Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Pipe Band have held their first band practice with new leading drummer David Henderson at the head of the corps with a ‘very positive’ outcome. The GGPS corps is still largely intact despite the recent upheaval following the departure of long-serving Eric Ward.
Of the nine side drummers that played with the band at the World Pipe Band Championships in August, six have stayed with the police band and one has retired. P/M Iain MacPherson said: ‘Our first practice with David went very well with a very positive response from everyone.’
Former Leading tip Eric Ward has joined the Grade 1 Bleary & District Pipe Band (pictured top) from Northern Ireland. Eric is originally from Banbridge in Northern Ireland. On social media the band say: ‘We look forward to welcoming Leading Drummer Eric Ward to the band. Now we get our heads down for a hard winter’s practice and look forward to the 2017 season.’
Interesting comments today on the Editor’s review of this summer’s British Pipe Band Championships, in particular the mention of the performance by the Scottish Power band where he wrote: ‘A shaky start where the low Gs and B harmonies clashed throughout the opening tune’.
This elicited a lengthy and widely read response from P/M Chris Armstrong of Scottish Power (pictured) which justified, in his view, his harmonic approach: ‘‘A shaky start where the low Gs and B harmonies clashed throughout the opening tune.’ That’s interesting from the perspective that the harmonies in the opening tune, a good strong George McIntyre composition which uses the A mixolydian mode, are utilised to compliment this mode which is widely used in Western Music.
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‘Basically, this mode is an A major scale with a flattened 7th; i.e. if it was a major key you would have a G sharp but the pipe scale being what it is has a G natural. In order to harmonise correctly in this mode you need the B and low G as the G major/E minor chord are present where you use them. Kilmaho is a fantastic double tonic tune, changing between A and G in every phrase pretty much.’ (Read P/M Armstrong’s full response here.)
Reader Phil Redmond writes: ‘I concur entirely with Editor Robert Wallace …. When playing in the key of A on an instrument designed for the key of D, the G natural is always of concern. Thankfully being the 7th note of the A major scale it is seldom an important part of the melody though at times it does stand out (Blue Bells of Scotland). As far as harmonizing is concerned, the chords that are commonly used in the key of A are the tonic A, C#, E, the sub-dominant D, F#, A, the dominant 7th E, G#, B, D and the relative minor F#, A, C#.
‘Thus, the only time the issue of the G arises is when the applicable chord is the dominant 7th. On such occasions it is better that other than the G is used to accompany the melody.’
Entries are now closed for the World Solo Drumming being held in Glasgow on October 22 where Inveraray’s Steven McWhirter will be defending his title. Tickets priced £5 for the adult final are available here