Reviews, Hints & Tips

Stuart Letford reviews the Duncan Johnstone Memorial recital

Stuart Letford reviews the Duncan Johnstone Memorial recital

By Stuart Letford Duncan Johnstone wasn’t really one for competitions – his 1964 victory in the Scottish Pipers’ Association’s Knockout series was pretty much his only foray into solo piping contests. As he put himself, “I was never interested in whether I could beat this man or the next. I […]

John Mulhearn reviews Fred Morrison’s second collection

John Mulhearn reviews Fred Morrison’s second collection

By John Mulhearn There are few pipers in the Highland piping tradition that command the depth of respect that Fred Morrison enjoys. His entertaining and highly charged solo performances on the concert stage are legendary and unique. Equally, his thoughtful and deeply musical performances on the competition stage have earned […]

The watertrap

The watertrap

By David V Kennedy Yes, indeed: to watertrap or not to watertrap, that is the question! Some say that the trap is necessary in all climates. In an eight month 100˚F average summer? With less than an average 20% relative humidity? Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? Logical? Well, not at first […]

Squeezing the chanter reed

Squeezing the chanter reed

By David V. Kennedy The question a piper may ask is: “Why on earth would one want to squeeze the blades or the staple of a chanter reed?”’ And this is certainly a valid question. After all, didn’t the reedmaker assemble the reed correctly? Didn‘t he tie the blades onto […]

‘Scraping’ the chanter reed

‘Scraping’ the chanter reed

By David V. Kennedy In an early issue of The International Piper, Mr. Roger Gould-King wrote an informative, and useful, article on the chanter reed. He included a drawing of the reed, dimensioned. From the top of the lips, going downwards to the staple- bindings, he drew in a conception […]

Extending the life of a chanter reed

Extending the life of a chanter reed

“The pipe reed obeys no laws. Like the most fickle woman, it rewards, if at all, the lavish attentions of an honest heart with but a brief and transient display.” – J.C.M., Piping Times, October 1949. By Chris Apps Contrary to ‘J.C.M.’s’ quote, the average pipe chanter reed, if well […]

Stuart Letford reviews The Last Highlander

Stuart Letford reviews The Last Highlander

To pipers, Lord Lovat of the ’45 is known through two tunes, both called Lord Lovat’s Lament. One is a 4/4 march, the other a piece of ceòl mòr. Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat – MacShimidh Mòr – was a clan chief who was beheaded for his part in what […]

Dan Nevans reviews John Dew’s ‘Pipe Tunes’

Dan Nevans reviews John Dew’s ‘Pipe Tunes’

It’s been a hell of a year for new music. This year, plenty of performers have released new records, new collections and performances on live streams and YouTube recitals. Just in time for Christmas, here comes a collection of tunes titled simply, Pipe Tunes. John Dew, one of our most […]