Learn Bruce's Tunes

As a composer of pipe tunes for over 40 years, and a teacher for 30+ years, I have always taken interest in how many of the great tunes came to be. One discussion that comes up often is how it is sad that while we do have a few recordings of some of the great composers from the 20th century, we do not have much at all in the big picture. I have always wondered how G.S. MacLennan played "The Little Cascade," or how John MacColl played some of his great marches to name a few.


So, after some discussion with a few students, we thought that it would be a good idea to put all of my music down in some way that could both leave a proper record of the tunes, plus provide and learning environment for people wishing to learn the tunes.

 

Within each tune package, you will find 4 items

 

1.  PDF of the sheet music.

2.  MP3 of Bruce playing the tune on the pipes.

3.  A story sheet telling you about the tune, from the technical embellishments, to stories about the origin of the tune itself. 

4.  A small video usually between 5-10 minutes from Bruce, showing how to play the tune at a tempo appropriate for learners.

 

 I hope that you enjoy learning and playing these tunes as much as I have enjoyed both composing these tunes and putting together these lesson packages.

 

Common-Time Marches | Compound-Time Marches | Strathspeys | Reels | Jigs | Hornpipes | Slow Airs | Miscellaneous | Piobaireachd

 

COMMON-TIME MARCHES

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The Virginia State Police Pipe Band 

A commissioned tune which is an easy 4/4. The bulk of the rhythm here is made up of straight quarter notes and eighth notes, which make the tune much easier to count through when learning to site read the score.

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The Canada Millennium Pipe Band

A straight-forward 2/4 march, 2 parts, composed in a question and answer phrase pattern.

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The Wobbly Knee 

This is an easy little 2-parted 2/4 march, suitable for both a walking around tune or in a band medley.

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Jennifer Ferrie

This easy little 3/4 retreat march is simple in structure but unique in that it ends each part on a long C which is very uncommon.

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Frances Gandy's Diamond Year

An easy 2-parted 3/4 retreat march which should give you no troubles memorizing.

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78th Highlanders' Welcome to Queen Victoria

Easy little 3/4 marched that was commissioned by the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association to commemorate the inaugural voyage of the new Ship.

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The Nixon Wedding March

This is a little 2-parted march in 6/4 time. It's easy enough for most to handle and in the always pleasant major key.

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Dwight Bishop

An easy little 2 parted 4/4 march starting and ending on B which may provide a nice key change for a walking around set.

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COMPOUND-TIME MARCHES    

Home Cooking

This tune is a 2-parted 6/8 in the major key and it's meant to be a cheerful upbeat tune that can move along nicely if marching without bogging you down with an over abundance of technical challenges.

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Friday on Soho St

An easy little 9/8 march for your repertoire. The title came from the recording studio in Toronto where the tune was first recorded. 

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 Mrs. Ronnie Eastwood

A 2-part 9/8 march. This tune is rated medium, as for some pipers, playing in compound time plus, playing bars with 3 beats adds to the challenge. A few minutes of studying the rhythm and an easy to follow melody should have you playing this tune in no time.

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Bruce MacLean of Tiverton

Four-parted 6/8 rated medium difficulty . Any player with a few years playing experience will be able to play this D Major tune in a relatively short time.

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The Howards of Cornwall

Heres a little march in the seldom played 9/8 time signature. It's not too difficult to play and both starts and ends on B. This should make it a nice contrast to another similar-timed tune.

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STRATHSPEYS    

Jimmy Rollo

A relatively easy 2-parted strathspey that would be suitable for all levels of solo play or band sets.

 
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Under the Tirboro

One of the easiest strathspeys that I have written, this little major-key 2-parter can work as a first strathspey for new learners, or fit into any pipe band medley.

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Steve and Diane of Cheltenham

This is a 2-parted strathspey written for my brother and sister-in-law in Victoria. This rates as a medium difficutly tune due to it being written in a minor key, which is not all that common for a strathspey. 

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Waters of Portage Inlet

Here's a tune that is technically a strathspey, however, this tune is played in a much more slow and pointed feel. Some might liken this to a clog. This is not a tough tune, but you need to take time to ensure the accuracy of the very pointed pulses.


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REELS

   

The Black Sheep Reel

A medium/hard 4-parted competition style reel. A good exercise for any player and a solid tune for the repertoire which can be played right up to the open level.

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Miss Pitcaithley's Reel

this is a 4 part competition reel. Not a difficult tune for the most part and can be handled in both the lower grades and at the top competitive levels

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Caledonia B-Line

A relatively easy 4-parted reel, written to commemorate a great night in Oban Scotland in the 80s

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JIGS

   

Mrs. Sharon Duthart

This 4-parted 9/8 Jig has grown popular with both soloists and with many pipe bands around the world.

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M.C. Alistair

Medium difficulty Jig, written in the minor key. This tune was composed many years ago to honour a good friend and his wonderful work as host and fear an tigh for an evening recital I performed at. You will find a few note combinations that you may not have seen before.

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Coppermill Studio

A 9/8 jig, also known as a slip jig. An easy to medium tune to learn and good practice to learn the lopsided rhythm of these tunes.

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HORNPIPES

   

Bee Street Fiddlers
A tricky hornpipe with some syncopation. This tune was composed after the opportunity to play with one of the great fiddlers of our generation. 

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Weaving Through Glengarry

This tune is a 3/4 reel, or hornpipe. In fact, in the late 90s these tunes were actually called reel/pipes. A little tricky but if you take your time, try to feel the full bars with their lop sided 3-pulse feel and gradually work the tempo up.

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Margaret Elizabeth Copeland

Here's a 2 part hornpipe for you to try. If you are good at birls, this tune will be easy and rhythmical. If birls trouble you, then you need to work on this for the rhythmical practice of that popular embellishment. Once you know the melody notes, you should be able to put this all together nicely.

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SLOW AIRS

   

Tones of Westlawn

This is a very free flowing air arranged in a 6/4 time with a few rather tricky passages. Best to listen to this one a few times first. 

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Victoria Harbour

A 6/8 slow air I composed many years ago to commemorate my time growing up in victoria. This is an easy tune that will suit all levels of player and should not cause any issues for the learner.

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Fraser's Lullaby

This 2-part slow air/lullaby written for my son Fraser. Written in 12/8 time to keep the tune to a standard 8 bar part, the first two bars also serve as the final two bars of the part.

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New York's Bravest

A slow air that was commissioned only days after the terrible acts of 9/11. The video will show you the ways this tune can be played with all of the embellishments or with a slightly easier version which relies more on the pure melody of the tune.

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Calum's Welcome

 

This is a two-parted slow air, and one of the few that I have composed in 4/4 time. This gives the tune a very stately feel. This tune is not difficult at all and good for all levels of player.

 

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Catie's Lullaby

A 2-parted slow air/lullaby that follows the standard 6/8 (waltz) pattern that in which many tunes of this type are played.

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Waiting for Alexander

A slow air in 9/8 time. I wrote this tune on the Toronto subway in 1988 as i raced home to take Bev to hospital for the birth of our first child. A straight forward tune in waltz time , this shouldn't give you any troubles at all.

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MISCELLANEOUS

   

Dewdrop

Dewdrop is a simple time waltz, written in 3/4 time. A good tune for performance and help with your tuning as it will use all of our melody notes except for the low G.

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 PIOBAIREACHD    

Salute to Angus of the Chukar Hills

This is a piobaireachd I composed last year for a friend of mine and his ever faithful dog. The tune itself is actually quite easy (in piob terms) and is also a brebach tune which allows some rest time in the technical variations. Major key and a salute so keep this one moving.

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Copyright © Bruce Gandy Music 2014.
All Rights Reserved.