Reviews, Hints & Tips

Dan Nevans reviews ‘A Wee Bit o’ a Tune’

Dan Nevans reviews ‘A Wee Bit o’ a Tune’

A bagpipe is an investment. If you are lucky then you’ll get a return out of that investment either for yourself or for whomever gets the pipe after you. The mystique of the antique bagpipe is much like the sword ‘Excalibur’ in Thomas Mallory’s epic, Le Morte d’Arthur: the object […]

‘Fhuair mi Pog’ by Margaret Stewart and Allan MacDonald

‘Fhuair mi Pog’ by Margaret Stewart and Allan MacDonald

Fhuair mi Pòg by Margaret Stewart and Allan MacDonald (Greentrax Recordings Limited CDTRAX 132). By Roderick D. Cannon. The title track begins with Allan MacDonald playing the song version of the famous piobaireachd (I Got a Kiss of the King’s Hand) on the full Highland bagpipe; then as the sound […]

Dr Jack Taylor reviews ‘Binneas is Boreraig’

Dr Jack Taylor reviews ‘Binneas is Boreraig’

This new edition of Binneas is Boreraig reincarnates the most innovative written piobaireachd collection of the 20th century. It is the only one showing tunes precisely as they were played by a master. And it shows them exceptionally well. ‘Binneas is Boreraig’ means ‘Melody and Boreraig’. The original edition, published […]

The scales of practice

The scales of practice

By Dugald B. MacNeill Pipers will talk endlessly about their pipe chanters and go to great lengths to get them just right, or what they believe is right. They will spend money on reeds and buy new pipe chanters to increase the chance of getting both the correct scale and […]

Iain MacInnes reviews Chris Gray’s eponymous CD

Iain MacInnes reviews Chris Gray’s eponymous CD

Iain MacInnes reviews Chris Gray’s debut recording. As Scotland’s pipers explore ever wider musical horizons, this beautifully-made debut CD from Chris Gray points the way to what can be achieved. Gray comes with an impressive piping pedigree (he was a pupil of Tony MacDonald’s in his native Lockerbie), as well […]

Aspects of tuning – reeds

Aspects of tuning – reeds

By Roger Gould-King Figure 2 shows a typical chanter reed design suitable for most chanters and the average piper’s blowing habits. This design follows the principle that all dimensions of the blades are based on a simple ‘rule of 3’. For example, the staple is 4mm in diameter, which multiplied […]