Seldom heard, The Battle of Glenshiel, has a straightforward but powerful melody, taking a techincally challenging turn in line 2 of the Urlar, where it moves to a top hand dominated motif. The Piobaireachd Society score which is used in this lesson comes from Angus MacKay’s collection in which it is “it ends where it finishes in the text” i.e. without a crunluath variation. John MacKay’s MSS includes a crunluath fosgailte.
For many people coming to piobaireachd for the first time the biggest obstacle to overcome is the complicated crunluath movement – the movement on which the climactic variations of the majority of pieces are built. Without complete control over this seven gracenote movement it is nearly impossible to satisfactorily complete most tunes, coming as it does when we are mentally and physically most tired in the performance. In this series of lessons John Mulhearn looks at pieces for which there are no crunluath variations. These pieces are often unfairly thought of as inferior due to the lack of technical difficulty, however on closer examination we see strong melodies that deserve to be played in their own right.
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