The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

Lady Anapool’s Lament

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

Set Tunes 2014

The set tunes for 2014 are now available Set Tunes 2014 - Notice...

Salute to the Famous 13th, 42nd and 73rd

Composed by Master Corporal Jeff McCarthy in honour of the 150th anniversary of The Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada 1862-2012.  The composition was inspired by the regiment's 150th anniversary in 2012....

John MacDonald of Inverness

John MacDonald of Inverness needs no introduction to the piobaireachd enthusiast.  He was an inspirational player and teacher whose piobaireachd lineage could be traced via the MacPhersons and the Camerons to the MacCrimmons. In this new article Roderick Cannon tells of his life and times.  Mor...

 

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.