Pipe Band Championships PEINE May 6th and 7th
Bagpipe Championships Goch (previously Xanten) June 17th and 18th
Pipe Band Championships Angelbachtal, July 8th and 9th
Highland Games by The sea, August 20th
MacLaren Highland Gathering Wuppertal, August 26th/27th
Celtic Days - Thy Le Chateau (Belgium), September 2nd and 3rd.
Scottish Weekend Alden Biesen September 9th and 10th
Whisky Festival, Hulst (Zeeland - NL)
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The world of Scottish Percussion.
Pipe band Drumming
The drum corps of a pipe band consists of a section of drummers playing highland snare drums and the bass section. In the early days of pipe bands, rope tension snare drums were common, but as bagpipe tuning pitches became higher, a brighter tone was demanded from the drum corps. Pipe band drummers now play on drums with very tight, knitted kevar heads, designed for maximum tension to create a very crisp and strident sound. Since today's drum is so facile as a result of its design, players are often able to execute extremely complicated and technically demanding rudimentary patterns.
The pipe band drum corps is responsible for both supporting the piping with a solid rhythmic foundation and sense of pulse, often creating an interesting contrapuntal line unto itself. The line played by the drum corps (referred to as the 'drum score') is usually based on rudimentary patterns and can often be quite involved, with solo, unison and contrapuntal passages throughout. A popular pattern in many scores is for the lead drummer to play a phrase, and the section to play in response. This technique is known as seconds (sometimes referred to as chips, or forte).
While standard practice in pipe bands is for the pipe section to perform the traditional or standard arrangements of the melodies, including gracenotes, drum scores are very often composed by the lead drummer of the band.
The bass section (also referred to as a midsection) consists of a section of tenor drummers and a bass drummer. Their role is to provide rhythmic support to the entire ensemble. In this respect, the bass section allows the drum corps to delegate their timekeeping responsibilities and allows more freedom in the drum scores.
Generally, the bass drum provides a steady pulse, playing on the downbeat and on the strong beats of the bar, and the tenors support that pulse, often adding supporting beats, accents and dynamic interest.
Tenor drums in their modern form are a relatively new addition to the pipe band. While pipe bands of the past would often include tenor drummers, they would usually be "swinging tenors", players who would swing their sticks for elaborate visual effect but who would rarely play. They are more known as flourishing tenors. Today's tenor drummers play pitched drums, and careful thought is given as to which pitches to use and at which times. The pitches help provide melodic or harmonic accompaniment to the bagpipes; creating a more dynamic flow between the drum corps and the pipe corps. In some cases, five or six tenor drummers have been used, providing a palette of individual pitches for use in a variety of musical situations. The swinging also known as flourishing has developed somewhat into an art form, with drummers playing and swinging in unison or sequential flows. Tenor drums are also still commonly played on a soft harness, or sling, instead of the typical marching harness used by the snare drums, but shoulder harness tenors are now used by several pipe bands.