The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

Annual Conference 2018

Saturday/Sunday 24/25 March
Birnam Hotel, Perth Road, Dunkeld, Perthshire PH8 0BQ.

The College of Piping Lecture "The 51st (Highland) Division during WW1" by Colin Cambell, military historian, is on Friday evening 23 March in the same venue. 0141 334 3537. Tickets £10 including refreshments

For Bed and Breakfast and conference dinner book direct with the hotel on 01350 728030

- Day rate including tea/coffee with lunch £45 - if attending Saturday only or both days.
- Day including tea/coffee without lunch £25 - if attending Saturday only or both days.
- Day rate for students and CPA members with lunch £10 - if attending Saturday only or both days.

  • You reap what you sow – Competitive Piobaireachd through the ages - Dan Nevans, Glenn Brown
  • Beyond the Performer Audience, through Progressive Programming - John Mulhearn
  • Descent and evolution in Ceòl Mòr – reflections - Hugh Cheape, Decker Forrest
  • RCS students
  • Set Tunes 2018 demonstration - Robert Frater, Decker Forrest, Robert Wallace, Jack Taylor
  • Dinner and Ceilidh

For further information contact Roderick Livingstone, Treasurer:
Telephone: 07801 014885

Pay via Paypal:


A new MacCrimmon composition

Thanks to Iain MacCrimmon for sending his composition, Salute to Malcolm R MacCrimmon.  It's good to see that the family is back composing after a few years off. Although born in Canada, Iain is in the direct line of the MacCrimmon family, back through to Donald Ruadh MacCrimmon.  He believes t...

Is Lament for Patrick Og misnamed?

It is curious that the tune we know as Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon, said to have been composed by Iain Dall MacKay on hearing a false report of Patrick Og's death, is known in the Campbell Canntaireachd as Couloddin's Lament.  Ronald Smith speculates why here, and wonders if the tune was in fa...

Archie Kenneth Quaich 2018

THE ARCHIE KENNETH QUAICH COMPETITION The twenty-sixth annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 3rd March 2018, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers' Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 10 a.m. Entries and e...



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.