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Mouth music
March 19, 2013 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Canntaireachd (Scottish Gaelic: literally, "chanting"; Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [kʰãũn̪ˠt̪ɛɾʲəxk]) is the ancient Scottish Highland method of noting classical pipe music or Ceòl Mòr by a combination of definite syllables, by which means the various tunes could be more easily recollected by the learner, and could be more easily transmitted orally.

Teaching pibroch through the traditional means of canntaireachd, by introducing a new system of mnemonic gestures coinciding with the canntaireachd vocables as well as the attributes of the bagpipe scale as suggested by Thomas Pearston in 1973.

Performed here by Barnaby Brown.

Visual Canntaireachd 1

Visual Canntaireachd 2

Visual Canntaireachd 3

Visual Canntaireachd 4:

And with accompaniment.

Band-Re: Hihorodo hiharara

Mouth music traditions from Scotland and India are combined in this arrangement of "Struan Robertson's Salute", a Highland pibroch considered to be ancient in 1838.

More from Barnaby Brown via his YouTube channel.
posted by Callicvol (10 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks, this is great !
posted by nicolin at 8:56 AM on March 19, 2013


I love this stuff. I had the privilege of seeing "Seinn O" performed live by my university choir last spring and I had huge goosebumps the entire time. It's an incredibly powerful piece, and absolutely deserves to be seen as various groups of performers stand up in defiance and stomp their feet. By the crescendo at the end everybody (including the audience) was on their feet.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:58 AM on March 19, 2013


Without having had a chance to read the links yet, is there any relation between this and puirt à beal?
posted by starvingartist at 9:12 AM on March 19, 2013


Without having had a chance to read the links yet, is there any relation between this and puirt à beal?

Yes, but while one is more like scat singing the other is a direct musical teaching method.
posted by Callicvol at 9:36 AM on March 19, 2013


Is it just me, or is "[kʰãũn̪ˠt̪ɛɾʲəxk]" way more confusing than "Canntaireachd?"

Anyway, this reminds me of kuchi shoga in taiko drumming, where sounds like don, doko, ka, kara, tsu, zu, ten, chan, etc. represent different kinds of hits. A sort of verbally transmitted musical notation, which can actually be musical in its own right (TAIKOPROJECT uses it with beatboxing for instance.) It's often used in Excel sheets as a form of written notation.
posted by Foosnark at 10:02 AM on March 19, 2013


This is nice. Thanks, Callicvol.
posted by homunculus at 6:14 PM on March 19, 2013


Amazing stuff.
And yes, I am not ashamed to admit I love the bagpipes.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:09 PM on March 19, 2013


Reminds me of the vocal notation for tabla players (insert don't know nearly as much about it as I'd like to handwaving), as made known to '80s music fans by Sheila Chandra.
posted by Lexica at 9:14 PM on March 19, 2013


Something I've always wanted to learn more about, thanks.
posted by immlass at 11:08 PM on March 19, 2013


Lexica, more on Sheila Chandra previously.
posted by scruss at 12:29 PM on March 20, 2013


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