OT: 27 March 1926 – John Grant “Toarluath and Crunluath and Piobaireachd”



The Oban Times, 27 March, 1926

 Toarluath and Crunluath and Piobaireachd

Edinburgh, 19th of March 1926

 Sir,–For Mr. McLennan’s information I would again say (to make matters clear) that I wrote the Toarluath on D, as D B A melody notes, with a high g grace note on D, a low g grace note between D and B, and a low g grace note between D and A, and then e grace note on the A.

I also wrote Crunluath on D, as D B E E melody notes, with a high G grace note on D; a low g grace note between D and B; another low g grace between B and E, and a group of a f a grace notes between the two E’s. This is surely now clear. Only one A is necessary in this movement in the Toarluath, and no A at all in the Crunluath, as I have explained it.

But I was also taught to play these movements on D, as D A A melody notes and Toarluath, and D A E E melody notes in Crunluath in the same manner as those played on A B C E F G and high A. There are two methods of playing the movements, and it is for me to make a choice of which I am to write and play; although I favour the latter for performance.

Let me bring Mr. McLennan back to the important technical point. Would he answer my question “why did his father right Crunluath on A fourteen times in his book as Angus Mackay does if he did not intended to be played?”

In his closing paragraph Mr. McLennan says:–”when Mr. Grant proves his ability as a piper in open competition, I may be inclined to act on his advice.” I can play the pipes, teach the pipes, and explain their music. I do not required to enter into competition to do that. I have composed and published many piobaireachdan, and laid them before Mr. McLennan. Composition is the highest test of ability in the art of music. I have had the signal honour of having my original compositions and piobaireachd accepted by His Majesty the King, an honour of which I am justly proud. The Piobaireachd Society also accepted from my hand an original piobaireachd entitled “The Piobaireachd Society’s Salute,” as well as many others who are proud of our classical music.

I have also laid before the piping world a work entitled “Piobaireachd: Its Origin and Construction,” a very valuable and comprehensive work on the art of Piobaireachd, which besides being also accepted by His Majesty the King, lies in the library of His Majesty’s War Office, and for which I hold an official receipt.

I have also received from the Highland society of London a “hall mark” for ability in Piobaireachd and piping, of which I am justly proud, and fully appreciate in the highest sense.–I am, etc.,

John Grant

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