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  • Steve Wyrick

    Steve Wyrick June 12, 2006, 6:58 a.m. (Message 45518)

    Re: Playing for SCD

    >   Personally, having returned to playing after a very long break, I now find
    > it quite difficult remembering tunes and sets, especially for RSCDs, as there
    > are so many of them.     I wouldn't risk playing from memory for a SCD dance
    > in fear of making a mistake and ruining the dance.     For a ceilidh you could
    > get away with it as it's a lot less serious.     I find that many tunes are
    > similar and I could quite easily start one tune and half way through change to
    > another.     I suspect that a lot has to do with the fact I was trained
    > classically, through the BCA, and at that time playing by ear was wasn't
    > allowed nor was the playing of Scottish traditional music.    How times have
    > changed.
    >   I say this because I am currently learning the small pipes and find that I
    > am able to play by ear and have no trouble remembering the tunes.
    >   I received the music for the course last week and there are some interesting
    > sets but must get used to the alternative playing order as I am more used to
    > playing AA,BB,CC,DD or A,BB,CC,DD,A.
    Here in the San Francisco Branch the only musician I've encountered that
    plays without music for Scottish country dances is Alasdair Fraser, and even
    he is prone to forgetting the order of tunes in a set or jumping
    unexpectedly into a different but similar tune; it takes a good pianist to
    keep up with him!  Even if one had memorized all the tunes in an evening's
    dance the convention of changing tunes after each repetition (ABCDBCDA is
    the most common order here for 4 tunes played 8x) makes it difficult to keep
    track of the repetitions without music to refer to. -Steve
    Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California

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