I have recently been collecting scottish folk music - the traditional style; burns, neil gow, etc.

I have now written something in that style, with a few harmonic twists and turns to keep the musicians interested.

I want you to see the mist and smell the heather - tell me if I got in any way close

On the Banks of Cairnie Burn3.pdf


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  • That was beautiful man.  I would love to hear an actual recording.  Adding a human dynamic to the feel of that song would be great.  If I had one critique, I'd say I wasn't sure if you needed that last movement starting around 2:50 where the piano goes solo for a few bars.  I thought it if you had a gentle fade out of some sort right there it would have been killer.

    Seriously though man, that's the saddest sounding MIDI song ever.  Well done.

  • thanks for the positive comments.

    An East west recording will be posted here soon - those were just basic sibelius sounds (a bit better than general midi).

  • Now I have done a (rough) mix with East West - please listen to this one instead


  • thanks for taking the time to do this. You have a point with the "lombard snap" (I call them "scotch snaps"). Maybe I should have included more - there is one in the seventh bar of my example you quote here.

    Not as sure about the gapped scale. But this is maybe because you get so "close" to your music in the writing stage, it has subsequently hard to accept another melody. I will leave it for others to decide.

    Nice to talk to somebody with similar tastes - I've quite a collection of scottish and celtic airs and love this style of music.

  • Just my opinion, I like your version better Adrian..  I think that high note gives it a lot more character and drama.  Nothing against the revision though.

  • I do not think that Adrian was trying to create an authentic sound in this lovely piece, more an Adrian Allan sound with a little nod to the scotch snap.(But I could be wrong!)

  • Some homages or pastiches are more literal than others. I hope that this piece is maybe 75% Scottish influenced with 25% me, but it's impossible to quantify. For starters I don't normally write in 3/4 time.

    There is less of me in there than most pieces I do, I think - but I'm never like to judge myself.

    If you want to hear a piece that influenced me, this is a very strong contender - one of the most beautiful of fiddle tunes:


  • Lovely link Adrian!

  • I met some Scottish "folkies" on the internet who liked the piece but wanted a folk-style score with melody only and chord symbols.

    The mandolin player John Kelly kindly recorded the music to give it a really authentic feel in this new format,

    I am attaching here his recording and the "folk" PDF.

    On The Banks of Cairnie Burn.mp3

    On the Banks of Cairnie Burn folk style.pdf

  • Well I hope that means it sounds Scottish to a Scot.

    I looked up Archie Fischer on Youtube and enjoyed him.

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