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:


Robert Reid Archive

The Piobaireachd Society has been fortunate in acquiring tapes left by Robert Reid.  We are grateful to his family for permission to publish these.  The tapes have now been digitalised and are available to Piobaireachd Society members. Robert Reid was a pupil of John MacDougall Gillies for 18 ...

New Compositions

We are restarting our "New Compositions" section.  If you have a new composition you would like to display please send it to us in a PDF preferably.  A good quality MP3 can also be accepted....

Unpublished Campbell Canntaireachd Tunes played by Patrick Molard

Four unpublished tunes from the Campbell Canntaireachd were played by Patrick Molard at the Piobaireachd Society Conference in 2012.  Members can hear three of these - A Glas  Nameless 16 V1  and White Wedder Black Tail  and see the other presentations at the Conference. Next year's confer...

Conference Report 2012

Annual Conference Report 2012 The annual conference was held in the Birnam hotel on 24/25 March. This proved a successful venue – easy transport links, excellent comfort and service, and a splendid conference hall with a high arched ceiling making for a first class pipe acoustic. And pipes were h...



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.