The National Piping Centre created the What’s in a Tune series on their YouTube channel just over one month ago, and have since added seven videos to the series. The tunes offered so far have been a mix of classic tunes and lesser known tunes, and all well worth a listen and learning to play.
Each presenter gives some background to the tune they offer, with some having a personal connection to the composer and giving historical details, or offers tips on playing phrases in the tunes and what makes the tune special to them.
The presenters have been NPC staff: Ailis Sutherland, Finlay MacDonald, John Mulhearn, Wilson Brown and a guest video from Fin Moore. And the tunes offered have been: Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban by Archie MacNeill; The Day We Crossed The Ferry – Unknown; Atom of Delight by Derek Hoy; MacNeils of Ugadale by Pipe Major John MacKenzie; Lochanside by Pipe Major John McLellan DCM, Dunoon; Murdo’s Wedding by Major Gavin Stoddart BEM; and most recently The Pitlochry High School Centenary by Gordon Duncan.
Fin’s tune, Atom of Delight, is a lovely modern retreat march. It will likely be a new tune to most, and it was written by his father-in-law, fiddler Derek Hoy, who passed in 2012. Fin makes a request at the end saying: “Derek would have loved to hear a pipe band playing his tune, and maybe one day it will be heard at the Worlds” – come on pipe bands, surely an easy request to fulfil!
The videos of the tunes presented so far are all below, but don’t forget to click through to visit the YouTube channel and subscribe and ring the bell to be notified when new videos are added to the channel.