The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

More judges notes 2013

The notes, with sound clips, for the remaining Senior  Gold Medal and Silver Medal tunes from the recent judges' seminar are now available.  Complete information is on the Set Tunes page or on tune pages for individual tunes....

Conference Report 2013

The annual conference was held in Birnam Hotel Dunkeld on the weekend of 23rd/24th March.   Members can see and hear the full proceedings here. The first paper was given by Andrew Wright who considered the Piobaireachd Legacy of Donald MacLeod.  He played examples of some of Donald's compositio...

James Campbell recordings

James Campbell, son of Archibald Campbell Kilberry, left an archive of around 170 piobaireachd recorded on the goose to demonstrate the style of playing given to his father and which forms the basis of the Piobaireachd Society Collection and the Kilberry book.   James was a leading member of the Pi...

Lady Anapool’s Lament

A new recording of a BBC broadcast of Lady Anapool's Lament by John Stewart, Aberdeen is now available...

 

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.