The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

New Piobaireachd Society website

Welcome to our new website. We hope you will find it easier to find your way around, and that the new features such as information about each tune and direct links to source manuscripts, recordings from the Robert Reid archive and other new recordings such as those by Iain Speirs, John Burgess, J...

Archie Kenneth Quaich 2013

    THE ARCHIE KENNETH QUAICH COMPETITION The twenty-first annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 2nd March 2013, in the rooms of the Royal Scottish Pipers' Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 10am. Entries and e...

Robert Reid Archive

The Piobaireachd Society has been fortunate in acquiring tapes left by Robert Reid.  We are grateful to his family for permission to publish these.  The tapes have now been digitalised and are available to Piobaireachd Society members. Robert Reid was a pupil of John MacDougall Gillies for 18 ...

 

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.