A third book, Henderson’s Tutor for the Bagpipe and Collection of Music (329), appeared about 1900, with a different set of instructions written by Henderson himself. It may or may not have been reprinted — certainly I have not yet traced any later edition — but the instructional part went through several editions, being first incorporated into The Bagpipe Tutor as a replacement for William MacKinnon’s instructions; then into a new edition of Robert MacKinnon’s collection and finally into a new book with the old title of The Bagpipe Tutor. These rather complicated inter-relations are set out in Figure 2.
(on Sony SM3K 47154) is a 45-minute two-character chamberpiece which traces an empty day in the vacuous lives of Sam and Dinah, a boredupper-middle class couple. The lyrics are pedestrian; but, after all, how many operalibrettos could ever pass for great literature? It is redeemed by Bernstein's magnificentmusic which is seeped in the idioms of its time (including cinematic dissolves andcross-cutting) and brilliantly contrasts Sam's superficial bravado at his office and gymwith Dinah's desperate dreams of an emotional life.
More than any other of his early recordings, the weakness of the ratherironically serves to highlight one of Bernstein's greatest strengths: how he was able totransform such trivia through the sheer magnitude of his conviction. Just as Toscaninilent credibility to trite sentimental pieces of his deservedly unknown Italiancontemporaries and Beecham animated the wispy meanderings of Delius, Bernstein's recordinginjected vitality and conviction to Blitzstein's bathos. Even the worst conductor cancommunicate at least some of the essence of a masterpiece. But perhaps the measure of atruly great conductor is an ability to invest mediocre or even genuinely bad music with asemblance of quality.
In the euphoria which followed Bernstein's spectacular debut, he evaded the need tochoose and instead embarked upon a multi-faceted musical career in which he would try tohave it all. Although it was his pianistic skill that had opened the first doors and forwhich his formal training seemed to have prepared him, Bernstein's solo activities werenearly over. Instead, he dedicated his life to three principal aspects of music:writing/teaching, composing and conducting. Although the strands were interrelated, heoften pursued one to the exclusion of the others, but only until the lure of the fallowfields beckoned for renewed cultivation.
The Glen brothers entered into music publishing almost simultaneously, but actually Alexander was the first, with The Complete Tutor for the Highland bagpipe by William MacKay, published from Alexander’s address at 321 Cowgate, and dated 1840 (308-I). Only one copy of this little book survives, fortunately in very good condition, in the Glasgow University Library. The instructions are actually very brief, and are almost solely concerned with the general theory of music, while the tunes, 100 in number, are mostly notated in an extremely simple style, with an absolute minimum of grace notes. In most tunes, grace notes are used only in order to separate two notes of the same pitch, and while the grace notes actually written in for this purpose are generally the correct ones, the general effect of the settings is bare in the extreme, and it is inconceivable that they represent the playing technique of any reputable piper. The only exceptions are some tunes apparently copied from the two books of Donald MacDonald; these follow MacDonald exactly, apart from the occasional misprint.
We shall probably never know exactly what differences characterised the two styles referred to, but we can hardly blame MacDonald for adopting his independent policy. For one thing he was taking an appreciable financial risk with this new type of publication, and naturally he would wish to insure himself as much as possible after his experience with the piobaireachd collection. And for another, he was only doing what every other editor of pipe music has done from that day to this. In every generation the most eminent pipers feel free to modify the accepted ways of playing to some extent, and to this day no piper or publisher has thought it worthwhile to collect and compare the different styles that have existed at any one time. This is just one reminder that pipe music, of this kind at least, is not ‘folk music’, if by that term we mean a tradition which requires to be artificially fostered from without. The lack of historical record, however frustrating to the scholar, reflects the vitality of the piping tradition in modern times.
Indeed, films of Bernstein conducting at the time show him to have been mostly wild anduninhibited on the podium. Interestingly, for Mozart and Beethoven he lapsed into achaste, traditional function of time-beating with expressive accents, much as otherconductors did for all music. For overtly emotional music, though, Bernstein flung himselfat the orchestra, making desperate, clutching gestures with his bare hands (à la JoeCocker), as if trying to wrest music out of the very air before him. Only after 1957, inorder to compensate for back problems, did Bernstein resort to using a baton. Even then,his face continued to reflect a full gamut of extreme emotion, from excruciating pain tooverwhelming bliss. No musician could possibly play routinely when the leader was soovertly involved and enthused.
In 1946, Bernstein took his first tentative step toward an international career with ashort European tour, beginning with a program of American music in Prague to celebrate theanniversary of liberation. Next came London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. But the realmagnet was in Palestine.
3. A collection of ancient Scots music for the violin harpsichord or German-flute, never before printed consisting of ports salutations marches or pibrachs. by Daniel Dow. Edinburgh, n.d. [ c. 1771?].
In the public mind, it is the conductor who personifies the power of classical music,holding a hundred musicians under perfect control and unleashing the force of the fullorchestra with a mere gesture. Despite his spectacular success as a soloist, teacher andcomposer, it is as a conductor that Bernstein will be best remembered.
Though the veracity of the association is never likely to be proven, this essay considers: the development of the library; Lord Hailes’s interactions with his peers; and contemporary references to his collection.
The approximate cost of production of a folio music book like MacDonald’s piobaireachd collection can be gauged from the following figures drawn up by Alexander Campbell, author of Albyn’s Anthology (1816-18), and preserved among other papers of his in Edinburgh University Library (MS. La. 51, f. 340 R). The costs are for 100 copies of a volume consisting of 100 pages:
Published music for drums also began with the Gray and Seton books, and since then drum settings have been included in a good many books. Tutors for drums with particular reference to pipe bands have been written by Drum Major Winter83 and Drum Major Seton,84 and a good account of all aspects of pipe band music is given in the official Tutor and Text Book of the Scottish Pipe Band Association (384). The enormous development in drum technique over the last fifty years or so has been perhaps the most spectacular of all changes that have come over the world of piping; and for anyone wishing to trace this development, it is a pity that so little has been published until relatively recently. Like the pipers of old, drummers were at first able to pass on their traditional settings by example and word of mouth; but the modern corps of drums is virtually an orchestra, and written music is becoming essential to coordinate the many different parts simultaneously played.