The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

Melbank’s Salute

Thanks to Gregor Speirs for this recording of  his broadcast of Melbank's Salute....

Ballindalloch Manuscript

The Ballindalloch manuscript, written by Donald MacKay, nephew of Angus MacKay, has now been added to the website.  It contains 23 tunes, and is a significant addition to our collection, complimenting the manuscript written by John Smith, around the same time.  Both manuscript show mainly the styl...

The Fairy Flag

A recording of John Macfadyen playing The Fairy Flag has been added. He plays the version which existed previous to that in book 16, which is an edited version....

New recording of Massacre of Glencoe in Donald MacDonald style

Very many thanks to Roddy MacLeod for giving us permission to publish this recording of his performance of the Massacre of Glencoe at the Donald MacDonald Cuaich competition this year. This adds to our growing collection of recordings illustrating this way of playing.  ...

 

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.