THE PIPER'S COMPANION
like having a cuddle
Book 1 of The Piper's Companion was published in 1982 at the suggestion of the Longramlington
pipe-maker (now retired) David Burleigh. David had talked of a friend he played duets with
(both on pipes and with the organ in Ingram Church) who said that when pipes and players are
in tune with each other, playing duets is like "having a cuddle".
These arrangements are now played all over the world and have even featured in the
Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The publication of these books covers 34 years - Book 9 (Playford for Pipes) is new for 2016.
Most of the 295 arrangements from all of the books can be heard here. They are played by
my computer - but I have tried to make them sound as musical as possible. They are played
straight from the notation so don't include any extra grace notes that players might add.
The sounds for each part are clearly differentiated so that they are easier to pick out by ear.
In general, the melody is heard in the right hand channel and the seconds on the left.
The two parts will be more easily differentiated if you listen on headphones rather than, say,
Not just Northumbrian pipes...
Although these books were prepared very much with Northumbrian pipes in mind, they make effective duets for instruments such as violin, recorder and concertina - to name but a few.
Click the button to hear 17 of the arrangements played by American folk group WIND ENERGY.
The Piper's Companion - transposed inserts
The following might only make complete sense to
Northumbrian pipers but if you substitute Clarinet in B Flat for pipes then woodwind players are catered for in mixed groups.
Northumbrian pipers with the usual F Chanter know that the sound they produce is not the sound of the written note but the note one tone below. For guitar chords this is taken care of in the books as there is a separate series of chord symbols in the sounding key of the music.
However, if you are playing duets with a player of a non-transposing instrument you usually have to write all of the music out in the necessary key. Non-transposing instruments include violin, flute, recorder, etc.
The problem is solved in the "transposed inserts" - they contain exactly the same material as the main book but transposed down one tone. They are cheaper than the main books as they come without a card cover.
What's being said on the web...
A fantastic new resource for pipers, especially those of the Northumbrian persuasion. The Bagpipe Society
Cool stuff, and good for lots of instruments. It does put the tunes in Northumbrian keys (written G major and sounding F major) which means some of the tunes will not be in the "common" key. But really nice looking and sounding stuff!
Rossleigh Music Highly Recommended Source
Having just reviewed my copy of Singin' Hinnies Book 2 (twenty songs from the North East)
I must say that Derek Hobbs and Rossleigh Music are making a wonderful contribution to the task of safeguarding these treasures from the North East.
It is not enough to publish them but to keep such businesses going - purchase yourself a copy and then do something of great importance - perform the songs wherever you are. These words and melodies do best in the minds and on the tongues of real people. That is how the demand grows.
Contact Rossleigh Music at:
They accept PayPal and when they say they will get something right out they do just that and in record time. They are also great with email assistance again timely and efficient and dedicated to the music, not just taking the money.
Bring the music of the North East into your home and family!