“The Big Spree” – the first installment in the 2014 Set Tunes Series

Published: July 11, 2014
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MacCrimmon_piper_thumbWe begin the 2014 Set Tunes Series by William Donaldson with “The Big Spree,” one of the greatest and most-played tunes in the piobaireachd repertory.

Simply click on the first page below to go to the full tune and MP3 audio file, and the complete archive of the more than 140 piobaireachds in the series.

Click to open the full tune and the complete Set Tunes Series.

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  1. jimmcg@piping.on.ca

    Great to hear the ground and early variations sung with some real zip and with a bit more character than we usually hear; though I often wonder if natural inflections in the voice allow us to sing these tunes more quickly than we can play them. Using the voice to slide between notes allows us to sing with more flow and forward motion than the more staccato note changes on the pipe would support. JM

    1. amcm1@bellsouth.net

      Well said, Jim. I guess we will always wonder about “original” tempos. Although I rather enjoy the “zip” I agree with the concern about the transition from voice to fingers. It could be a bit dicey even for our better players….
      Al McMullin.

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Play each two-bar-phrase in a jig like a strathspey – accent pattern Strong, Weak, Medium, Weak. It will transform your tune musically.
Colin MacLellan, Edinburgh