The Royal Scots Cap Badge


The Jig of Slurs

Pipe Major George McClennan

This bagpipe lesson for, The Jig of Slurs, (composed by Pipe Major George S. McLennan) is interesting, difficult and tricky at times; a challenge for the more advanced piper perhaps.

As most will know from some of my previous tunes of the month, George McLellan was one of the most famous performers and composers of his time and today. He was appointed Pipe Major of the well known regiment The Gordon Highlanders in 1905 at the age of 21, perhaps the youngest ever in the British Army for such an appointment.

Much of great interest on the Pipe Major can be derived from website searching under the name Pipe Major George S. McLennan.


Lesson Pointers


It helps basically to make sure the notes immediately before each strike on the same note are opened enough for good clarity and the jig rhythm. That is, lift the fingers concerned reasonably high enough preceding each strike.

Those who have the old book Highland Bagpipe Music compiled by George McLennan, and later Published by R.G Hardie & Co in the 1950's will notice that this jig is written with pointing and that strikes on D are with C grace notes rather than low G grace notes as most pipers of note would have played back then and today.

The reason for that I thought was that he stuck to conventions at the time and sometimes even today of pointing jigs and having C grace notes strikes on D. However, the other two jigs in the book do not have pointing. I think the pointing was done to make sure these notes were not neglected when playing the tune, rather than deliberately pointing them.

I have transcribed the music without pointing to resemble more closely as played, although one may subtly deliberate slightly on some of these dotted notes, i.e. the first note in bar one and bar four of the first part; and consider suchlike in the other parts in the first, third, and fifth bars, and perhaps the seventh bar without being overdone. Further, the strikes on D have the low G, although one may play the lighter sounding C strikes if desired.


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