The Royal Scots Cap Badge

Settle a question

by William O'Donnell
(Bloomfield Hills MI, USA)

Hello Bill:

As a highly experience piper, I would like to have you settle a question that comes up between me and other pipers-some of whom are highly experienced.

As a self-taught piper, I had to examine many of the movements to make sense of them. This particular question involves 3 movements. The Grip, the Throw and the Lemluath. The basis of all three movements involves the same 3 notes. The lo G grancenote, the D gracenote on Low G returning to some other note. The only exception is the throw on D, which adds the extra C for the rippling effect.

So Bill, here it comes:
I maintain that the only difference between the 3 is as follows. A grip separates 2 identical notes(A to A , B to B, etc). A throw separates 2 different notes(which is why there is no D to D throw). If the second(different)not is an E, , its a Lemluath.

If students pay particular attention to the basic movement, all 3, AND the Taorluath make sense-because the taorluath is still a grip form. A g gracenote on a primary note, the grip, and an E gracenote ending on A. (B to B and C to C are the only ones that can end on a note other than A.

What's you opinion??

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Jul 06, 2010
Settle a question
by: Bill Robertson

I agree, William, with most of what you say, especially on the grip/leamluath and taorluath.

The throw on D however can be played in two ways - the way you say with the grip, or the way I prefer and as many others of note do, with after the theme note a low G grace note followed by a D grace note on C and off the the next melody note. It conveys more of the suitable double sound, and to me sounds more agreeable than the grip type. I find the the grip one tends to sound clusy unless well played slickly by a very good piper. I tends also to have an unwanted triple sound, although a choice for pipers as to which one to play. I disagree with the old College of Piping saying that one way was for the light music and the other way for Piob Mor.
The taorluath as an embellishment has the element of a triple -1,2,3, sound, whereas the leamluath/grip the double sound more or less as you say. All should have reasonably good strength of the low G in their execution.
Best wishes,

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