The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

Archie Kenneth Quaich

THE ARCHIE KENNETH QUAICH COMPETITION The twentieth annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 3rd March 2012, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers' Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 10am. Entries and enquir...

Conference 2011 Report

Conference Report 2011 It was another good conference by all accounts with a good mix of talk and tunes.  It might have been subtitled MacDonald as there was much reference to John and Donald. The COP lecture was given on Friday evening by Piobaireachd Society President Jack Taylor who talked...

Donald MacDonald

Donald MacDonald Volume 2 Manuscript (1826)

The Piobaireachd Society is pleased to announce the publication of Donald MacDonald's Collection of Piobaireachd Volume 2, manuscript (1826), by Roderick Cannon and Keith Sanger.  It is available price £30 from the Piping Centre and the College of Piping. Volume 1, Donald MacDonald's book of Pio...

General Thomason Centenary

A successful event was held on 12 July in Inverallan Cemetery Grantown on Spey to mark 100 years since the death of General Charles Thomason.  General Thomason was the author of the biggest ever collection of Piobaireachd, Ceol Mor, published in 1900. It was the first collection to lay out piobaire...

 

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.