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MARIE FIELDING - Dunedin Bagpipe Collection 

MARIE FIELDING - Dunedin Bagpipe Collection 
Private Label 

This is the fourth collection of tunes by Edinburgh-born Marie, following on from her A Collection Of Original Compositions Books 1, 2 and 3. She is well known as a fiddler, teacher and composer, and also has several solo albums under her belt; a well established and much experienced figure on the trad music scene in Scotland.

This is a collection of 53 original tunes suitable for pipes (though they would also suit other instruments too), written in D, using the nine notes available in the pipers’ scale. They are clearly laid out here - mainly one, sometimes two to a page - in an attractive soft-bound, A4 landscape book, which also boasts one of Marie’s beautiful pastel paintings on the cover (which is available to buy as a print from her website). Piper Calum MacCrimmon helped with typesetting and layout, and also gave Marie the opportunity to hear the tunes played, as written, on the pipes – an emotional experience for her.

Marie’s compositions have already been proven to be widely popular; they have been picked up by many players, bands and, in particular, have been adopted extensively in the Scottish dance band scene. She excels in creating melodies that are quite original, and yet sound deeply grounded in the tradition. In this book, the tunes are gathered together by type; marches and reels are the most common, but also featured are strathspeys, schottisches, slow airs, waltzes, jigs and hornpipes. In the main, these are recent compositions, but she also includes some older material, including the first 6/8 and 2/4 marches she wrote in her teens; and some of the tunes have been recorded on her various albums, so it is possible to hear them played too. Much of this material was written for people and places in her life, and several were special commissions, and the stories behind each tune are briefly told in an index at the back of the book.

This is a beautifully put-together package, and a great resource for those looking for new material in a traditional style – pipers or otherwise. There are many classics in the making here.

Fiona Heywood


This review appeared in Issue 145 of The Living Tradition magazine