The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

John Smith Manuscript

A manuscript of 79 Piobaireachd written by John Smith (1840-1877) given to the Piobaireachd Society in 1928 has now been added to the website.  In contains some tunes not published elsewhere, such as the Brothers Lament, and many settings not heard today.  Hiharins are written several ways, taorl...

Annual Conference 2015 report

Thank you to Robert Wallace, Piobaireachd Society Vice President, for this report about the Annual Conference which took place in Birnam Hotel Dunkeld at the weekend. The full details will be recorded in the Conference Proceedings in due course....

Archie Kenneth Quaich Results

Archie Kenneth Quaich 2015 The 23rd annual Archie Kenneth Quaich competition for amateur piobaireachd players was held in the Royal Scottish Pipers' Society rooms in Edinburgh on Saturday 7 March.   The competition is sponsored by the Piobaireachd Society.   The Archie Kenneth Quaich was won,...

Compositions by Matt Turnbull

Thanks to Matt Turnbull for sending these compositions, one of which is an arrangement of that great Piobaireachd Lament for Ronald MacDonald of Morar. The Widower's Sorrow For my teacher Willie Connell on the passing of his wife Betty [audio mp3="https://www.piobaireachd.co.uk/wp-content/u...

 

Welcome

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.