Wondrous Love > Ecstasy > Cowper

from by Timothy Cummings

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Many shape-note hymn melodies adapt beautifully to the pipes. This is not terribly surprising given that both the pipes and shape-note singing lend themselves to modal melodies, edgy timbres, strong volumes, and little dynamic variation. A good number of shape-note melodies had secular origins prior to being paired with religious lyrics; and some musicologists have even hypothesized that the 'Wondrous Love' melody was once sung by pirates! (The tune's unusual meter certainly fits the lyrics to an old English ballad about Captain Kidd.)

credits

from The Piper in the Holler, released August 1, 2012
attr. 'Christopher' from Walker's Southern Harmony > tune by T.W.Carter (1844) from The Sacred Harp > tune by Oliver Holden (1803) from the Sacred Harp. Tim (smallpipes [A-taped, with A/E drones]) & low-D whistle, Pete (banjo)

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Timothy Cummings Burlington, Vermont

Chiefly a piper, Timothy Cummings is a Vermont-based composer and multi-instrumentalist who enjoys an uncommonly diverse repertoire, including traditional music from Scotland, Ireland, Cape Breton, France & Brittany, and Appalachia.

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