Piobaireachd Society Annual Newsletter 2012
The Society continues in good heart. Membership is now around 500. Thank you for your support. In particular we have many student members, surely getting good value for their £5 annual subscription.
Our main event last year was the publication of Donald MacDonald Volume 2, usually known as Donald MacDonald’s unpublished manuscript. This completes our series of scholarly publications of Piobaireachd documented before Angus MacKay’s “bible” of 1838. MacKay’s way is still followed almost exclusively to this day. All these pre Angus MacKay works showed differences to this, and these are now easily available for anyone to see.
Seeing is one thing but hearing is another. We can never know how the “pre-MacKay” music sounded, so the Music Committee’s decision to set examples for the Senior Competitions was always potentially controversial or maybe even courageous. The senior players did these more than justice, due to their expertise, musicianship and diligence. Everyone will have an opinion, but surely it was good to let this music see the light of day. Time will tell whether it becomes incorporated in the standard repertoire. We are back on more familiar ground this year with Craigellachie, Colbeck and The Unjust Incarceration on the senior lists, and beautiful smaller tunes such as Donald of Laggan, The Bicker and MacLeod’s Controversy in the Silver Medal. The Gold Medal selection is less familiar, but all good tunes.
One of our aims is to make as much of the repertoire available in sound now that it can all be seen. The sound clips on our website go some way towards that, but there are many tunes we don’t have. Recordings of current players and past masters are commercially available and we have no wish to inhibit that, but there are undoubtedly many excellent recordings which would be of interest and which would complement what is already there. If you have anything you think would be suitable please let us know.