Tag: Piping Today Magazine

Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton: musicians joined and hip

Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton: musicians joined and hip

Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton are two of the most talented all-round musicians on the planet. To know that it was the bagpipes that brought them together makes what they do even more remarkable. They started their life-long musical journey as kids in the late Gordon Duncan’s Pitlochry-based Vale of […]

Tim Cummings: Tunes in B-minor

Tim Cummings: Tunes in B-minor

Theory Top-Up by Tim Cummings Piping Today #75, 2015. I have a hunch that you might be familiar with something called fish and chips.  I’m also willing to bet that each time you’ve partaken of that meal, there was a fair bit of salt added, which no doubt enhanced the […]

The real life of Chris Armstrong

The real life of Chris Armstrong

Chris Armstrong has played bagpipes for all but six years of his life. His piping was first nurtured in the Torphichen and Bathgate Novice Juvenile Pipe Band and from those early beginnings, his piping career has been one of sharp, upward trajectory.  He’s a complete all-rounder in the piping world: […]

Pipers. Must. Compete.

Pipers. Must. Compete.

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #66, 2013. Winning isn’t everything, but it beats anything in second place, said the American poet, William Cullen Bryant. Competing pipers and pipe bands might swear by Bryant’s words. The driven need to compete is firmly soldered very near the heart of the […]

Tim Cummings:  Tunes in A pentatonic major

Tim Cummings: Tunes in A pentatonic major

Theory Top-Up by Tim Cummings Piping Today #74, 2015. In the last article in this series, we examined a scale and its associated tunes which contain fewer than the usual seven notes that make up standard Western musical scales. Specifically, we explored a ‘gapped’ scale in A — that is, […]

The real life of Colin MacLellan

The real life of Colin MacLellan

Piper, teacher, reed maker, judge and all-around bon vivant, Colin has spent a lifetime around bagpipes. While he’s the son of a piping legend in Captain John A, he’s done the business and won the big piping prizes — and much more.  In his life he has been a living […]

Opinions, assumptions and truths

Opinions, assumptions and truths

GREY’S NOTES by Michael Grey Piping Today #65, 2013. Summertime and the livin’ is easy; fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high. Great words; in fact, great lyrics from George and Ira Gershwin. And while it’s our standard holiday season, with weather that’s light on the back, summer isn’t […]

‘Big Ronnie’ bridges the generations

‘Big Ronnie’ bridges the generations

Ronald Lawrie of Oban (1927-2008) wasn’t called ‘Big Ronnie’ for nothing. But his broad-shouldered, 6ft 5in frame and imposing, square-jawed presence were almost incidental to his considerable stature in piping — and an involvement that began with direct influences from the 19th century and continues into the 21st century. He […]

Tim Cummings: tunes based on a ‘gapped’ A scale

Tim Cummings: tunes based on a ‘gapped’ A scale

Theory Top-Up by Tim Cummings Piping Today #73, 2014. When people refer to musical scales, they are normally referring to the conventional major or minor, seven-note, “diatonic” scales.  If you’ve been following the recent Piping Today articles on music theory, you’ll know that seven-note scales can also be something other […]

Tunes in the key of A-Major

Tunes in the key of A-Major

Theory Top-Up by Tim Cummings Piping Today #72, 2014. This article is the third in an on-going series focusing on specific musical keys found in our Scottish piping repertoire.  Having already looked at the two most common musical keys in our light music, D-Major and A-Mixolydian, we’ll now put a […]