Genre: Life & Fury

J David Hester, PhD

16 January 2015
Additional clarifications regarding identifying characteristics added 5 February 2015

This list was begun by noting the similarity between PS 164 and 167, as mentioned by Joseph MacDonald. I then did a search on “gathering” as a way of seeing whether similarly titled tunes might show similarity in structure.  It turns out, some  of them did.  After consideration, I chose to begin with what I will initially term an “essential” characteristic, a fundamental form that may provide the basis upon which to determine entry into this category.  This is simply an initial idea, which will hermeneutical develop over time as more subtle research and discussion takes place.

Chief Characteristic Traits of Urlar

  • Fosgailte Taorluath is prominent, whether rhythmically in triplet or dot-cut form. Cf. C2.78 – “Hindaendo hindaendo hindaendo cherede”
  • They tend toward the “Woven” family of tune structure.

The question is: Are we excluding too many tunes by identifying this trait as characteristic? Possibly.  But it’s interesting to discover as many we have that meet the criteria.

PS 161 Too Long in This Condition (see K1, especially) 6-pitch, Well Woven
PS 162 Clan Cameron’s Gathering 6-pitch, Interlaced
PS 163 The Gathering of the Clans 6-pitch, Woven
PS 164 The MacDonald’s Gathering 6-pitch, Ornate
PS 165 The End of Inchberry Bridge 8-pitch, Woven
PS 167 The Cameron’s March 5-pitch, Woven
PS 169 End of the Little Bridge 5-pitch, Woven
PS 170 Glengarry’s March 4-pitch, Woven
PS 174 The MacDonalds of Clanranald’s Gathering 5-pitch, Woven
PS 204 War or Peace 4-pitch, Interlaced

I would include this piece as a “commentary” by the piper: its Urlar is, in essence, a Taorluath a mach, and as such plays off the genre by offering a similar, but slightly altered approach to the musical expectations of the audience.

PS 309 Dispraise of MacLeod 6-pitch, Ornate

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