5 Clive Street, Calcutta, 21st October, 1924
Sir,–I have been expecting to see some detailed argument in support of, or against, Mr. George G. MacKay’s point regarding the Taorluath of this tune, but apparently no one is prepared to write on the subject! This is to be regretted, for much good is done by open discussion of points such as this.
Having given the matter considerable study I write, not to uphold Mr. MacKay’s views, but to disagree with them! In his letter in your issue of July 19th Mr. MacKay gives a table in support of his argument, but is that table correct? Why does he show “E D G” and “F E A” when the main note of each movement is represented by the middle letter (D and E) only? Surely he does not seriously contend that the G and A in these movements can be considered as main notes anymore than a capital E and F Cadency notes are? In my opinion the Taorluath Singling is best compared to the Ground. The following are the main notes, upper line–Ground, lower line–variation:
Taorluath- A E D B. G B G D. A E D B. E B A E.
If the tune is played as suggested, recognising that the cadences should be played crisply as mere “twists” to the D and E, and not really interfering with the time, there is, in my opinion, not much to find fault with!Mr. MacKay has referred to the Ground and there are many will agree with him that revision is necessary. Taking Glen’s version as one of the best written as a basis for discussion and viewing it in the light of the Taorluath just discussed, what seems apparent? First that the opening E in the first bar, if not the E which sounds before any player breaks into his tune, should be a cadency grace note, the first A a semi-quaver and the second a dotted quaver; second, that the opening E in the second bar should also be a cadency grace note and there should be three low G’s, the first and third dotted quavers. We should then find the main notes of the melody are as above given and agree with the Taorluath, allowing for the reversal referred to above. (Corresponding bars throughout the tune would of course be similarly altered). –I am, etc.,