The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen



Membership of the Piobaireachd Society is open to all with an interest in the classical music of the great Highland bagpipe, ceol mor, great music, or, as it is best known today, 'piobaireachd' pronounced, approximately, 'pee-per-ach'. Memberships are available for Individual £15 (one year) or ...


The twenty-eighth annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 29th February 2020, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers' Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 09.30 a.m.  The competition is promoted by the Piob...


The Piobaireachd Society Teachers List is published with the aim of facilitating the teaching of piobaireachd. How it works: Those struggling for a teacher email the Secretary and he puts the prospective pupil in touch with the prospective tutor. More here. The Piobaireachd Society Bursary aims ...


The best books on piobaireachd are available from the Piobaireachd Society, some with members' discount. Trade inquiries welcome to Kilt pins and ties are also available via our online shop. Check out our very competitive prices, and pay by PayPal. Save the digital boo...

Set Tunes 2020

The Piobaireachd Society recommends the following for competitions in 2020: A. SENIOR COMPETITIONS The Unjust Incarceration* - PS 2Lament for Donald Ban MacCrimmon - PS 2, KPatrick Og MacCrimmon's Lament** - PS 3The Sound of the Waves against the Castle of Duntroon - PS 6, KNameless Cherede D...



When the Highlands and Islands of Scotland adopted the bagpipe, perhaps some seven hundred years ago, pipers began to develop it 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’).

Piobaireachd is unique to this instrument. It cannot be successfully reproduced on any other. (The name piobaireachd is literally ‘piping’ in Gaelic.)

This classical pipe music consists of a theme, known as the ground, or in Gaelic the urlar (‘oorlar’), and variations on this theme.

The theme can express joy, sadness, or sometimes, in the ‘gathering’ tunes, a peremptory warning or call to arms.

Variations on the theme usually progress to the ‘crunluath’ variation, where the piper’s fingers give a dazzling technical display of embellishments or gracenotes.

The Piobaireachd Society was founded in 1901 to encourage the playing teaching and study of this music.