Features

Exploring Donald MacDonald’s ceòl mòr

Exploring Donald MacDonald’s ceòl mòr

• From the Autumn 1998 edition of Notes At the 1998 Donald MacDonald Cuach invitational competition at the Clan Donald Centre on Skye, Roddy MacLeod, piping director of The Piping Centre, was a spectator rather than, as in the past, a competitor. He took the opportunity to speak with Colonel […]

16 questions with Finlay Johnston

16 questions with Finlay Johnston

Bagpipe.news caught up with Finlay Johnston shortly after his second Glenfiddich win last weekend. 1. You travel quite a bit. Is there anything you can’t leave home without?My pipes, my phone and headphones and maybe some paracetamol for the hangovers. 2. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?Bird saliva on […]

The pipe and drink

The pipe and drink

About 1955, Col. J.P. Grant of Rothiemurchus, then one of the most important and influential men in piping, wrote the following letter, presumably for the Piping Times, but apparently decided not to send it. Thanks to the late James Campbell, it was published in the Piping Times of September 1985. […]

What have the Romans ever done for us…?

What have the Romans ever done for us…?

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #61, 2012. The pipes, and maybe along with the accordion, are the poor bullied souls of the music world.  So often the butt of jokes, especially in the world of “classical” music — and, by the way, that’s only from my own experience. […]

Tunes in the key of D-major

Tunes in the key of D-major

Theory Top-Up by Tim Cummings Piping Today #70, 2014. Piping Today published a series of articles in issues 57, 58, 63 and 64 that addressed the topic of musical keys and how they relate to our music. I understand that some readers have enrolled in therapy since trying to digest […]

SPA contest from 1969

SPA contest from 1969

We received a query from a reader asking about the 1969 Scottish Pipers’ Association (SPA) competition. The contest that year was notable as a new system of judging was tried out, one that saw five judges – Pipe Majors Donald MacLeod, Peter Bain and Hector MacLean, Lieut. John MacLellan and […]

Lewis Beaton, Dr W. M. MacPhail and Archibald Campbell.

The London Championship: from 1930s idea to piping institution

Since its inception in the 1930s the London Championship has grown in stature and is second only to Oban and Inverness in importance. In this article, by John Shone, we chart the progress of contest from idea to major championship Back in 1932 a group of very keen pipers found […]

The Army’s role and a bright future for the piping art

The Army’s role and a bright future for the piping art

Iain MacInnes concludes his 2000 John MacFadyen Lecture One irony of the current pipe band situation is that, at the same time as civilian bands have carried the music round the globe, and have put down firm roots, the cultural institution that created pipe bands, the British Army, has slowly […]

The image of an unchanging art form

The image of an unchanging art form

Part 2 of Iain MacInnes’s 2000 John MacFadyen Lecture Competition is very much part and parcel of the piping culture here in Scotland, and its shaped not just the music, but also the style of performance. It all goes back to 1781, when the Highland Society of London started the […]

Blood was spilt over over a semi-quaver in a 1930s feud

Blood was spilt over over a semi-quaver in a 1930s feud

The first excerpt from Iain MacInnes’s John MacFadyen Lecture of spring 2000 entitled ‘The Ancient Martial Music’ Piobaireachd, ceòl mòr, is, I think we’d all agree, a very remarkable and distinctive music; music of the Gaelic speaking Highlands which has travelled, and has taken root in remarkable places, from Vancouver […]