Tag: Robert Reid

The tonal colours of the tune

The tonal colours of the tune

In part 2 of his discussion on drone tuning and harmonics, John Dally uses Scotish smallpipes to explain how pipers can understand drones and the intricacies of tuning. By John Dally Now that we have established that the drones provide a harmonic background, it is easy to understand why different […]

In full flow. The Clasp competition at the 2019  Northern Meeting.

Modern pitch

By Thomas Pearston The photograph of four chanters, below, is a confirmation of the rise in pitch over the past 50 years. Chanter A is a chanter from the First World War, B is about the early 1940s and C is a modern chanter as played to-day. D is a […]

Bessie Brown.

Famous pipers: Bessie Brown

In September 1987 the Piping Times began a series called ‘Famous pipers’. Bessie Brown was the first piper to feature. The following month, at that year’s Glenfiddich, Bessie was awarded the Balvenie Medal for services to piping. She died in 1992. Below, we reproduce Seumas’ feature on Bessie. By Seumas […]

I now dissociate myself from my Foreword in ‘Sidelights’

I now dissociate myself from my Foreword in ‘Sidelights’

By Lt. Col. D. J. S. Murray In the year 2000 there was published Dr William Donaldson’s seminal The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society, a well written, well researched and well sourced book which one thought would have been well received by the serious piping fraternity. The contrary was the […]

J. B. with the practice chanter he later gifted to John Shone.

Famous pipers: J. B. Robertson

James Blair Robertson was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1905. He was for many years a living legend among competing pipers and when he died, in London on October 2, 1988, one of the last remaining links with the leading pipers of the 1920s and 1930s was gone. Competitively, his […]

Stories of the Tunes: The Green Hills of Tyrol

Stories of the Tunes: The Green Hills of Tyrol

The Green Hills of Tyrol is a ubiquitous tune, learnt by virtually all pipers at an early stage. In 1961, the famous Scottish singer Andy Stewart put words to the tune and his song, A Scottish Soldier reached the No. 1 pop chart spot in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. […]

Famous pipers: Owen MacNiven

Famous pipers: Owen MacNiven

By Jeannie Campbell MBE In mid-April 2020 an article appeared on this website about the legendary Robert Reid (1895-1965). Born in Slamannan, Scotland, Reid was one of the finest pipers of the 20th century and the most dominant piper of the 1920s and 1930s. The article that appeared – ‘The master […]

The master and pupil

The master and pupil

Owen MacNiven was a well-known piper of the pre-war era. Born in Paisley in 1916 he was taught initially by John Morrell 1926 before the great Pipe Major Robert Reid took him on. By all accounts, Owen was an excellent piper – and the only one of Robert Reid’s pupils […]

J. B. was one of the pipers who piped on the Queen Mary when it was refitted for passenger service following the end of the Second World War. He can be seen clearly on the right, facing the actor David Niven. Andrew Bain is furthest away then David Ross, Rosehall, Unknown, Jock Buchanan.

Diary: photograph query/ Mòd/Pipeline/Trevor’s funeral

There are a few items in the bagpipe.news diary this week. First of all, Willie McCallum sent us this wonderful photo of the late debonair English actor, David Niven dancing as six pipers play beside him. Willie had been watching a television documentary about the Queen Mary, when the photograph […]