Features

Famous pipers: Aeneas Rose

Famous pipers: Aeneas Rose

Regular readers will recall our post on Jeannie Campbell’s discovery of a rare photograph showing Willie Lawrie receiving his Gold Medal at the 1910 Northern Meeting. The post also included two other rare photographs from that year’s competition, one of which [pictured] shows four judges who were seated, hidden from […]

Burgess Hay: Reflections on Culloden, 275 years on

Burgess Hay: Reflections on Culloden, 275 years on

By Burgess Hay Today is the 275th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden. As I stand here beside, but not on, the windy moor, I find it impossible not to reflect on the winds of change that swept through highland society and through piping, in particular, in the months and […]

The music of John MacCrimmon, part 3

The music of John MacCrimmon, part 3

By Roderick D. Cannon When attempting to compare Gesto’s canntaireachd staff notation we have some helpful resources which we can call upon. There are some other written records of canntaireachd, especially one compiled by Angus MacKay consisting of short quotations of tunes. They are quite possibly from Angus’s father, but […]

The music of John MacCrimmon, part 2

The music of John MacCrimmon, part 2

The music of John MacCrimmon – the ‘Gesto Canntaireachd’ — Part 2 By Roderick D. Cannon We don’t know exactly when Niel MacLeod of Gesto started collecting his music or how long he spent on it. We do know, however, that the collection had taken shape by 1815, because in […]

The music of John MacCrimmon, part 1

The music of John MacCrimmon, part 1

The music of John MacCrimmon – the ‘Gesto Canntaireachd The 2015 College of Piping Lecture took place at the Birnam Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland in March of that year. Professor Roderick – Roddy – Cannon, who had been preparing his latest book for publication – The music of John MacCrimmon […]

Francie Markis: lone piper

Francie Markis: lone piper

In our report last week of the passing of Jock Duncan we made mention of 19th century Aberdeenshire piper, Francie Markis. In an article published in March 1990 in Common Stock, the journal of the Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society (LBPS), Jock unearthed information on Markis. Although the article shed […]

Dan Nevans: I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

Dan Nevans: I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me? or The highland pipe and mid-20th century American collegiate basketball Please follow this link to Spotify to enjoy the playlist I have put together for you to enjoy while reading this article. (You will obviously need to have a Spotify […]

The tonal colours of the tune

The tonal colours of the tune

In part 2 of his discussion on drone tuning and harmonics, John Dally uses Scotish smallpipes to explain how pipers can understand drones and the intricacies of tuning. By John Dally Now that we have established that the drones provide a harmonic background, it is easy to understand why different […]

Harmonics and drone tuning

Harmonics and drone tuning

Do your pipes sound alive with rich harmonics or are you content to have your drones simply ‘in tune’? As someone once put it, the drones ARE the instrument; the chanter an add on. In part 1 of this two-part article, John Dally discusses how your drones, in providing a […]