PDQB approve new piobaireachd certificate

•Major Gordon Rowan

At a recent meeting of the Piping and Drumming Qualification Board, a revised syllabus for the PDQB Piobaireachd certificate was approved. This followed considerable work by board member, Major Gordon Rowan MBE, from the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming.

Whilst the SCQF Levels 5 – 8 all require a combination of both piobaireachd and light music skills to be tested, this revised certificate focusses on various elements of piobaireachd.

This certificate may appeal to pipers whose main interest is the playing and study of piobaireachd, or perhaps to those pipers who may find the requirements and standards of light music expected at the higher SCQF levels to be unachievable at this time.

This certificate is open to all pipers who are of SCQF level 4 and above. It provides a test for both a piper’s playing ability and their knowledge in a number of theoretical areas of piobaireachd.

Candidates will be expected to submit 4 piobaireachds which would demonstrate their skills in playing the range of crunluath classifications i.e. standard, fosgailte, brebach and a mach.The candidate would be required to play one of these tunes and may also be required to play another variation at the assessor’s discretion.

In terms of the theory, candidates will be tested in their knowledge of:

  • Piobaireachd Construction
  • Music writing skills
  • Canntaireachd

Wilson Brown, an assessor and board member from TNPC said: “This is a welcome addition to our range of qualifications that we offer and the study areas of this certificate will enhance a piper’s knowledge and understanding of piobaireachd and improve their performance levels.”

Further information on this or any other of the examinations can be found at pdqb.org or by contacting The National Piping Centre at learn@thepipingcentre.co.uk.

•Roberto, Wilson, Alberto, Giancarlo, Ailis and Chiara with PDQB Tutor Certificates at the Italian Spring School in May 2022.