OT: 20 July 1929 – Seton Gordon “Problems and Piping / A Desirable Inquiry”



The Oban Times, 20 July, 1929

Problems and Piping
A Desirable Inquiry

Achantoul, Aviemore, Inverness-shire, 8 July, 1929

Sir,–In the widely read columns of the “Oban Times” we have of late been reading with pleasure the correspondence on what has become known as “the redundant A.”

May I suggest that you, Sir, should approach the most celebrated half dozen pipers of the present age, and ask them to inform the readers of the “Oban Times” whether this so-called redundant “A” in Toarluadh and Crunluadh is, or is not, played.

Presumably if none of them play it the matter is set at rest. If all of them play it, the matter is likewise so that rest; and only if some of them play it, and others do not, will any doubt remain on the subject.

I suppose that most pipers would place the following amongst the best six pipers of the day (now that unhappily George MacLennan has passed away):–

Pipe-Major John MacDonald, Inverness.
Pipe-Major Robert Reid, Glasgow.
Pipe-Major William Ross, Edinburgh Castle.
Angus Macpherson, Invershin, or his son, Malcolm Macpherson.
Pipe-Major John MacDonald, Scots Guards.
Pipe-Major William Gray, Glasgow.
John MacDonald, Govan Police.

Let them tell us, and overseas readers of the “Oban Times,” what they have learned from the old masters, so that the matter may be decided beyond dispute.–I am, etc.,

Seton Gordon

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