The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

New recordings

Recordings of Ronald MacDonald of Morar by Hector Macfadyen, Lady MacDonald's Lament by Duncan MacFadyen, and The Stewart's White Banner by Callum Beumont have now been added to the website....

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...

Set tunes 2016

The set tunes for 2016 are now available here. Score for the MacDonald's Salute Thank you to Colin MacLellan for providing the definitive score for The Phantom Piper of Corrieayairack and a recording of its composer, his father, John MacLellan playing it. Notes on 2015 Senior Tunes   ...

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....

 

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.