Sunday, December 23, 2007

heard last night on the subway

It was actually the uptown 4/5/6 platform at Union Square, but it was still in the subway. I was on my way home and I heard bagpipes and drums as I descended the stairs to the platform, so I thought it might be an actual Scottish bagpiper group down there. It turned out to be a lone bagpiper and another guy playing one large hand-held drum. The bagpiper was white and the drummer was not, so I'm not sure they were together. Also, the piper wasn't always playing to the beat of the drummer so musically the performance didn't mesh. Finally, the most important details was the songs the piper played. Instead of the usual "Scotland The Brave," "Amazing Grace," or other Highland tunes, he played off-key versions of "Over There" and I think a Christmas carol or two. I have to read more about it, but I think there's a reason bagpipes play certain melodies and not others, having to do with the key of the instrument and the notes it can play. In other words, this piper couldn't hit all the notes of these songs on his instrument. I wish he'd gone "Over There" to play.

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