Different ways of writing and timing tunes
Tune settings in the Piobaireachd Society (PS) Collection are universally popular and with good reason. With a little assistance from a knowledgeable tutor they are instantly accessible to anyone who can read pipe music.
The Society has carefully edited every tune in its collection offering a chosen version and, at the same time, describing, and in some cases illustrating, the alternatives. It must be said, however, that not all alternative settings are pleasant on the ear.
To deviate from the norm, to less musical settings, would be folly. In competition, the bench of judges may appreciate the effort made to seek out an alternative setting, but (stating the obvious) you will only get a prize if you play it well.
However there is more to piping than competition and hearing a setting that is rare can be one of the pleasures that knowledge of piobaireachd will bring you.
Alternative settings will be looked at in a series of articles to be published on the PS website, of which this is the first. The aim of these articles is not to state that one version is better than another, or that the ‘usual’ versions are not the best ones available.
We simply wish to state that the other settings exist, and are now easy to access, either online or in print.