The Little Cascade - Reel

For this bagpipe lesson Pipe Major Bill Robertson explains playing the tune The Little Cascade. Bill breaks the lesson down into sections with commentary for each section.

The tune is a Reel and the tune was composed by Pipe Major George S. McLennan


Listen to Bill's Audio Instruction
The Little Cascade - Reel

Download the Music Notation for The Little Cascade

Click to download the tune notation for The Little Cascade

Lesson Pointers for The Little Cascade

With this tune I suggest that you relax on the shorter notes without over-pointing, that is why reels are written most likely in 2/2 or ¢ time. In other words have good clarity of execution, and avoid treating the pointing like a 2/4 March.

There are some slightly different ways of playing some of the parts, especially the fourth part i.e. absolutely dead round nearly all the way, or have a subtle shortening of the first note in first beat of each bar first three bars followed by the roundness as I do. I have it on good authority from my friend and fine piper Willie Cruickshank son of Pipe Major George Cruickshank ex Gordon Highlanders a contemporary and friend of the composer. I feel that the grace note on these second notes of these groupings indicates certain feeling on that second note. The choice is up to the performer.

A tempo of about 72-84 beats per minute recommended.

Additional Information

The reel, The Little Cascade was composed by Pipe Major George S. McLennan. Legend has it that he composed the tune while been held as a prisoner of war in Germany during WW1. He apparently composed the tune while unable to sleep because of a dripping tap.


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