Blog

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pipers. Must. Compete.

Pipers. Must. Compete.

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #66, 2013. Winning isn’t everything, but it beats anything in second place, said the American poet, William Cullen Bryant. Competing pipers and pipe bands might swear by Bryant’s words. The driven need to compete is firmly soldered very near the heart of the […]

Opinions, assumptions and truths

Opinions, assumptions and truths

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #65, 2013. Summertime and the livin’ is easy; fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high. Great words; in fact, great lyrics from George and Ira Gershwin. And while it’s our standard holiday season, with weather that’s light on the back, summer isn’t […]

Simon McKerrell: what’s the story?

Simon McKerrell: what’s the story?

By Simon McKerrell At this time of the year, most pipers around the globe are busy learning the tunes they’ll play during next year’s competition season. Band and solo competitors are working hard on mastering the music, working on the the technical improvements in their playing and hopefully, as my […]

Brett Tidswell: piping in Australia

Brett Tidswell: piping in Australia

By Brett Tidswell The oldest pipe band in the southern hemisphere is arguably the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Caledonian Society of South Australia. The band was first established in 1894 in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. There is some argument that it was not a pipe […]

Flashbulb memories

Flashbulb memories

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #64, 2013. It’s an uncomfortable truth that any sentence that starts with “One of my earliest memories…” will induce in any person — outside of maybe a Freudian psychoanalyst — a vacant stare, a droop of the eye lids and just enough open-mouthed […]

Two heads are better than one

Two heads are better than one

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #63, 2013. It’s said that every day we each make thousands of decisions. Starting from the moment we wake up: do we get out of our chariots or roll over? And then: if we decide we want to eat, what’s for brekkie, what […]

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 […]