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Watch the The Heights of Cassino online guitar lesson by Tony McManus from The Celtic Journeyman

We are going to look finally at a tune commemorating the WWII battle of Montecassino. This is a highland bagpipe tune, a 6/8 march. There are marches from the bagpipe repertoire in almost every time signature 2/4. 3/4, 4/4. 6/8. 9/8 etc. Be sure to differentiate the march time from jig time...it’s definitely not a jig.

The tune is in 4 parts and is a kind of summation of the ideas in this course. It’s in DADGAD tuning which doesn’t often come up in my arrangements of bagpipe tunes. Being a pipe tune it is in the mixolydian mode. It involves triplets, moving bass lines and as always, choices in where you play a note on the fingerboard. Sometimes the choice is determined by the next melody note and sometimes by the next bass note.

It’s a challenging tune- to keep all the details and techniques at your fingertips- but a very rewarding and beautiful piece of music.

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