The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

2019 Conference Proceedings

The text and picture presentation of Jack Taylor's talk 'New Evidence about the Old Competitions' is now available to Piobaireachd Society members here. ...

Set Tunes 2020

The Piobaireachd Society recommends the following for competitions in 2020: A. SENIOR COMPETITIONS The Unjust Incarceration* - PS 2Lament for Donald Ban MacCrimmon - PS 2, KPatrick Og MacCrimmon's Lament** - PS 3The Sound of the Waves against the Castle of Duntroon - PS 6, KNameless Cherede D...

PS Conference 2019 Report

Stalwarts celebrate another successful conference. Our move from Birnam to the National Piping Centre was a success. An audience of 50-60 attended during the day and those who stayed for dinner enjoyed a premiere of a new composition, a Victorian piobaireachd, a drinking tune from the Campbell ...

Archie Kenneth Quaich Results 2019

L-R Stuart Letford, Gill Cairns, Tom Peterkin, Andrew Park, John Forbes. The Archie Kenneth Quaich 2019 26 pipers played at this ever-popular amateur piobaireachd contest, including pipers who travelled from Singapore, North America, Switzerla...

 

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.