“The Hawk” – James Hill’s little-known melodic genius

Published: November 18, 2013
“The Hawk” – James Hill’s little-known melodic genius Published: November 18, 2013

Jim McGillivray continues his exclusive series with a look at the music of James Hill, "The Hornpipe King" of Northumberland. Little-known to Highland pipers, Hill was a fiddler originally from Scotland who gained renown in the first half of the 1800s. Not many of his compositions have been picked up for Highland pipes, but "The High Level" and "The Hawk" are known for their cheerful and soaring melodies. Included are sound files by Northumbrian piper Pauline Cato and McGillivray on the Deger pipe.

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TIP OF THE DAY
When competing, play to your strengths, not your weaknesses. It’s useless to play ‘Susan MacLeod’ if you are not able to make strong clear darados. Steer clear of the ‘Atholl Cummers’ if you can’t make F doublings. Concentrate on tunes that allow you to show off the best of your finger technique.
Colin MacLellan, Edinburgh