Within a Mile of Edinburgh Toon

For this bagpipe lesson Pipe Major Bill Robertson explains playing two tunes Winthin a Mile of Edinburgh Toon and Queen Victoria's Jubilee Polka. Bill breaks the lesson down into sections with commentary for each section.


Listen to Bill's Audio Instruction
Winthin a Mile of Edinburgh Toon - March

Download the Music Notation Within a Mile of Edinburgh Toon

Click to download the tune notation for Within a Mile of Edinburgh Toon

Lesson Pointers for Within a Mile of Edinburgh Toon

There are not many pointers to make. Simply keep to the beat at about 90 to 100 BPM, the slower tempo perhaps preferable, and pay attention to proper downbeat and upbeat duration with clean, clear technique.

Additional Information

I have two tunes for this bagpipe lesson Within a Mile of Edinburgh Toon and the polka Queen Victoria's Jubilee Polka. These two tunes for a change were part of a bracket of tunes played by my old regiment's Pipes and Drums of The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) under the direction of Pipe Major Willie Denholm in the early 1950's. They are in simple time and may added to another similar say 4/4 (C) such as Far O'er the Sea, or/and Wee Highland Laddie etc., interchanged each time with the little 2/4 polka to vary the rhythm slightly between the 4/4 tunes.

Pipe Major Willie Denholm

Some time ago when listening to part of my more serious music CD's collection I was pleasantly surprised to come across the same tune Within a Mile of Edinburgh Toon in the second movement of the No. 1 Piano Concerto composed by John Field (1782–1837), an Irishman who was a famous concert pianist and composer in his day. About 1803 he settled in St. Petersburg, Russia. He invented the name and style of the Nocturne that Chopin later adopted. The tune appears to be very old with words by English dramatist Thomas D'Urfey (1653-1723).

The pipe tune entitled A Polka I heard on the radio some years ago in UK played on the accordion or by a small folk group. The tune was almost identical to that of the pipe tune. It was announced as being a Swedish polka. Perhaps a Scottish piper adapted it for the Highland bagpipe. The second part in particular I think is catching.


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