Features

Who was the Earl of Antrim? – Part 2

Who was the Earl of Antrim? – Part 2

A discussion on the possible influence ofScottish and Irish ceòl mòr on each other By Frank Timoney And what of the strange testimony by Dennis Hempson? In 1792, the Belfast city fathers finally realised in probable grateful relief, that the ancient tradition of Irish harp playing was about to disappear […]

Who was the Earl of Antrim?

Who was the Earl of Antrim?

A discussion on the possible influence of Scottish and Irish ceòl mòr on each other By Frank Timoney Whenever I would ask this question of any of the playing greats, I seemed always to get the same reply that he was a Scottish MacDonald and that the piece was of […]

Bearskin hats and pristine spats

Bearskin hats and pristine spats

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #62, 2013. I was at lunch with a work friend the other day when the subject came up:  just how old is the general public’s idea of the stereotypical pipe band? You know, Scotland the Brave, Black Bear, Green Hills and yards and […]

Exploring Donald MacDonald’s ceòl mòr

Exploring Donald MacDonald’s ceòl mòr

• From the Autumn 1998 edition of Notes At the 1998 Donald MacDonald Cuach invitational competition at the Clan Donald Centre on Skye, Roddy MacLeod, piping director of The Piping Centre, was a spectator rather than, as in the past, a competitor. He took the opportunity to speak with Colonel […]

The pipe and drink

The pipe and drink

About 1955, Col. J.P. Grant of Rothiemurchus, then one of the most important and influential men in piping, wrote the following letter, presumably for the Piping Times, but apparently decided not to send it. Thanks to the late James Campbell, it was published in the Piping Times of September 1985. […]

What have the Romans ever done for us…?

What have the Romans ever done for us…?

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #61, 2012. The pipes, and maybe along with the accordion, are the poor bullied souls of the music world.  So often the butt of jokes, especially in the world of “classical” music — and, by the way, that’s only from my own experience. […]

Tunes in the key of D-major

Tunes in the key of D-major

Theory Top-Up by Tim Cummings Piping Today #70, 2014. Piping Today published a series of articles in issues 57, 58, 63 and 64 that addressed the topic of musical keys and how they relate to our music. I understand that some readers have enrolled in therapy since trying to digest […]

SPA contest from 1969

SPA contest from 1969

We received a query from a reader asking about the 1969 Scottish Pipers’ Association (SPA) competition. The contest that year was notable as a new system of judging was tried out, one that saw five judges – Pipe Majors Donald MacLeod, Peter Bain and Hector MacLean, Lieut. John MacLellan and […]

Lewis Beaton, Dr W. M. MacPhail and Archibald Campbell.

The London Championship: from 1930s idea to piping institution

Since its inception in the 1930s the London Championship has grown in stature and is second only to Oban and Inverness in importance. In this article, by John Shone, we chart the progress of contest from idea to major championship Back in 1932 a group of very keen pipers found […]

The lamb rump.

The Pipers’ Tryst: finesse and spirit

By Stuart Letford I stood on the railway platform waiting for the train. My belly rumbled like a lion’s den. It was the postman’s fault for making me miss breakfast. He was early this morning. Despite this we had our usual intense and inspirational chat. We laughed, we argued. We […]