Features

Famous pipers: Black Will MacDonald

Famous pipers: Black Will MacDonald

By Niall Graham-Campbell Many of the famous and successful pipers have much written about them. As a change, I thought that I would like to try to create a favourable impression about a lesser figure in the piping world, Willie MacDonald or Black Will. In part, the reason behind this […]

Stories of the Tunes – Helen Black of Inveran

Stories of the Tunes – Helen Black of Inveran

Many readers will be familiar with the 2/4 march, Helen Black of Inveran. The pipe score can be found in Bruce Campbell’s Caledonian Collection Of Highland Bagpipe 2/4 Competition Pipe Marches and in Iain MacCrimmon’s Music For The Great Highland Bagpipe (Book 1). Jimmy Ritchie, a well-known fiddler of the […]

George Moss and the Fraser pipers

George Moss and the Fraser pipers

By Bridget MacKenzie This article is based to a large extent on material kindly supplied by George Moss’s nephew, Jim (Hamish) Hamilton, Aberdeen, to whom I give my thanks George Moss (1903-1990) was an important figure in Highland piping who has not received the recognition due to him. Such men […]

From the Lowlands to the Highlands

From the Lowlands to the Highlands

By Jaco Koster It was a rainy Sunday afternoon in Scotland last summer [2018] when my girlfriend and I decided to pay a visit to Blair Castle near Pitlochry. We had visited the ruins of Caisteal Dubh – the Black Castle of Moulin – that morning, where I played my […]

Stories of the Tunes – Lament for Donald Bàn MacCrimmon

Stories of the Tunes – Lament for Donald Bàn MacCrimmon

By Seumas MacNeill Along with Lament for the Children and a few others this is one of the truly great tunes. It does not have the subtle twists and turns of the Children, nor even of Patrick Òg. It is a straightforward fairly simple melody developed along traditional lines and, […]

When Dr John met Angus – a highlander looked back

When Dr John met Angus – a highlander looked back

Transcribed by Norman Matheson Angus MacPherson (1877-1976), a father figure in the piping world of his day, was one of the five sons of the renowned Malcolm MacPherson (Calum Piobair) who was piper to the MacPherson clan chief at Cluny Castle near Laggan. In 1898 Angus MacPherson, aged 21, became […]

Stuart Letford: Bliadhna na Cobhid

Stuart Letford: Bliadhna na Cobhid

2020, Bliadhna na Cobhid (the Year of Covid to those unfamiliar with Gaelic), the year that almost all piping activity took place in front of a laptop or Smart phone. Where every competition or band practice began like a seance: “Hello? Can you hear me … can you hear me? […]

Stories of the Tunes – The Black Mill

Stories of the Tunes – The Black Mill

By James E. Scott The Muillean Dubh [The Black Mill] is a very old tune and, at one time, was well-known and popular all over the Highlands, every piper having it in his repertoire. For some reason, it seems to have gone out of favour in later times and is […]