The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

A Piper’s Farewell to his Pipes

Thank you to Steven Knox for sending his composition A Piper's Farewell to his Pipes.  He says that this tune seeks to express the feelings of a piper who is no longer able to play, as he puts his pipes back in their box for the last time.  As in some other laments, grief is mixed with frustration...

Archie Kenneth Quaich

THE ARCHIE KENNETH QUAICH COMPETITION The twenty-fourth annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 5th March 2016, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers' Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 10am. Entries and enqu...

Bratach Gorm tunes

The Scottish Piping Society of London has released the scores of the tunes for the 2015 Bratach Gorm here. Four tunes to be submitted....

 

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.