The Oban Times, 19 July, 1930
The MacCrimmons and a Monument
Inveran Hotel, Invershin, Sutherland, 10 July, 1930
Sir,–I would like to ask Mr. John Grant through the medium of your esteemed paper by what authority he is supported when he makes such a vague and unfounded statements regarding the MacCrimmons of Boreraig and their teaching. Mr. Grant states–
“I am quite sure that they, the MacCrimmons, did not know one hundred and ninety-five tunes.” and again he states,–
“One might endeavour to raise a memorial to a MacCrimmon who taught each pupil forty to fifty tunes, but the MacCrimmon who taught one hundred and ninety-five tunes never lived.”
“There was a day when I played a great many Piobaireachd, but even yet I can memorise and play six twenties (120).”
That being so, there is surely nothing wonderful in attributing one hundred and ninety-five Piobaireachd to the credit of the greatest masters that ever lived. Mr. Grant talks about one hundred and ninety-five Piobaireachd being equal to a minimum of so many thousand staves, bars and notes, and six hundred pages of music. It is, of course, extremely ridiculous to associate the MacCrimmons with such terms as staves and bars; they knew of no such thing, but certainly had their own method of recording, which could be done as briefly as the most modern style of the present day.
In conclusion let me heartily congratulate and endorse all that Mr. Somerled MacDonald so concisely and correctly writes in his contribution of 25th June, as indeed he has done each time he put his masterly pen to paper; and let us hope that as much as possible of his undisputed knowledge will be acquired and noted while the opportunity presents itself, in order that at any future time when the rights of the Piobaireachd may be assailed, it will stand as a sure and firm defence.