OT: 2 August 1929 – John Grant [“Toarluath and Crunluath”]



The Oban Times, 3 August, 1929

[Toarluath and Crunluath]

27 Comely Bank Street, Edinburgh, 26 July, 1929

Sir,–I quite agree that a public enquiry might do a lot to clear the air in this matter, but it would be altogether futile to attempt to settle a matter of so much importance by such a method as that suggested by Mr. Seton Gordon in your issue at the 20th of July.

We are not concerned as to who is the best player of Piobaireachd; and the poorest performer of the Art we would not despise. What your correspondent has to do is to prove that Toarluadh and Crunluadh cannot be played as it was written by Angus Mackay?

I mention Angus Mackay’s name because he was the greatest living authority of his time, and more than that, had it not been for Angus Mackay one would never have set eyes on many of the Piobaireachd which we have the privilege of playing to-day.

Best players is not the all-important thing in this matter. Good players is sufficient for me. The best players play for prizes, but good players keep Piobaireachd alive, as well as keeping the Highland bagpipe makers busy. Pipe playing concerns to-day only, but this question regarding the Toarluath and Crunluath concerns the preservation of the crowning movements in Piobaireachd in their original and correct form.

Now let those gentleman mentioned by Mr. Seton Gordon come forward and give a demonstration and minute explanation of the movements concerned in public, and we shall then see what they can do in that line. This would serve as a perfect test of their ability in the widest sphere of and all round master of piping in all its branches.–I am, etc.

John Grant

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