The Piobaireachd Society
Patron HM The Queen

News

Notes from Judges Seminar on 2018 Gold Medal Tunes

The notes from the judges seminar on the 2018 Gold Medal Tunes are below.  They have also been added to each tune page, where there are new recordings of some of the tunes.  We are grateful to the players for giving permission to use previous recordings, to those who made new recordings for the pu...

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...

 

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.