OT: 6 March 1926 – John Grant (2) [“Toarluath and Crunluath in Piobaireachd”]



The Oban Times, 6 March, 1926

[Toarluath and Crunluath in Piobaireachd]

Edinburgh, 26 February, 1926

Sir,–I have much pleasure in sending you (by permission) a copy of a letter which I have received from London on the above subject:

Donside, 57 Tunley Road, Balham,

London, S.W. 17, 16th Feb. 1926

Dear Mr. Grant,–As one of the old school of pipers, I have been greatly interested in your letters in the “Oban Times.” In 1859 I went to Duncan Campbell to learn piobaireachd. He taught me Crunluath the same as in Mackay’s book, note for note. All through 1861 I was taught by Donald Cameron, who played Crunluath the same as in Mackay’s book. In 1863 and part of 1864 I was under John Ban Mackenzie, Breadalbane. He also used Mackay’s book, which is as the MacCrimmons played the Crunluath.  John McAllister, piper to the Duke of Sutherland, played the same as written in Mackay’s book, and I do till this day. Anyone who does not play Mackay’s Crunluath is not playing correctly as played by the MacCrimmons. My teaching that I have had from these pipers goes back 90 years and more, and they were taught by the descendents of the MacCrimmons.–Yours sincerely, J. F. Farquharson (late piper to H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh).

Mr. Farquharson is well over 80 years of age, and his fingers are quite good yet. He says that he won the silver-mounted Dirk at Inverness in 1874. Mr. Farquharson also played off, with Wm. MacDonald (late piper to the Prince of Wales) for the sporran in 1868, and the former won it.

Surely this is genuine proof of several things, one of which is that Angus Mackay was the saviour of piobaireachd, a performer and a collector who was above reproach.–I am, etc.,

John Grant

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