OT: 23 January 1926 – William Gray “Toarluath and Crunluath Notes in Piobaireachd”



The Oban Times, 23 January, 1926

Toarluath and Crunluath Notes in Piobaireachd

Glasgow, 16 January, 1926

Sir,–From Mr. John Grant’s letter in your issue of 16th inst., I do not find any proof that Angus Mackay’s noting in his book of the Toarluath and Crunluath notes is correct.

Mr. Grant says–”The correct method of playing Toarluath and Crunluath has been handed down from the actual performance upon the chanter, and has not depended upon writing.” If this is correct, why does Mr. Grant take in the authority of Mackay’s notation?

Next, he attacks the Piobaireachd Society, finds fault with their phraseology, and then says–”According to the Piobaireachd Society, the secret of playing these movements correctly is lost to them at least.” Does Mr. Grant think for one moment that the Piobaireachd Society has made statements regarding these notes on their own authority? Let me inform him that they have consulted the most eminent authorities, past and present, who had all, previous to the Society’s latest issue, certified that there was no redundant “A” in the formation of the notes referred to. Unfortunately, they did not consult Mr. Grant. Why?

Apart from the foregoing, here are the names of a few whom I have heard playing the Toarluath and Crunluath notes as I do, viz., the late Sandy Cameron, the late Pipe-Major J. MacDougall Gillies, Pipe-Major Wm. Ross, Edinburgh; Pipe-Major George McClellan, Aberdeen; Pipe-Major Wm. MacLean, Glasgow; and many others too numerous to mention.

If Mr. Grant still wishes to confute, I would prefer that he would do so on the pipes at a place where he can be heard by all, and thus display his skill in piobaireachd.–I am, etc.,

William Gray

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