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 Traditional Music >> The Scottish Whistle >> Tutorials >> Tutorial 9.1


The Scottish Whistle

Fuinary

Galloway

 

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Whistle Tutorial - Lesson 9.1

 

Airs

 

THE SCOTS AND IRISH love a slow air. You could say it appealed to the wistful, mourning elements in the Celtic soul if you wish, but it's merely a human response to a beautiful tune. Slow airs can be laments (which in Scots music are legion: check out Niel Gow's Lament for James Moray, Lament for Rev. Archie Beaton, Rory Dall's Sister's Lament, etc), tributes to patrons or fellow musicians (Lady Ann Hope's Favourite, Mr Marshall's Compliments to Niel Gow, Scott Skinner's Compliments to Dr MacDonald, etc), song airs (Jock O Hazeldean, Auld Robin Gray, Oh! Are You Sleeping, Maggie, etc) or simply a lovely tune played for listening to rather than dancing.

One feature of an air is that it's slow, and the notes are longer. This makes it ideal for the whistle, and there are many recorded examples of beautiful slow airs played on the whistle. Slow airs are ideal for some articulation techniques, such as vibrato and slurring. But remember, get to know the tune first.

The two tunes we're looking at this week are nice and simple. Although Farewell to Fuinary is in 6/8 time, the best way to think about it is like a waltz, and maintain that rhythm all the way through. Bonnie Galloway has the same 3/4 timing, but watch for the reversal of the long-shorter rhythm every so often.

This tune is also available as a [MIDI file] or an [ABC file].


Farewell to Fuinary
fuin.gif - 9Kb

 

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