4) The Cameron style player will prefer or promote the “redundant A” movements. The staff below illustrates the redundant A version of the toarluath and how it is played. (All such staff examples in this essay are my conventions and have no necessary relationship to how Connell or any of my other mentors might depict the music on paper.)
The crunluath version is shown below. Further explanation can be found in Connell’s instructional tapes.
There are also redundant A leumluaths, although they have received less attention by partisans of the style. Even within the ranks of Cameron influenced players, however, these movements are a point of contention. William Gray, a Gillies student, did not advocate them, and Gillies who taught them to Reid and others was diffident. He came at one point to advocate otherwise in a signed document. On the other hand, one of my informants stated that one could not play in the Cameron style without them.
5) Taorluaths and crunluaths played from the melody note low G, will normally be played as suggested by Angus MacKay in his book of 1838: gGdAeA and gGdAeAfAE. See the following staff music illustrations.
This is a small point but worth noting as the currently popular John MacDonald style with two low G’s seems to dominate modern performance.
6) The Cameron style player will use fewer link or bridging notes treating as phrase endings notes that others will use as a tie to a subsequent phrase.
This is associated with the Cameron style player’s delight in the lower notes of the scale. Low G, low A, B and D are used freely as phrase endings. Examples are legion: see Reid “ I got a Kiss...”, Connell “Black Donald’s March, Willie Barrie “The Princes Salute” , Reid “The Vaunting” etc.
This Cameron re-evaluation of where phrase endings lie and what is properly a bridging note is one of the features that distinguishes the style. There is no need in the Cameron way of thinking to balance note values within a time signature governed bar structure. Consequently melodic ideas can resolve themselves where the performer thinks the best musical effect is achieved.
7) Simple two-note cadence phrases in taorluath and crunluath variations will normally be played evenly, keeping the pulse of the variation.
8) The Camerons style player will make frequent use of the “pre-cadence pause” in the variations of a tune, particularly crunluath variations but sometimes (according to Connell) in taorluath variations, too. This pause is associated with the presence of an introductory E as a prelude to the cadence notes proper, i.e. it is not used with simple, two-note cadences.
How long to make this pause varies from performer to performer. James Campbell makes just the barest pause. James Barrie comes to a full resolution before the introductory E. Connell’s approach lies between these two.
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