When I was hard at it learning Scottish Gaelic I used to get right into the old proverbs – songs, too, thanks to my teacher, Isabel MacDonald. But, I have to say, I loved the proverbs and poems (especially Duncan Ban MacIntyre).
One of my prized “piping possessions” is a signed copy of John Wilson’s autobiography, “A Professional Piper in Peace and War“: the front page, inscribed in broad strokes, “With all good wishes, Michael, from the author, John Wilson, 13th, January, 1979″. Sweet.
Pipers are some of the most competitive-minded people on the planet. Gather a few pipers, throw a shoe box up for grabs (a functional, if not stylish, trophy), find a judge and, voila, you’ve got the makings of a grand solo piping event.
I came across this quote recently; it comes from Book III of Benjamin Jowett’s translation of Plato‘s Republic. It speaks to the fraternity of musicians, and, of course, the fraternity of pipers. It makes a person feel good about a lifetime study of music. Like a perfectly tuned low A against a vintage set of sonorous MacDougalls: it resonates: