Mountain Piping – Bagpipes in old-time music
This page is an online supplement to the Mountain Piping feature in issue 45 of Piping Today magazine. The feature gives an insight to the musical and historical traditions of American old-time music and the influence of pipe music on the tradition. Written by Timothy Cummings, author of An Appalachian Collection, he explores the growing interest many American pipers are showing in playing old-time music and playing along with other old-time musicians.
The material and links below will give you further points of reference and examples of tunes and music to take your interest further.
- Sandy Boys – Traditional breakdown from West Virginia
- Wayfaring Stranger – Traditional old-time ballad
- The Ninety Third Psalm – Shape-note hymn from the Sacred Harp
Mp3 examples of pipes playing old-time music
- Sandy Boys – From the playing of Pete Sutherland and Chris Layer. To find out more about Pete and Chris’s music visit their websites Chris Layer: www.christopherlayer.blogspot.com and www.epactmusic.com/Pete.html
- Mountain Hornpipe – Another tune from the playing of Pete Sutherland and Chris Layer.
- Harrison Town – From Karen Sutherland’s album If Ever I Had a Friend. On this track Karen sings and plays autoharp; her husband Pete is fiddling and adding vocal harmonies, and Tim Cumming’s Border pipes play Highlander’s Farewell as a filler tune between verses. You can find more information on Karen and Pete Sutherland here www.epactmusic.com
- Sandy Boys – (trad. West Virginia, from Edden and Burl Hammons, via Alan Jabbour). Tim Cummings (Garvie Border pipes), Pete Sutherland (fiddle, guitar), Matt Buckley (clawhammer banjo).
- Ducks on the Mill Pond – (trad. Blue Ridge Mts., from Kyle Creed, via Pete Sutherland). Tim Cummings (Garvie Border pipes, voice), Pete Sutherland (fiddle, guitar, voice), Matt Buckley (clawhammer banjo).
- Wayfaring Stranger – (trad., from Pete Sutherland). Tim Cummings (Garvie Border pipes), Pete Sutherland (fiddle), Matt Buckley (clawhammer banjo).
- Wild Horse at Stony Point – (trad., from Pete Sutherland). Tim Cummings (Banton smallpipes [A-chanter]), Pete Sutherland (clawhammer banjo).
- The World Turned Upside Down – (trad. Arkansas, from Pete Sutherland). Tim Cummings (Banton smallpipes [D-chanter]), Pete Sutherland (fiddle, guitar).
- Ninety-Third Psalm – (shape-note hymn; music by J.Ingalls , from The Sacred Harp). Tim Cummings (Banton smallpipes [A-chanter]).
- I Wish My Baby Was Born – (trad., from Tim Eriksen, Riley Baugus, and Tim O’Brien, via Cold Mountain soundtrack). Tim Cummings (Sinclair Highland pipes).
- Wondrous Love – (shape-note hymn; trad. Appalachia, from The Sacred Harp). Tim Cummings (Sinclair Highland pipes).
Examples of Shape-Note (Sacred Harp) Singing
- In The Appalachian Collection tune book, Tim Cummings has arranged a number of shape-note hymns for pipes, as the melodies and harmonies both suit bagpipes really well.
- Hollywood’s take on shape-note singing from the movie Cold Mountain
- A real life sample of shape-note singing
- A trailer for the Awake My Soul documentary on shape-note singing
Links to related music samples and websites
- An Appalachian Collection by Beithe Publishing – www.beithepublishing.com
- General information web site on Shape-note singing – fasola.org
- Documentary web site on shape-note singing – www.awakemysoul.com
- Jean Ritchie performing ‘Sweet William and Lady Margaret’ on a mountain dulcimer – www.youtube.com
- E.J. Jones performing Sandy Boys/Nail that Catfish to a Tree at the 2009 Pipers’ Gathering as mentioned in the Piping Today article – Mp3 file