Category Archives: The Flow

September news roundup

Things have been quite busy and while we’re now five weeks into the Autumn term, the blog has been quiet, so time to catch up a little. The biggest news is that FluteFling has now moved to its own dedicated … Continue reading

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A brace of Irish reels: The Humours of Ballyconnell and The Drunken Tinker

We finished off the term for the FluteFling Improvers group with two strong Irish reels that are great for building up technique and lifting a session. They both make use of arpeggios to create a riff that drives the music … Continue reading

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The Cork connection: an Irish polka and fling

By coincidence, the two classes this week both learned tunes with Cork connections. The SMG Whistlers class learned the first of two polkas that I learned from County Cork flute player Conal Ó Gráda many years ago at a workshop … Continue reading

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New term, new tunes: The Iona Boat Song and The New Claret

The summer term began this week with a look at some Scottish tunes with a little bit of history behind them. The SMG whistlers looked at Caol Muile (The Straits of Mull) or The Iona Boat Song. Another Scottish Boat … Continue reading

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FluteFling Improvers: The Sailor on the Rock

The Sailor on the Rock is a solid single reel from Ireland. Punchy and in D major, it fits a number of different instruments well enough to have been recorded many times and have some variations in setting. The Fiddler’s … Continue reading

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New SMG whistles and FluteFling tunes: yowes, maids and more

After last week’s hard workout, some consolidation of repertoire was the focus of the SMG whistle class this week. However, by request we looked at the air of a song from the Scottish Borders that is associated with Robert Burns, … Continue reading

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Another Scots march for the whistle: Greenwoodside

This weeks tune for the Scots Music Group is the Highland pipes march Greenwoodside. Like many, the melody is closely derived from a song, in this case Bonny Greenwoodside, also known as The Cruel Mother. There are various lyrics, but … Continue reading

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FluteFling and SMG roundup, Midwinter excursion and next term

We are almost at the end of the Winter term and for the Scots Music Group whistlers we are focusing on the end of term Stramash on Wednesday 5th December, for which we will be playing Tha Mi Sgith and … Continue reading

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FluteFling and SMG roundup: The Pitnacree Ferryman and more

As we have seen recently, traditional tunes often have multiple identities. This week I abandoned my plans for the FluteFling Improvers class to teach The Blackberry Bush, a popular 4-part highland pipe reel because I wasn’t happy with the version … Continue reading

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Chorriechollie’s and the Folk Process

We’ve been learning Chorriechollie’s Farewell to the Northern Meeting at the SMG whistle classes. Or have we? One of the students (thanks John!) did some research on the tune as he was already familiar with it and  learned that the … Continue reading

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