Features

An artists impression of Findlater's winning of the Victoria Cross at the Heights of Dargai.

Stories of the Tunes: Cock of the North

Last week we kicked off an occasional series looking at the stories behind some of our well known tunes. The tune we looked at was Pibroch of Donald Dubh. Today we look at Cock of The North. In the late 1890s, when news came of Piper Findlater’s exploits at Dargai […]

Gill Cairns: Staying connected

Gill Cairns: Staying connected

On the last Saturday in February I played in the Archie Kenneth Quaich in Edinburgh, Scotland. Had I known this would be the last ‘traditional’ competition in Scotland for the foreseeable future I might have hugged my friends a little longer. I would certainly have tried to spend just a […]

King James I.

Stories of the tunes: Pibroch of Donald Dubh

Today we begin an occasional series looking at the stories behind some of our well known tunes. We kick off with Pibroch of Donald Dubh, an old tune that was originally a pibroch but which was developed subsequently into ceòl beag (there are excellent march, jig, reel, quickstep and hornpipe […]

Dan Nevans: the spirit of rock ‘n roll

Dan Nevans: the spirit of rock ‘n roll

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Don’t start reading this blog yet. Go to Spotify and bang on this playlist here. No shuffling. Play as it is from end to end. At a volume that will get you an ASBO (that’s an Anti-Social Behaviour Order for those not familair with Scotland’s crime legislation). […]

Robert Nicol, left, and Robert Reid.

We should not overstate the differences in our playing styles

Differences in playing styles is the subject of this opinion piece taken from the December 2004 Piping Times. By Duncan Watson A number of years ago while discussing the various aspects of The Unjust Incarceration with the late Donald Morrison, he related what I found to be an interesting story. […]

The structure of piobaireachd, 1

The structure of piobaireachd, 1

By Captain John A MacLellan MBE Piobaireachd, or ceòl mòr as many pipers prefer to call it, can be classified under various headings, all of which have some effect on the production of the music. Some of these classifications are more important than others. Probably of least importance, is the […]

The structure of piobaireachd, 2

The structure of piobaireachd, 2

By Capt. John A. MacLellan MBE We have seen in the previous article on the structure of piobaireachd how the various classifications which are part of ceòl mòr influence its meaning. Pipers do not necessarily recognise the same elements in a piece of music. To some, a lament may appear […]

The structure of piobaireachd, 4

The structure of piobaireachd, 4

Playing a piobaireachd By Capt. John A. MacLellan Now that the notation and structure of piobaireachd has been explained it is time to consider methods of producing a musical performance. The first consideration must always be the tuning of the bagpipe. As piobaireachd music produces many long notes it is […]

The notation of piobaireachd

The notation of piobaireachd

By Capt. John A. MacLellan MBE All piobaireachd available to pipers today, the exception of reprints, are abbreviated. Strangely, this innovation can be traced to Angus MacKay (just other example of his brilliant musical mind). His manuscript, as far as the piobaireachd volumes are concerned, is largely abbreviated. The piobaireachd […]

The structure of piobaireachd, 3

The structure of piobaireachd, 3

By Capt. John A. MacLellan MBE The next phrase patterns to be discussed are those which incorporate the TERTIARY grouping. This title just signifies a third classification. The main characteristic is, that each of the three lines are of equal length, (remember both “Primary” and ‘’Secondary” had a metre of […]