FREE Tune Books

Past Tunes of the Month – This blog has published 2 Tunes of the Month since November 2016. Those that are not under copyright have the sheet music provided alongside video and audio recordings in the original blog post. Video and audio from blog readers is encouraged as these tunes are being made available to help expand people’s repertoires into music not found in most other collections. This tune book contains contains all past Tunes of the Month that aren’t under copyright.

Compositions by Patrick McLaurin – I’m not very prolific but I’ve got a few tunes that are decent.

American Music – Military anthems and national songs, some don’t quite fit the scale of the bagpipe.

Christmas Music – Most of them fit on the pipes! Sort of.

A mixolydian with low F# instead of low G tunebook – This tunebook is comprised of tunes that go just outside the normal great highland bagpipe range, requiring a low F#. To do this, one simply needs to tape over most of the tone holes of a highland pipe chanter until the low G starts to sound a low F# instead. You obviously lose the ability to play a low G, so if low G also appeared in the original score of the tune, it was likely only a transient note and was removed in the arrangement found within. One can also achieve a low F# by taping over one tone hole entirely, however this generally makes the chanter more unstable than if just both tone holes are taped over roughly evenly. Undoubtedly, the tuning of the other notes will be affected by this drastic taping of the tone holes, so expect to dedicate a chanter to this particular tuning. You cannot simply add tape to the tone holes and expect the rest of the chanter to remain in tune. Except for the conversion of the low G to low F#, the rest of the scale remains the same as a normal highland bagpipe chanter.

A dorian chanter tunebook – This tune book is primarily comprised of tunes in the key of G, but more specifically the key of A dorian (as I see it). This means you need access to a C natural note resulting in the scale of an A dorian chanter: G A B c d e f# g a. The normal bagpipe scale is G A B c# d e f# g a. Additionally, most of the tunes found in this collection do not sound very good against drones tuned to A. They will sound “off”. It is best to play them against drones tuned to G (baritones probably best tuned to D, although C is an option for a darker sound or if the tune is actually in C major instead of G major, but I think there’s only one of those). Take the grace notes and embellishments with a grain of salt; I probably don’t play it the way it’s written (probably simpler as I’m on smallpipes which are not as good at articulating grace notes). These are tunes not found in the traditional repertoire of highland pipers and draw from the Irish and Northumbrian traditions. Asterisks, *, in the tune title indicate I kind of like the tune.