Features

My father the bagpiper, part 8

My father the bagpiper, part 8

Concluding the story of James MacHardy, piper to Queen Victoria from 1878 until 1881, by his daughter, Mrs Edith Paterson. The 1938 Lonach was handicapped as so many have been since by cold, damp weather. Father took his place in the March of the Clansmen from Colquhonnie to the games […]

Stories of the Tunes – Lament for Mary MacLeod

Stories of the Tunes – Lament for Mary MacLeod

The year is around 1707. It is only a couple of years since the burial of Sir Norman MacLeod of Berneray, one of the most famous chiefs of the Berneray branch of the MacLeods of Harris. He was the third son of Sir Roderick XV of Harris and Dunvegan. Today, […]

The night the wheel turned right round

The night the wheel turned right round

This article was written in 1967, shortly after its author attended the very first Silver Chanter competition. He considered sending it to the Piping Times for publication but hesitated due to his teacher’s negative views about Glasgow and west coast piping in general. He put it in a drawer instead. […]

Famous pipers: Hugh MacInnes

Famous pipers: Hugh MacInnes

Hugh MacInnes (1949-2002) was one of the leading pipers of the 1970s and 80s. He had an outstanding record in light music and won the Former Winners’ MSR at Oban in 1982, the March in 1976, and the Strathspey and Reel in 1975. At Inverness, he won the March in […]

The acoustical environment of the highland bagpipe out of doors

The acoustical environment of the highland bagpipe out of doors

Part 1 By Alex R. Carruthers Provided that the weather is not too uncomfortable for the piper, the best place for playing the Highland bagpipe is out of doors. It is unfortunate that most pipers have to content themselves with a room in their house for practice sessions. Indoors and […]

Gill Cairns: Staying connected, part 2

Gill Cairns: Staying connected, part 2

A few months ago, as Covid-19 was making its way around the world, I wrote here about the emergence of online competitions. Most countries were in lockdown and I, and my fellow ‘CLASPies’, had just competed in the world’s first live online competition. It was organised by the National Piping […]

Stories of the Tunes: The Green Hills of Tyrol

Stories of the Tunes: The Green Hills of Tyrol

The Green Hills of Tyrol is a ubiquitous tune, learnt by virtually all pipers at an early stage. In 1961, the famous Scottish singer Andy Stewart put words to the tune and his song, A Scottish Soldier reached the No. 1 pop chart spot in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. […]

Famous pipers: John A. MacLellan

Simply put, Captain John A. MacLellan MBE (1921-1991) was one of the most important pipers of the 20th century. A military man, he joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders as a boy piper in 1936. In 1941, he was appointed Pipe Major of the 9th Battalion, Queen’s Own Highlanders: he […]