OT: 2 February 1935 – [unsigned] “Prince of Wales as Composer” [Review]



The Oban Times, 2 February, 1935

Prince of Wales as Composer
Slow March For Scots Guards
Pipe-Majors’ Verdicts on Royal Tune

 The Prince of Wales has composed a slow march for the bagpipes entitled “Mallorca,” and has presented the original score, written in his own hand, to the Scots Guards.

The pipe bands of both battalions are at present practising the music under the direction of Pipe-Majors Alexander MacDonald and J. B. Robertson, and it is expected that it will be used exclusively at the changing of the guard ceremonies in Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace, being particularly suitable for that purpose.

The tune was heard for the first time in public on Friday night at the London Burns Club dinner at Grosvenor House. It was played as a surprise item by Pipe-Major D. Taylor of the Royal Caledonian Schools, Bushey, and was loudly cheered by the many experts present. Pipe-Major Taylor said afterwards: “The Prince has written a very fine march with a beautiful melody. It will be very popular.”

 Learned Piping at School

The Prince of Wales has always been fond of pipe music, and is president of the Scottish Piper’s Society. When he was at Eton he received instruction in the playing of this difficult instrument from Pipe-Major William Ross of the 2nd Scots Guards, and later when he was at Oxford he was in the habit of practising with his former tutor once or twice a week. The Prince of Wales often played the music of the bagpipes for the reels at any of the dances which were held in his college. Pipe-Major Ross speaks of him as a very apt pupil who took a keen interest in his playing.

 The Prince of Wales again started practicing the pipes a few months ago under the tuition of Pipe-Major Henry Forsyth, piper to the King. He has also interested himself in the history and technique of pipe music, and as a result decided to try his hand at composing. His first attempt, “Mallorca,” was so good that the Prince of Wales decided to offer it to the Scots Guards, who have received it with enthusiasm.

A Rare Tune”

“A rare tune” was the comment of Pipe-Major MacDonald when speaking of the music. “The Prince has obviously spent a great deal of time and trouble over it, and has produced a really fine piece of pipe music–and pipe music is not easy to write.”

Pipe-Major Robertson, who is in charge of the band at Wellington Barracks, was equally enthusiastic. “The tune has been included in our regular repertoire,” he said, “and we shall probably play it at the various ceremonies.”

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