Music

Oct. 26th, 2015 07:34 am
watervole: (Default)
 ONe of the up sides of unemployment is more free time.

It seems to be an age since I was regularly able to post here.  Commuting into Dorchester to work at the bookshop took up far too much time; then I'd get home feeling absolutely wiped and collapse.

I'm still feeling very stressed, but I'm finding ways of coping.

Therapeutic granddaughter is high on the list.  Her parents are very understanding and we have permission to loan her when needed (as long as we do sensible things like giving them advance warning).

I'm also taking up pipe and tabor with a vengeance.   Vengeance is almost a scarily apropriate word in this case. Being around a beginner pipe and tabor player can be a painful experience.  A tabor pipe is all overblow notes.  This gives it the ability to cut through a lot of background noise as it's high pitched and piercing.

Because it's a three hole instrument, it can be held in one hand and all the fingering is done with that one hand - two fingers actually hold the pipe and the other two and the thumb are used to cover the holes.  That's why so many of the notes are overblows as there are a limited number of combinations of three holes.

The advantage of a one-handed pipe is that the other hand is free to beat a small drum.

This is what makes pipe and tabor such a good stress buster.  By the time you're trying to play a pipe which is all overblow notes (ie, you don't just have to remember which holes to cover, but also how hard you have to blow) and, at the same time, beat a regular rhythm with the drum (a bit like trying to rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time), you have no spare mental space for the things that are stressing you.

The moment you think of something else, you'll make a mistake with the music and have to start all over again.

I won't scare you with my really bad playing.  Here's someone who can play much better than I can.  If you scroll along to around the one minute mark, you'll get a close up of the musician.  Pipe and tabor were a very combination for medieval dancing, and for morris before fiddles became widespread.



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Judith Proctor

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