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Sandy Grant Gordon, 1931-2020

Sandy Grant Gordon, 1931-2020

Sandy Grant Gordon, one of piping’s great patrons – possibly its greatest ever benefactor – has died peacefully at home. He was 89 and had been in hospital following a fall a week ago. Daughters Maggie and Sally were with him at the end. Sandy was not a piper himself […]

The strathspey in Scottish music

The strathspey in Scottish music

WILLIAM LAMB discusses the origins of the genre and what he says is its uneasy relationship with the great highland bagpipe The strathspey is undoubtedly the most iconic variety of Scottish traditional music. Collinson describes its characteristic dots and snaps as the, “life blood of Scots musical rhythm”. Yet, recent […]

Pipe Major Iain Morrison, 1945-2020

Pipe Major Iain Morrison, 1945-2020

Pipe Major Iain Murdo Morrison died in hospital in Stornoway yesterday (Thursday). He hadn’t been well for a while and had been in hospital in Glasgow last month. Iain, a native of the isle of Lewis, was undoubtedly one of the best pipers of his generation, or, indeed of any […]

A piper plays for the Sailor's Hornpipe at the 2017 Atholl Gathering.

Piping for dancing – part 2

By Donald MacPhee In part 1 I discussed the information, styles and requirements of piping for dancing and finished by looking at some dances that come under the ‘Highland’ term. I’d like to conclude by explaining the rest of those dances and then those that are termed ‘Scottish National Dances’ […]

Braemar, mid-1980s. Sandy Spence pipes for Jean Swanston.

Piping for dancing – part 1

By Donald MacPhee Piping for dancing has been a big part of my life. My two sisters were highland dancers and latterly became highland dance teachers. When I got on to the pipes, my dad and bagpipe tutor (Sandy MacPhee) encouraged me to play for the dancers that were getting […]

Entries open for Oban and Inverness 2021 / HND Piping bridging course

Entries open for Oban and Inverness 2021 / HND Piping bridging course

Organisers of two of the piping world’s three major solo competitions are looking ahead to 2021 with optimism and have made a joint announcement advising that they are now accepting entries for next year’s competitions. The Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting will be held on August 25-26 and September 2-3 […]

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 […]

Comments on ‘The origins of ceòl mòr – a theory’

Comments on ‘The origins of ceòl mòr – a theory’

By Keith Sanger I have been following the series, ‘The origins of ceòl mòr — a theory’ by Bridget MacKenzie with some interest. It presents a fascinating parallel between ceòl mòr and Norse Skaldic verse, but while not detracting from its main theme, contains a few areas open to some […]