The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

A new MacCrimmon composition

Thanks to Iain MacCrimmon for sending his composition, Salute to Malcolm R MacCrimmon.  It's good to see that the family is back composing after a few years off. Although born in Canada, Iain is in the direct line of the MacCrimmon family, back through to Donald Ruadh MacCrimmon.  He believes t...

Is Lament for Patrick Og misnamed?

It is curious that the tune we know as Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon, said to have been composed by Iain Dall MacKay on hearing a false report of Patrick Og's death, is known in the Campbell Canntaireachd as Couloddin's Lament.  Ronald Smith speculates why here, and wonders if the tune was in fa...

Archie Kenneth Quaich 2018

THE ARCHIE KENNETH QUAICH COMPETITION The twenty-sixth annual amateur Piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich will take place on Saturday, 3rd March 2018, in the rooms of The Royal Scottish Pipers' Society, 127 Rose Street Lane South, Edinburgh, starting at 10 a.m. Entries and e...

Conference 2017 tunes and talks

The talks and recordings made at this year's conference are now available to Piobaireachd Society members here, including the fiddle pibroch which was the highlight for some. Sit back and enjoy!  ...

 

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.