes with two hooks rather than three hooks as in 2/4s much of the time.
These little reels along with some others to come later, if you think worthwhile, are worth considering for medleys in a band or solo. There are two beats to the bar. BPM could be about 92-108.
These tunes are mostly suitable for intermediate and advanced pipers.
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Click to download the tune notation for Pigeon on the Gate and Rachael Rae
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Pigeon on the Gate
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