For this bagpipe lesson, Pipe Major Bill Robertson provides a few lesson pointers on how to play the two strathspey's Monymusk and Thick Lies the Mist on Yonder Hill.
Strathspeys have four beats to the bar. I say often that the value of each beat counts, without jumping into some beats too early especially when up to the relatively faster tempo and bounce of the dance. Also observe the value of the dotted notes in such music. Beating time four beats to the bar can help.
It is worthwhile keeping in mind the feeling of the stronger first beat in each bar as a controlling point, yet maintaining your set tempo.
In Monymusk first part beware of the relative control on E's, and low A's in the basic strathspey movement:
In the second part the longer high A's also need good relative control. The short high A 16th notes onto the cuttings to the longer high A's must have clarity to allow the cuttings to be clearly executed as in the demonstrations.
In Thick Lies the Mist on Yonder Hill simply beware as normally to relative good control on the dotted notes, and on the longest third note in the triplets.
Tempos eventually could be 104 BPM to about 120 BPM.
Monymusk is a planned village in the Marr area of Aberdeenshire, north east of Scotland. First established in 1712 by the Grant family to house the workers of the estate. Later rebuilt in 1840.
Many strathspey music are named after places. The first one here Monymusk is in the more or less original way of only two parts. There are four parted arrangements that are very good when one wishes to play the tune as such and in piping competitions.
Thick lies the Mist on Yonder Hill ”speaks“ for itself. It is a more unusual attractive style that might appeal also. Both could be considered for playing in a group of small stathspeys along with a group of two parted reels.
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