This is a bagpipe lesson for the march Kamak San, composed by Pipe Major Hugh Fraser.
This march like many four parted marches in compound time is intended more for musical performance at a statelier pace rather than for troops or the like while on the march at a quicker pace/tempo on parades etc.
Beware of the timing of the fourth bar in parts where the first beat has the three 8th/quaver notes each of equal value which we term Round, as Hugh meant them to be – a nice touch I feel. Avoid playing too many grace notes in 6/8 marches as some tend to do. When in doubt – miss out!
Remember the basic rhythm of the beats in 6/8 marches of 1--,2, 3-; 1--,2, 3-; and so on without the tendency to overdo the 1—, at the expense of the rest of the 3- upbeat duration. The audio and video explains. Pipers can learn a lot from listening perceptively to good pipers and one's own playing from time–to–time. Is the sound, basic execution, and controlled rhythm good or not?
While in South Korea soon after the cease fire 1953 and stationed near the small mountain Kamak San, Hugh composed this fine march with some unusual little turns of fingering. The tune is published in the Seamas MacNeill Collection of Bagpipe Music as composed, and The Royal Scots Pipe Music book with some changes.
Hugh served most of his long time in the British Army with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, before transferring to The Royal Scots on the appointment of Pipe Major. The picture below shows Hugh when Pipe Corporal third from right front row. Also shown, the Pipe Major Evan MacRae (front with beard and medals) a close friend of Hugh. A good number of these pipers were top class pipers of the Piping World. Hugh conveyed much of his great piping experience onto his pipers, including myself, while he was Pipe Major of The Royal Scots – liked by all.
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