Invented by pipers: Competition 2/4 Marches

March 26, 2023 on 6:49 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Score & Sound File, Solo Piping, Stories, Video | Comments Off on Invented by pipers: Competition 2/4 Marches

Here’s a couple of tunes that number among my favourite: Inveran, made by one of the greatest pipers – dare I say musician – to ever live, George Stewart McLennan and Millbank Cottage by William Dumbreck, a man who held the title of Pipe Major in two regiments: The Black Watch and The Royal Scots.

This style of tune – intricate and heavily embellished with many technical figures – is a branch of pipe music that we can safely say was invented by pipers. Pipers love strathspeys but we know they were born of the fiddle. Jigs? Who knows but they likely sprung from any number of fiddlers, whistle-players and nimble singers of puirt à beul.
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MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart with Canntaireachd

March 14, 2023 on 3:34 pm by Michael Grey | In Music, Solo Piping, Stories, Video | Comments Off on MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart with Canntaireachd

A piece of music that is in the back pocket of most experienced players of piobaireachd is the tune, Maol Donn. Better known, maybe, as “MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart”. It’s a beautifully assembled composition that sits perfectly in a major key of the Great Highland Bagpipe’s tonal centre. In the context of piobaireachd composition, it’s a very old tune, likely composed in the early part of the 18th century, a golden age of piobaireachd creation. At around 12 minutes in length it’s just-right for an around-the-games sort of tune for competition.
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