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Canntaireachd
January 6, 2011 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Canntaireachd is a Scottish oral tradition for the vocal imitation of the bagpipes, dating from the 16th Century or earlier. Canntaireachd `nonsense' words represent particular manner of articulation as well as pitch, and are used during instruction, to swap tunes between musicians, and during performance. Canntaireachd is a dying art, largely replaced by staff notation, but a few players are keeping it alive.

In India, tabla players use Bol syllables for the same function, and a musical connection between the two has been found. There are a number of Canntaireachd dialects, now written down as well as chanted, and the search is on for the third lost volume of Campbell's Canntaireachd.
posted by yaxu (15 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Let me just be the first to say that that first link up there is the most breathtakingly beautiful page I've seen in a long time, and no I'm not kidding in the slightest.
posted by koeselitz at 1:18 PM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Let me just be the first to say that that first link up there is the most breathtakingly beautiful page I've seen in a long time, and no I'm not kidding in the slightest.

I'm sure MeFi's own ubueditor appreciates the compliment.
posted by theodolite at 1:26 PM on January 6, 2011


Ubuweb is wonderful, but in case anyone gets confused, I think they've labeled their mp3s the wrong way around there (I'll drop them a note).
posted by yaxu at 1:32 PM on January 6, 2011


I love it. Bagpipe scat singing. Awesome.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:33 PM on January 6, 2011


At first I read that as "Cannaitread". Well, of course it's an oral tradition if they cannait read, I thought.

Apparently, though, it is I that cannait read.
posted by mhoye at 1:58 PM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a former member of a college a cappella group (where scat syllables and vocal impersonation of various instruments is the thing), I can't wait to get home from work and take a listen.
posted by Tknophobia at 2:02 PM on January 6, 2011


If they get punched in the stomach do they make that deflating bagpipe noise?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 2:40 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had no idea that there was mouth music to emulate bagpipes. Awesome!
posted by immlass at 3:16 PM on January 6, 2011


Hee! Back in high school when I was in marching band, sometimes we'd go out and practice maneuvers in light rain, but we'd leave our instruments inside. We were expected to "sing" our parts as we went along. There was always one wiseass in the bagpipe section who'd "sing" the drones... "Bnaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..... bnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..."
posted by Karmakaze at 5:02 PM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hence highland music is described as "heedrum hodrum" by lowlanders. Lowlanders can be a bit harsh about teuchters (highlanders), but you have to remember, lowlanders are the ones who were left when those who became hillbillies got up and gone.
posted by scruss at 5:31 PM on January 6, 2011


Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins (Scottish band) must absolutely use and borrow from this tradition (or did rather) for their beguiling gorgeous songs...that's the first thing that comes to mind and maybe because of being so steeped in that band this stuf sounds fuckin' great to me.

Holy crap I get such a woody when I make these kinds of connections!!
posted by Skygazer at 5:56 PM on January 6, 2011


yazu: Thanks for a fabulous link!

You write: "...a musical connection between the two has been found."

But the YT introduction says: "Mouth music traditions from Scotland and India are combined in this arrangement of "Struan Robertson's Salute""

These are not the same thing.
posted by sneebler at 6:05 PM on January 6, 2011


Yes sneeblr I didn't mean a historical connection, but a meeting of the styles.
posted by yaxu at 12:24 AM on January 7, 2011


Let me just be the first to say that that first link up there is the most breathtakingly beautiful page I've seen in a long time, and no I'm not kidding in the slightest.

Yes. Yes. Yes. It's a new one for me, and I think it's going to take me months to get through the things I want to read/see/hear on the home page alone.

Thanks for the Canntaireachd yaxu, and thanks for that link.
posted by Ahab at 8:02 AM on January 7, 2011


I just watched some Scottish scat videos. I was horrified.

You people make me sick.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:36 AM on January 10, 2011


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