Features

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 lamb rump.

The Pipers’ Tryst: finesse and spirit

By Stuart Letford I stood on the railway platform waiting for the train. My belly rumbled like a lion’s den. It was the postman’s fault for making me miss breakfast. He was early this morning. Despite this we had our usual intense and inspirational chat. We laughed, we argued. We […]

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 […]

No hassle at the castle

By MacGregor Kennedy A round up of the 1984 Glenfiddich Piping Championships Everybody knows someone who could not organise a booze-up in a distillery, so most people who attend the Grant’s Scotch Whisky Piping Championships are perfectly well aware that the smooth-running machine which gives them so much pleasure at […]

Irish pipers and Scotland

Irish pipers and Scotland

By Keith Sanger It would be surprising given the interconnections between Scotland and Ireland over many centuries, if pipers had not crossed over between the two countries. Yet apart from a few tantalising early references, it is in the accounts of the Highland Society of London that we find the […]

What factors should you take into consideration when seeking a set of new pipes?

A guide to buying a new set of pipes

Even for the experienced piper the variety of different bagpipes and prices can make buying a new, bespoke instrument seem a daunting process. Today, there are a healthy number of manufacturers and it’s fair to say that, in contrast to a generation or two ago, most are producing excellent instruments. […]