The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen


Digital book 1

The Piobaireachd Society book 1 is now available, price £9.99, for  i.Devices and android tablets to add to book 9.  Books 2-8 will follow soon.  Tunes in book 1 are Finger Lock, Big Spree *, Groat*, Pass of Crieff*, Bridge of Perth, Castle of Dunyveg*, Viscount Dundee*, Lament for Finlay, MacSw...

Set Tune Notes 2014

Here are the set tune notes from the judges' seminar where the 2nd half of each set tune list was discussed.   Notes on 2014 Senior Tunes  Notes on 2014 Gold Medal Tunes Notes on 2014 Silver Medal Tunes   ...

Digital Book 9 with links to tunes and sources

A digital version of book 9, for iPhone/iPad and android devices, with links to available recordings of tunes and to the Piobaireachd Society tune page is now available on the CoP bookstore app, price £9.99  Books 1-8 will follow.  The app can be found from your iPad/iPhone or android phone or ta...

John MacDonald’s Prelude

Thanks to Paula Glendinning for the recording and score of this, one of the few compositions of John MacDonald of Inverness. He is understood to have used this as a tuning prelude before performing one of the bigger pieces that had predominance of the high G. Nothing is known of the source from ...



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.