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Archive for the 'Polkas' Category

This setting of the popular song air is the tune that James Morrison and McKenna place before the more commonly played "Trippin' on the Mountain".

It makes for a nice dance tune, and McKenna achieves a really solid tone and a nice buoyant rhythmic momentum that brings it out well.

In the clip below I play a bit of the sort breath articulation that I used, and then I play the melody.

There are a couple of nice turns that are a little different from the standard song version such as the first few notes of the first part and McKenna's hopping down to the B from the high Es in the 2nd and 6th bars of the second part.



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As for the first polka of this set, in the clip below I play the sort of rhythmic pulse pattern that McKenna employs to get his distinctive rhythm going through the melody as it might be done for the first part of this tune.

In the second bar of the second part we can hear how he pulses through the long, high F sharp. The effect is almost like a triplet in places, and he brings this out further on occasion with a tap of the finger.

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Fig.1: Lassie.

McKenna plays this at an easy going pace with a slight bouncy breath pulse to help it along. I play the sort of pulse employed at the start of the clip below. This is how it might be used to match the melody in the first part of this tune.

Again, he's playing with a great tone here. I like what he does with the long high G in the 4th bar of the second part: he really draws it out and plays it expressively.

The little triplet runs down from the high G elsewhere are also a nice, distinctive touch.


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Polka (Tommy Reck)


This nice old polka is another from Tommy Reck's 'Stone in the Field' LP.

It's one of the very few recorded examples of polkas played on pipes from that era; polkas didn't seem to be a big fixture in the piping repertory.

Reck's playing of it, again, is the picture of taste and restraint. He gets a solid rhythm and the little tightnesses he inserts between notes makes for lovely dynamic tension in contrast to the jaunty rhythm and vented held notes. Great music.

You can buy the tracks, or listen to samples of 'em all, HERE.

This polka is the first tune on the 'Two Polkas' track.




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