The Oban Times, 15 February, 1913
Piobaireachd Society’s New Rules
12 February, 1913
Sir,–I have always considered that the Piobaireachd Society were doing good work for our national music, and that the piping world owes them a debt of gratitude for their efforts to bring pipe music more prominently before the public; but there was one of their rules to which I had a strong objection, and I do not think I was the only one of the same mind. The Society always insisted on competitors playing the setting given out by them. Of course, they were perfectly within their rights in doing so; they gave the prize, and were entitled to make their own conditions, but was it judicious?
In my humble opinion, for the Society to metal with those ancient settings, handed down from father to son, was little short of sacrilege, and I know for a fact that this prevented more than one good piobaireachd player from going forward to their competitions.
I am delighted to observe that now better counsels prevail, and that these Society settings are not in future to be insisted on. The effect of this, I am sure, will be an increased number of competitors coming forward, and better music heard. I think it is quite possible there may be some minor mistakes in these old settings (probably printer’ s errors); by all means correct those, but leave the rest alone. They are the work of men who had the art of piobaireachd in their very blood, and I do not think there is a piper living today that can compose anything equal to them.
The present secretary of the Music Committee is a player, and a good judge–a man who, I really think, gives his decisions without fear or favour, and I confidently expect the Piobaireachd Society under his leadership will go on and flourish.
I should like the subject taken up and ventilated by an abler pen than mine, and there is no better paper in Scotland for the purpose than “The Oban Times.” Hoping you can find a corner for this letter in your valuable space, I am, etc.,
A Lover of Piobaireachd