Features

Placing a metal plaque at the bottom of a pipe chanter or bass drone helps with quick identification. This chanter belonged to a John Forbes and dates from 1854.

How you can protect your instrument

Pipers are often in the spotlight displaying their talent – and their expensive instruments. Our pipes are one of our most important assets so it makes sense that we look after them properly and make sure they are protected from thieves. Adequate insurance is a must. Those who are members […]

Murray Henderson: ceòl mòr journey and destination

Murray Henderson: ceòl mòr journey and destination

I’d like to explore the different approaches to learning ‘appropriate’ material when starting out on the road to achieving a better understanding of Piobaireachd, our classical music. Of course, it applies to light music as well. In any endeavour, anyone wishing to reach the heights (whatever level that may be […]

Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton: musicians joined and hip

Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton: musicians joined and hip

Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton are two of the most talented all-round musicians on the planet. To know that it was the bagpipes that brought them together makes what they do even more remarkable. They started their life-long musical journey as kids in the late Gordon Duncan’s Pitlochry-based Vale of […]

Dr. Angus MacDonald: 200 years … yet pipers still play parrot-fashion

Dr. Angus MacDonald: 200 years … yet pipers still play parrot-fashion

Dr. Angus MacDonald 2020 marks 200 years since Donald MacDonald produced his first volume of piobaireachd in staff notation. This is the oldest comprehensive written record of ceòl mòr by a piper. A pioneering work, he tackled the difficult problem of committing intricate piobaireachd embellishments to staff notation. He was […]

Aerial photograph of Boreraig. The two red spots show the sites of the old MacCrimmon 'college' and the memorial cairn.

Journey to Glendale, 1931

As reported yesterday, this month’s edition of the Piping Times features the last article written by Dr Roddy Ross. It is a ‘deep’ article, one that dwells on Celtic mysticism, the MacCrimmons, and ceòl mòr. Today, we reproduce an article written by written by Roddy in the late 1990s and published […]

The real life of Chris Armstrong

The real life of Chris Armstrong

Chris Armstrong has played bagpipes for all but six years of his life. His piping was first nurtured in the Torphichen and Bathgate Novice Juvenile Pipe Band and from those early beginnings, his piping career has been one of sharp, upward trajectory.  He’s a complete all-rounder in the piping world: […]

Alisdair McLaren: Ten years after

Alisdair McLaren: Ten years after

It’s been a quite a decade. I took over as Director of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland (NYPBoS) in 2009 shortly after moving to Scotland from Australia. Ten years later, I’m looking forward at marking that decade with an NYPBoS concert on February 8 in Edinburgh at the […]

Alasdair Gillies: he was never happier than when playing his pipes

Alasdair Gillies: he was never happier than when playing his pipes

By Major (Retd) Bruce Hitchings MBE BEM Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies was one of the most outstanding pipers of modern times. Born into a piping family in Glasgow in 1963, he first studied the bagpipe with his father, Norman, himself a leading exponent of ceòl beag. In the early 1970s, […]

The history and art of Angus MacKay, part 2

The history and art of Angus MacKay, part 2

By Archibald Campbell of Kilberry There can be no one alive now who ever heard Angus MacKay play, and few who have heard his playing described at first hand. Sandy Cameron remembered him playing piobaireachd at Maryburgh in his father’s house but he must have been quite a young child […]