A Map of the Pibroch Landscape

Brown, Barnaby, “A Map of the Pibroch Landscape,” Piping Today 70 (2014): 14-20.

This article appeared in Piping Today.  It is an empirical analysis of the structure and tonal complexity of pibroch tunes prior to 1841.

This kind of work Barnaby Brown is doing will help us identify and propose genres for ceol mor, which, as we have argued, is not a genre but a class of music. (See here.)

Now, genre criticism is a mature disciplinary study done in communications theory.  What we are doing  will be something similar.  The approach is inductive.  The research will be hermeneutical, on-going, and collaborative. The results will be porous.

Some of our first efforts are slowly underway at AltPibroch.com.

It would be lovely if you would join us in offering definitions, identifying characteristics, and gathering evidence.

Once the classifications mature, discussion regarding interpretation can begin to take place.  It will not be based solely upon surmise, but could be empirically grounded: for example, see the work of JS Morrison, JF Coates, and NB Rankov, The Athenian Trireme, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, 2000, where they analyzed the acoustics of  a reconstructed long boat.  Barnaby Brown is exploring its implications for the performance of rowing tunes.


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