Tune of the Month April 2020 – The Merry Blacksmith

The Merry Blacksmith is an Irish tune requiring low F# and low D. Some smallpipe chanters can play low F# if they have tone holes and you tape over one them and close the other on your leg when you want low F# instead of low G. This also requires the remaining length of the chanter below the tone holes to be just right to give an in tune low F# once both tone holes are closed (my Hamon chanter does this). Of course, there’s still low D to contended with so I just play our normal “high” F# and “high” D in the ending phrases and use birls on low A for the low F#  elsewhere, as seen in the arrangement given here. The Irish setting will also tie the low As together across the bar lines, without a gracenote were applicable. I utilized this pause in the first part between the first and second bars, but inserted a gracenote between the second and thirds bars.

The Merry Blacksmith – pdf file

The Merry Blacksmith – mp3