Mapping the Clarsach – by Keith Sanger at WirestrungHarp.com

Our member, Keith Sanger, sent along this link to an article he published at WirestrungHarp.com. Mapping the Clarsach A very detailed and extensive survey of harping and harpists from the 13th through the 17th century in Scotland, with some surprising results grounded in the information produced when mapping the records. Of course, as viols, bards […]

The pipe is not played but sung

This is a little interruption to my series on canntaireachd. It is not altogether unrelated. Keith Sanger recently sent me a cutting from The Scotsman that set me thinking. Dastaram gu seinnim pìob (PS 91) literally means ‘I am seized by passion to sing the pipe’, or ‘Hurrah that I sing the pipe!’, or possibly ‘I am mad about singing the pipe’. In any case, […]

Using colour to convey musical pitches – Part 2

In Part 1, I observed how the difference between sound waves and light waves has severed the vocal practice of canntaireachd from its written forms. In this part, I explain the rationale for a colour system that could heal the rift, making canntaireachd easier to handle. I have been using colour to communicate pitches in music education since 1995. That was when I bought […]

Using colour to convey musical pitches – Part 1

This series of posts seeks to elucidate canntaireachd, pibroch’s oldest tool for memorisation and musical understanding. In this part, I notice how the difference between sound waves and light waves has severed the vocal practice of canntaireachd from its written forms. I propose that colour could heal this rift, making canntaireachd less confusing and more useful in the 21st century. 200 years ago, John MacCrimmon fingered his walking stick […]