‘Karpur Gauram’ (downloadable PDF)


A 3/4 retreat march adaptation of the traditional Hindu/Sanskrit shloka, Karpur Gauram (“The one who is as pure as camphor”). Please see further below for more information and an audio sample.


The word shloka refers to a type of ancient Sanskrit or Vedic poetry from India. This particular arrangement was crafted and first performed as a solo Highland pipe recessional for the 2015 inauguration of Middlebury College’s 17th president, Laurie Patton. Prior to her post at the college, Patton had established herself as a noted scholar of Indian mythology and Hinduism in present-day India, as well as a translator of Sanskrit texts. Before that, while enrolled in undergraduate studies at Harvard, she also focused heavily on Celtic languages and literature. Thus, this arrangement for bagpipes seemed to be an apt choice for honoring Patton’s unique combination of academic interests and achievements. Given that this tune originated as a religious hymn of sorts, it may also be played more slowly and freely, as an air. (This version grew from a variety of sources, primarily the first 50 seconds of this video.) Set in the key of A-modal. (Chord symbols and lyrics not included.)

An audio sample, featuring Scottish smallpipes (D-chanter, drones tuned to D and A):


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