The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

Annual Conference 2019

The 2019 annual conference will be held in the National Piping Centre on Saturday 23rd March. There will be an informal ceilidh in the Pipers Tryst on Friday evening 22nd March. The conference will conclude with a dinner in the National Piping Centre on Saturday evening.

A preferential rate for room booking per night of £109.00 per room single occupancy £119.00 per room double occupancy for the nights of 22nd and 23rd March has been obtained at the Holiday Inn, Glasgow, Theatreland, 161 West Nile Street, Glasgow G1 2RL - This hotel is just across the road from the Piping Centre. Delegates should book directly with the hotel, quoting DOCTORS, Reservation Office working hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Telephone 0141 352 8300 / Email

The conference rate including dinner is £55; day rate including lunch, teas and coffees £35.


  • New evidence about the Old Competitions – talk by Jack Taylor with tunes by Iain Speirs and John Dew. Featuring a replica Donald MacDonald bagpipe, and tunes selected from the 1844 list.
  • My piping life and times – panel discussion led by Gary West.
  • MacCrimmons’ Gold – a film premier.
  • Dinner

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

Pay via Paypal:


Conference 2019 report

Piobaireachd Society stalwarts and MacCrimmons Gold producers Our move from Birnam to the National Piping Centre was a success. An audience of 50-60 attended during the day and those who stayed for dinner enjoyed a premiere of a new composition, a Victorian piobaireachd, a drinking tune from the...

Digital download of Piobaireachd Society books 1-16, Kilberry, Sidelights

Piobaireachd Society books 1-16, Kilberry Book of Ceol Mor, and Sidelights to the Kilberry Book are now available to buy directly from this website. They can be downloaded to all devices here, and by using the Shop button on the top menu bar Paper copies of the books can be bought from the NPC...

APC Guide to Pibroch

Produced by Altpibroch Club, this ebook is billed as the first complete guide to the earliest pibroch scores.  An opening sentence of " Piobaireachd is not what it has been described to you as a piper",  and a series of rules summarised by  "If you cannot sing it, you cannot play it" set the tone...

Campbell Canntaireachd tunes not in Piobaireachd Society books

Of the 168 tunes in the Campbell Cantaireachd, 45 do not appear in Piobaireachd Society books 1-16. Recordings and staff notation scores of these tunes have now been added to the this website.  The scores are from the book "Pipers Meeting" by Patrick Molard and Jack Taylor.  The scores and some...

Piobaireachd on Radio

Pipeline  March for a Beginner from Joseph MacDonald's Complete Theory, War or Peace (Peter McCallister), Battle of Waterloo (Robert Wallace), Waking of the Bridegroom (Patrick Molard), MacKay's Memoirs - Lament for Mary MacLeod (Martyn Bennett) Spaidsearachd Bharrach MacArthur MacGregor Setting (M...

Archie Kenneth Quaich Results 2019

L-R Stuart Letford, Gill Cairns, Tom Peterkin, Andrew Park, John Forbes. The Archie Kenneth Quaich 2019 26 pipers played at this ever-popular amateur piobaireachd contest, including pipers who travelled from Singapore, North America, Switzerla...

2019 AGM, Conference Programme and Newsletter

The AGM of the Piobaireachd Society will be held in the National Piping Centre, 30-34 McPhater Street, Glasgow G4 OHW on Saturday 23nd March at 1.15pm. 2019 AGM Agenda 2018 AGM Minutes 2019 Conference Schedule Piobaireachd Society Newsletter February 2019 ...



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.