OT: 19 December 1925 – John Grant “Toarluath and Crunluath in Piobaireachd”



The Oban Times, 19 December, 1925

Toarluath and Crunluath in Piobaireachd

27 Comely Bank Street, Edinburgh, 7 December, 1925

Sir,–in reply to your correspondents on the above subject, I have no hesitation in saying that the Toarluath and Crunluath, as noted in Angus Mackay’s book or Donald McPhee’s are both absolutely correct.

Take the Toarluath and Crunluath in “Macintosh’s Lament” in Angus Mackay’s Book of Piobaireachd. Every note which he writes is required. His noting is in accordance with the system of the great Skye Masters, the MacCrimmons, and can easily be played in tune.

I was taught to play Toarluath and Crunluath by a man who could play it, and received it from the direct MacCrimmon line, and I can play it as Mackay writes it. What his notion was when he wrote differently on D I cannot tell, but I was taught to play D in the same way as A, C or E, and so on.

The movement on B in Toarluath and Crunluath where it comes to low G melody note does not require a low A note, and the reason is obvious.

Any man who cannot play Toarluath and Crunluath as Mackay writes them is not a piobaireachd player. I say emphatically that there is only one way of playing the plain Toarluath and Crunluath in Piobaireachd, and Mackay has it.

The throw on D which was queried sometime ago should be written as follows:–The grace notes G, D, G, C should appear before the melody note D.–I am, etc.,

John Grant

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