The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen


Cairn (1)

Piobaireachd on Radio

Pipeline  Old Men of the Shells (Roddy MacLeod) Lament for the Laird of Anapool (Stuart Liddell), Lament for Hugh, Lord Lovat's Lament (Murray Henderson in Big Music concert)  Isabel MacKay (Allan MacDonald and Bonnie Rideout).    ...


New recording of Massacre of Glencoe in Donald MacDonald style

Very many thanks to Roddy MacLeod for giving us permission to publish this recording of his performance of the Massacre of Glencoe at the Donald MacDonald Cuaich competition this year. This adds to our growing collection of recordings illustrating this way of playing.  ...

A Piper’s Farewell to his Pipes

Thank you to Steven Knox for sending his composition A Piper's Farewell to his Pipes.  He says that this tune seeks to express the feelings of a piper who is no longer able to play, as he puts his pipes back in their box for the last time.  As in some other laments, grief is mixed with frustration...


Archie Kenneth Quaich

THE ARCHIE KENNETH QUAICH COMPETITION The twenty-fourth annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 5th March 2016, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers' Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 10am. Entries and enqu...



When the Highlands and Islands of Scotland adopted the bagpipe, perhaps some six hundred years ago, they began to develop the instrument and its music to suit their needs and tastes.

What emerged was the instrument we know today as the Great Highland Bagpipe, and a form of music, piobaireachd (pronounced Pee-broch), which is unique to the instrument.  The music consists of a theme (ground) and variations on this theme.  The theme can express joy, sadness, or sometimes in the “gathering” tunes , a peremptory warning or call to arms.

The theme is developed in a series of variations, which usually progress to the “crunluath” variation, where the piper’s fingers give a dazzling technical display of embellishment or gracenotes.

The Piobaireachd Society was founded in 1901 to encourage the playing teaching and study of this music.