‘How Can I Keep from Singing?’ printed collection

(2 customer reviews)


A printed collection of 39 songs and hymns arranged for voice and smallpipes. More information and audio samples further below.

14 in stock


This collection is perhaps the first of its kind, featuring 39 American, Scottish, Irish, and English folk songs and hymns adapted and arranged for singing with smallpipe accompaniment. It is designed to be a starter collection for those wanting to combine singing with smallpipes, either as a duet with two performers, or for solo ‘pipe-singing’ (one individual singing and piping simultaneously).  Selections include a variety of folk songs, church and shape-note hymns, and even a few bawdy Scots songs.  The Forward is written by Iain MacInnes, and the arrangements are by Timothy Cummings, Rose Diamond, Christopher Layer, Laura MacKenzie, Judy Barker, and Iain MacHarg and Dan Houghton.  Included in the introduction are suggestions and simple exercises for learning how to ‘pipe-sing’.  The sheet music is presented with melody, lyrics, chanter harmony parts, recommended drone tunings, and in many cases options for instrumental interludes between verses.  Chord symbols are also included for those wishing to involve more accompanying instruments.  Some melodies feature alternate tunings (e.g. C- and F-natural).  The book is spiral-bound for convenience.  Arrangements include ‘Amazing Grace'(NEW BRITAIN), ‘Loch Lomond’, ‘Christ Child’s Lullaby'(‘Tàladh Chrìosda’), ‘The Dying Californian‘, ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’, ‘Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah‘(Appalachian version), ‘Handsome Molly’, ‘Hard Times Come Again No More’, ‘The Hielan’ Laddie’, ‘How Can I Keep From Singing?’, ‘I Hae a Wife o’ My Ain’, ‘Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier’, ‘The Lark in the Clear Air’, ‘Lochaber No More’, ‘Man of Constant Sorrow’, ‘Mingulay Boat Song’, ‘Now Westlin Winds’, ‘Pretty Saro’, ‘Scots Wha Hae’, ‘She Moved Through the Fair’, ‘Simple Gifts’, ‘Star of the County Down’, ‘The Water is Wide’, ‘Wayfaring Stranger’, ‘Wondrous Love’, and fourteen other gems. Audio samples below:

2 reviews for ‘How Can I Keep from Singing?’ printed collection

  1. Jim

    This is my first exposure to, “pipe singing,” and like everything else Tim writes, I’ve found it to be brilliant. Very well put-together, I’ve loved every tune I’ve tried so far – those arranged by Tim and those arranged by others as well. This book also ended up being a gateway to the fascinating world of Sacred Harp music for me – or Shape Note singing. Many of the tunes in this book are even more fun/powerful after listening to a Sacred Harp singing of the song first.

    An excellent collection and a really great way to get started in this really cool and satisfying genre.

  2. John (verified owner)

    This collection of music is truly a gift to those of us who love the smallpipes. Many of the songs have multiple harmonies/countermelodies for the chanter; this makes it ideal for singing the melody or accompanying someone who is singing or on another instrument. There is a good range of different tunes, from traditional airs to Sacred Harp hymns. There is also an extensive written section on coaching one through the process of learning to pipe-sing.

    This has become my favorite source of interesting music.

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