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THE PIOBAIREACHD SOCIETY SET TUNES FOR 2021

Due to the fact that the major competitions have been cancelled for 2020, The Piobaireachd Society recommends retention of the 2020 set tunes for competitions in 2021:

A. SENIOR COMPETITIONS

The Unjust Incarceration*PS 2
Lament for Donald Ban MacCrimmonPS 2, K
Patrick Og MacCrimmon’s Lament**PS 3
The Sound of the waves against the Castle of DuntroonPS 6, K
Nameless Cherede DarieveaPS 8, K
The Laird of Anapool’s LamentPS 9
MacLeod of Colbeck’s LamentPS 10
Mrs MacLeod of Talisker’s SalutePS 11
Lament for the Harp TreePS 12, K
Lament for King George III PS 14

Competitors will submit six of the above tunes, one of which they will be required to play.

*For the purposes of the Senior competitions this tune should be played with the inclusion of the “optional” 3rd line, as recorded in Piobaireachd Society Book 2.

**For the purposes of the Senior competitions this tune should be played with the inclusion of Donald MacDonald’s additional variation (singling and doubling), as recorded in Piobaireachd society Book 3. 

PS = Piobaireachd Society Collection    K = Kilberry Book of Ceol Mor

Competitors are not restricted to settings in the Piobaireachd Society Collection and Kilberry Book.   Those who wish to play alternative settings should submit legible scores, indicating the origins of the settings, to competition organisers along with their tune selections.

Altogether different tunes known by the same or similar names will not be accepted as alternatives.

B. GOLD MEDAL COMPETITIONS

Competitors will submit eight tunes of their own choice, one of which they will be required to play.

C. SILVER MEDAL COMPETITIONS

Competitors will submit six tunes of their own choice, one of which they will be required to play. This announcement is without prejudice to any arrangements made by either the Argyllshire Gathering or the Northern Meeting.

For the Music Committee: Ronald McShannon, 2 Ascot Avenue, Glasgow, G12 0AX


More Details on St Cecilia’s Concert – updated 22nd August.

The annual Piobaireachd Society sponsored recital of ceòl mòr which had been scheduled for early August has been postponed until November due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival of which the concert was part.

The latest communication (22nd August) with the officials at St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh indicate that our concert on November 29 will be able to go ahead as scheduled but with a limited ‘live’ audience.

The event, entitled, ‘Classical Bagpipe Music – Scotland’s Hidden Treasure’, will now take place on Novemebr 29 – the Sunday nearest St Andrew’s Day – in the same venue, St Cecilia’s Hall, Niddry Street, Edinburgh, at 7 for 7.30pm.

If so, tickets will probably be on a first come, first served, basis. St Cecilia’s can hold 200. Distanced seating may reduce that to 40/50. Live streaming and/or video recording will happen either way – provided of course the pipers are allowed to play. 

Those scheduled to perform for us are among the best: Sandy Cameron, Angus MacColl, Cameron MacDougall and Iain Speirs.

Each will play two pieces of piobaireachd, one long, one short, and in continuous fashion with no tuning. This formula has proved popular with audiences in the past.

We will not have the benefit of the Fringe publicity machine this year, nor will we have the overseas visitors who flock to Edinburgh in August but I am sure the piping community will turn out to support these fine players. The pandemic will mean that this summer we will be starved of a lot of high quality piping. By re-scheduling this concert we hope to help fill the vacuum.

Tickets cost £10 and £5 (livestream) and are available in advance here.

Piob Soc Shop Open for Business

The best books on piobaireachd are available from the Piobaireachd Society Shop, some with members’ discount. Trade inquiries welcome to rawmac@gmail.com. Kilt pins and ties are also available via our online shop. Check out our very competitive prices, and pay by PayPal or bank transfer. Save the digital books, complete with all editorial notes, to your iPad or tablet.

Society Lockdown Tunes on PS Facebook

We have launched a ‘Lockdown Piobaireachd’ challenge on our Facebook page starting with a tune from the President Robert Wallace, appropriately enough, Too Long in This Condition.

Robert has nominated Peter McCalister to play the next piece and Peter will in turn nominate someone else. If you are on the internet then head to here.

Fringe Concert & Summer School 2020 Cancelled

The PS Summer School of Piobaireachd Tuition and our annual concert at the Edinburgh Fringe (Aug 9) have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The school was to have taken place at Gartmore House near Aberfoyle, Stirlingshire, at the end of May. The Society has secured the dates at the same venue for the 2021 school. These are June 27 until July 1. Students have been notified and all deposits will be returned.

The Fringe concert will be re-scheduled to November and barring further difficulties will take place in St Cecilia’s Hall on November 29.

The Musical Legacy of the MacKays of Raasay

Read an abridged version of DR John KS Frater’s paper entitled ‘The Musical Legacy of the MacKays of Raasay’ here. Dr Frater was due to deliver it at this year’s abandoned conference and we are grateful to him for now making this version available to all members.

New Recordings

The following recordings have been added to our member’s archive:

Donald MacPherson – Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon (Winning performance Oban 1977)

Jack Lee – Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon including A MacDonald variation.

Donald MacLeod – MacMhurich’s Salute, Desperate Battle, His Father’s Lament, Mary MacLeod, V1 MacIntosh’s Lament, Corrienessan’s Salute, Lament for Islay Flora Macleod, MacRae’s March, Old Woman’s Lullaby, The Pretty Dirk, Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay

John MacDougall – Blue Ribbon, My Dearest on Earth Give Me Your Kiss
Donald Morrison – Lament for Captain MacDougall
John MacFadyen – Salute to the Isle of Iona
Patrick Molard – Leacran, the Campbell Canntaireachd version of the Half Finished Piobaireachd, with score taken from the Campbell Canntaireachd, Donald MacDonald settings of the grounds of Lament for the Union, My King has Landed in Moidart, Lament for the Children

James MacGillivray – Glengarry’s Lament, The Groat, MacIntosh’s Banner, Munro’s Salute, Highland Society of Scotland’s Salute, Lament for Sir James MacDonald of the Isles, MacGregor’s Salute, Lament for Alasdair Dearg MacDonell of Glengarry

Donald MacGillivray – Little Spree, Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon
Robert Wallace – Battle of Waterloo
Iain Morrison – MacIntosh of Borlum’s Salute

Greg Wilson – Lament for MacLeod of Colbeck

John D Burgess – Too Long in this Condition,In Praise of Morag

Murray Henderson – Rory MacLoude’s Lament

John MacDougall – Battle of the Pass of Crieff

R U Brown – Rout of Glenfruin (D MacDonald) Lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar (Calum Piobaire and Donald MacDonald settings), Salute to the Cairn at Boreraig, Park Piobaireachd 1, Duke of Athole’s Salute

Dr Angus MacDonald – Mrs MacLeod of Talliskers Salute

Dr Jack Taylor – Nameless hio tro tro

Dr Peter McCalister – Nameless hihorodotra cherede che, Sobieski’s Salute, March for a Beginner

John Frater – Abercairney’s Lament

New Compositions have been added – Impotent Wrath, Bob Nicol’s Wonder and Piobaireachd at Dawn by Jakez Pincet and Salute to Absent Friends by Dr Alexander Dougall, Farewell to the Reedmaker by Stuart Samson.

PS Conf 2020 Cancelled

The General Committee has taken the decision to cancel the 2020 annual conference and AGM which was to be held at the National Piping Centre on March 21. The government’s travel advice and the increasing threat from the Covid-19 virus meant that we really had no choice. The Committee has now agreed that we should not re-convene the Conference during 2020 but focus on 2021. Disappointing but can’t be helped. 

Robert Wallace, President


PS 2020 AGM AGENDA and 2019 Minutes

The above are now available for members to peruse here.


Archie Kenneth Quaich Result

The 28th annual amateur piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich took place on Saturday, 29th February 2020, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh.

The winner was Andrew Park playing the Rout of Glenfruin. Other prizes:
2 Stuart Gaudin (The Groat)
3 Gill Cairns (Lament for John Morrison of Assynt House)
4 Stewart Letford (Maol Donn).

The winner receives the Quaich from Music Committee Chairman Alan Forbes

The competition is sponsored and promoted by the Society in memory of our former Music Committee Editor Archie Kenneth. Judges were Donald MacPhee and Patricia Henderson.

Here is the full list of those who played:


John Don MacKenzie – Battle of Bealach nam Brog (unpublished setting)

Graeme Roy – Park Piobaireachd 2

Hector MacFadyen – MacDonald’s Salute

Duncan MacFadyen – Blind Piper’s Obstinacy

Jack Taylor – Lament for MacSwan of Roaig

John Wilson – Lachlan MacNeill Campbell of Kintarbert’s Fancy


Set Tunes 2020

The Piobaireachd Society recommends the following for competitions in 2020:
A. SENIOR COMPETITIONS
The Unjust Incarceration* – PS 2
Lament for Donald Ban MacCrimmon – PS 2, K
Patrick Og MacCrimmon’s Lament** – PS 3
The Sound of the Waves against the Castle of Duntroon – PS 6, K
Nameless Cherede Darievea – PS 8, K
The Laird of Anapool’s Lament – PS 9
MacLeod of Colbeck’s Lament – PS 10
Mrs MacLeod of Talisker’s Salute – PS 11
Lament for the Harp Tree – PS 12, K
Lament for King George III – PS 14

Competitors will submit six of the above tunes, one of which they will be required to play.
* For the purposes of the Senior competitions this tune should be played with the inclusion of the “optional” 3rd line, as recorded in Piobaireachd Society Book 2.
** For the purposes of the Senior competitions this tune should be played with the inclusion of Donald MacDonald’s additional variation (singling and doubling), as recorded in Piobaireachd society Book 3. 

PS = Piobaireachd Society Collection; K = Kilberry Book of Ceol Mor

Competitors are not restricted to settings in the Piobaireachd Society Collection and Kilberry Book. Those who wish to play alternative settings should submit legible scores, indicating the origins of the settings, to competition organisers along with their tune selections. Altogether different tunes known by the same or similar names will not be accepted as alternatives.

B. GOLD MEDAL COMPETITIONS
Competitors will submit eight tunes of their own choice, one of which they will be required to play.

C. SILVER MEDAL COMPETITIONS
Competitors will submit six tunes of their own choice, one of which they will be required to play. This announcement is without prejudice to any arrangements made by either the Argyllshire Gathering or the Northern Meeting.
For the Music Committee,
Ronald McShannon, 2 Ascot Avenue, Glasgow, G12 0AX.