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 Post subject: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:08 pm 
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I found some of Skinner's original manuscripts for this old tune.

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/disp ... ID=JSS0176

The mss looked a bit different from the tune you can hear and read on Mick's page:

http://www.micksvirtualwhistle.net/whistle/hector.html
http://www.micksvirtualwhistle.net/realaudio/hector.ram

So I put the manuscript notation into Finale to see what would come up. It came out sounding like a funeral dirge and was so expressive of Skinner's lament that it put a lump in my throat. When I get back to broadband tomorrow I'll upload you the Finale-based mp3 so you can hear what it would have sounded like.

If you look through the site given in the top link, you can see three different drafts, and a page of poignant notes.

I've worked it up as a lesson plan to show my students how the process of publishing music used to work.

I'd also like to show how music that gets passed into the folk tradition gets re-interpreted and changed. So my question is: Have any of you guys recorded a version of Hector the Hero? If so, could I play your version for the students? Either PM me, or post it here if you don't mind everyone hearing it.

Thanks!!

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:37 pm 
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Wow. Sounds like a nice discovery.

I've played this a few times, but never recorded it. I like the tune very much and I've always essentially followed (tired to anyway) the way Mick plays it. I'll be extremely interested to hear the newer/older mp3.

Added note: My Joanie Madden tune book has this in it, but she's never recorded it. She teaches it at her workshops and camps, though. I wonder how she plays it.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:09 pm 
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There are two versions here http://www.tinwhistletunes.com/clipssnip/misc.html this is a good site to listen to various versions of a tune. Some are played by pros and some by beginners. Both versions of Hector the Hero are played by Gary Humphrey.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:16 pm 
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ConnieS wrote:
I'd also like to show how music that gets passed into the folk tradition gets re-interpreted and changed. So my question is: Have any of you guys recorded a version of Hector the Hero?


I haven't recorded it yet but I read once about the British General Hector MacDonald and his exploits in Afghanistan and South Africa. Sadly he committed suicide because it was discovered that he was homosexual and this beautiful lament was written to honour him as 'Hector the Hero'. I don't remember who wrote the song.

The recording of the tune that you linked to your post is beautiful.


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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:27 pm 
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James Scott Skinner wrote the song. He was a friend of MacDonald's, and obviously in deep distress as he wrote. Look over the manuscripts if you have time--they really tell a story.

As you'd expect, the song polishes as the drafts come along, but about the second draft, he writes notes: "Play in the Kirk (church) on Sunday. Get the Minister to announce as this is a National Calamity -- My eyes are full --...."

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:41 pm 
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this is one of my fav tunes. I can try to whip out a recording from the music I have. Give me an excuse to use my new microphone.


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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:45 pm 
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New microphone? You MUST describe in lavish detail. Or better yet, record H the H on it. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:36 pm 
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Yep picked up an AKG Perception 100. This thing

http://www.akg.com/site/products/powers ... ge,EN.html


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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:43 pm 
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I have two AKGs, the C-3000 and C-3000B. Great microphones!

What preamp do you use?


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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:08 pm 
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I have a M- audio Mobile Pre USB. Considering picking up the Focusrite Saphire. But need to determine if it will let me record from both inputs at the same time or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:15 pm 
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That's a beautiful tune ... I may try that one too. I've never heard it before.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:19 pm 
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shadoes wrote:
Yep picked up an AKG Perception 100. This thing

http://www.akg.com/site/products/powers ... ge,EN.html


Whoa. That's professional quality. AKG puts out a good product and I like the specs on that mic. Are you getting the pop screen? Or do you sing?

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:31 pm 
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I have a pop screen... um...yes... I sing :)

go here

http://www.myspace.com/edmillermusic

click on Can You Hear Him Calling.


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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:18 am 
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jrc wrote:
That's a beautiful tune ... I may try that one too. I've never heard it before.

Yes!! Do it! I need a new addition to my jrc desktop file! This is a good one.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:28 am 
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Okay, here's the background:

John Scott Skinner had an editor named Gavin Greig. Greig had a nice, tidy handwriting for notation, and he could also arrange your music for you rather nicely, so Skinner would look forward to hearing how Greig "clothed" his music. Greig softened the military durge feel that Skinner had given his creation, and made the chords a bit more appealing.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:32 am 
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So you can see if you go back to Mick's song, linked in the top post, although we may have heard of the man and the tragedy, we're not as emotionally invested in it, so we can change the tone from military tragedy to just about anything we want. Most modern versions I've heard follow the Mick link arrangement.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:14 pm 
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ConnieS wrote:
So you can see if you go back to Mick's song, linked in the top post, although we may have heard of the man and the tragedy, we're not as emotionally invested in it, so we can change the tone from military tragedy to just about anything we want. Most modern versions I've heard follow the Mick link arrangement.



that is the one I have always heard.


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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:48 pm 
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ConnieS wrote:
although we may have heard of the man and the tragedy, we're not as emotionally invested in it,


That may not be true for everyone. This tune means so much more to me knowing a bit about the General and his story and I don't think it is just because he was a Brit. I hear the tune and I feel the sadness and pain of a fellow human and the loss of his life.

The story or song behind a tune means a lot to me. I know, I'm a hopeless romantic. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:52 pm 
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To be that convicted and guilt-ridden, to the point of suicide is very sad to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:06 pm 
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I suspect that he was persecuted to death. For me the ultimate message of this wonderful tune is to be kind and loving to people even if you disagree with them or with what they do.


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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:12 pm 
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Connie,

Thank you for making that great song come to life. I wonder about others I like, such as Women of Ireland, what pathos must be behind the composition.

Thanks to Micks Virtual Whistle for helping newbies like me to listen and mimic. I must have played along with hector the hero 20times playing both the low d and then the high d part on his rendition.

So, Off to California is my fastest song I can play halfway decent. Whats the story on that?

Don in AZ

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:16 pm 
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Adrian wrote:
ConnieS wrote:
although we may have heard of the man and the tragedy, we're not as emotionally invested in it,


That may not be true for everyone. This tune means so much more to me knowing a bit about the General and his story and I don't think it is just because he was a Brit. I hear the tune and I feel the sadness and pain of a fellow human and the loss of his life.

The story or song behind a tune means a lot to me. I know, I'm a hopeless romantic. :roll:


What he said! Though I've got to point out that (as far as I know, at least) there is no actual evidence that MacDonald was a homosexual, apart from the allegations of his accusers, that he was very much disliked by said accusers in the first place, and that not only did he have a wife, but he had married her secretly because the marriage had been discouraged- it came out to the public that he was married after his death. It's by no means an open-and-shut case- people still debate it today.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:33 pm 
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Yeah, all I have found as reasons for suicide were these:

1) Accusations of homosexuality
2) Illness


Still, whether he was or not is almost beside the point. He was not treated kindly by his accusers.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:02 pm 
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Amen. Adrian. I agree with you about treating people with kindness. We need to watch how we treat others and how we live our lives, because we may be the only gospel that a person sees or hears that day.

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 Post subject: Re: Hector the Hero
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:43 pm 
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If you go to this page and go clear to the bottom of the page and click on Hector the Hero (the link at the left there), you can hear an old recording (on violin). http://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/audio.php or just click here for a direct link http://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/music/cd214a.m3u

So very interesting to hear these different versions. I could also image that (because it's caught me and I've been humming it all day) you could have an interesting sort of lullaby with this -- played at a pace and with emphasis somewhere between Mick's version and the memorial version.

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