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Burns supper


tzirtzi
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I've been asked to play at a Burns supper as no actual piper can be found - I play the EC. I was wondering if anyone could suggest to me some tunes? I haven't been able to find anything to suggest that there's a specific, traditional tune played by the piper at a Burns night - though if there is, and someone here knows about it, I'd love to hear! - so I'm just looking for some good trad Scottish tunes, perhaps something which I could use to immitate the sound of the pipes (putting in a drone + appropriate ornaments).

 

Thanks,

tzirtzi

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Do you know how formal the Burns Supper event will be?

Will it follow the traditional format or something less formal?

Are you expected to 'pipe' in the haggis?

Are you planning to play for renditions of Burns' songs after the speeches?

 

Hope it goes well for you.

My Burns Supper this year will be a little less formal unfortunately.

 

Steve

 

PS one trick pipers employ is to leave a little air in the bag for the moment during the recitation of 'To A Haggis' and when the knife goes into the haggis at the line 'An cut you up wi ready slight,' squeeze the bag to imitate a squeal. DS

Edited by SteveS
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Have a look at Burns Country, http://www.robertburns.org/ - you should find some good ideas there.

 

A good many years ago the English ceilidh band I was with at the time took a booking for a late-January gig, asked all the usual questions about hall and audience and electrical power and stage (and a' that) ... and turned up on the night to find the audience were fully kilted and sporraned, expecting a full-scale Burns supper complete with singing, piping in and addresses to the haggis, etc. etc. etc.

 

We didn't get asked back next year ...

 

(Edited to fix typo)

Edited by Steve Mansfield
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I've been asked to play at a Burns supper as no actual piper can be found - I play the EC. I was wondering if anyone could suggest to me some tunes? I haven't been able to find anything to suggest that there's a specific, traditional tune played by the piper at a Burns night - though if there is, and someone here knows about it, I'd love to hear! - so I'm just looking for some good trad Scottish tunes, perhaps something which I could use to immitate the sound of the pipes (putting in a drone + appropriate ornaments).

To be strictly accurate, Burns would have been more likely to hear Lowland pipes rather than Highland pipes in Ayrshire, and many of his songs were written to existing fiddle tunes.

So you don't have to restrict yourself to pipe tunes, and with concertina you can play tunes with a wider range than the pipes can manage.

For a stirring march, you could use the song tune "The Star of Robbie Burns" - not written by him, but written as a tribute to him.

Many of his songs can take being played at march tempo, e.g. "Corn Rigs" or "Duncan Gray".

 

PS There is a tune called "The Haggis", but it comes from Highland fiddle tradition (published by Captain Simon Fraser in his 1816 collection) so Burns may never have heard it, but if you are playing later in the evening, you may want to include this tune.

Edited by davidcorner
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Thanks for all the replies! :) Sadly, my plans to spend some time every evening this week preparing and learning new tunes (the supper is on Saturday) have so far come to naught - very busy time at work is draining my free time - but tomorrow I'll get down to it!

 

Do you know how formal the Burns Supper event will be?

Will it follow the traditional format or something less formal?

Are you expected to 'pipe' in the haggis?

Are you planning to play for renditions of Burns' songs after the speeches?

 

Hope it goes well for you.

My Burns Supper this year will be a little less formal unfortunately.

 

Steve

 

PS one trick pipers employ is to leave a little air in the bag for the moment during the recitation of 'To A Haggis' and when the knife goes into the haggis at the line 'An cut you up wi ready slight,' squeeze the bag to imitate a squeal. DS

 

I believe that it will be quite formal - certainly it will follow the traditional format and I'll be expected to 'pipe' in the haggis. I'm not sure whether I'll be expected to play for renditions of Burns' songs - I'll prepare as much as I can so as to be ready for whatever I'm asked to do!

 

Thanks particularly for the tip about squeaking for the haggis! I'll definitely make sure to do that :D

 

Have a look at Burns Country, http://www.robertburns.org/ - you should find some good ideas there.

 

A good many years ago the English ceilidh band I was with at the time took a booking for a late-January gig, asked all the usual questions about hall and audience and electrical power and stage (and a' that) ... and turned up on the night to find the audience were fully kilted and sporraned, expecting a full-scale Burns supper complete with singing, piping in and addresses to the haggis, etc. etc. etc.

 

We didn't get asked back next year ...

 

(Edited to fix typo)

 

Thanks for the link :) Your story makes me glad I've come here for advice rather than just winging it! That must have been an awkward evening indeed...

 

To be strictly accurate, Burns would have been more likely to hear Lowland pipes rather than Highland pipes in Ayrshire, and many of his songs were written to existing fiddle tunes.

So you don't have to restrict yourself to pipe tunes, and with concertina you can play tunes with a wider range than the pipes can manage.

For a stirring march, you could use the song tune "The Star of Robbie Burns" - not written by him, but written as a tribute to him.

Many of his songs can take being played at march tempo, e.g. "Corn Rigs" or "Duncan Gray".

 

PS There is a tune called "The Haggis", but it comes from Highland fiddle tradition (published by Captain Simon Fraser in his 1816 collection) so Burns may never have heard it, but if you are playing later in the evening, you may want to include this tune.

 

That's good to know - I guess that means I can be a bit more relaxed in my selection of tunes, and choose some fiddle tunes if they're easier/I already know them! I'll look up the tunes you suggest :)

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