OT: 16 July 1910 – Charles Bannatyne

The Oban Times, 16 July, 1910

Salsburgh, 11 July, 1910

Sir,–I have been greatly interested in all the discussions of the Piobaireachd Society’s music. One correspondent, misinterpreting one of my letters in which I ask him to state the difference between a tune written in minims at 80 m. to the minute and the same in crotchets at 80 c. to the minute, rightly states that they are similar, and then adds that no one would use a metronome for bagpipe music. I never recommended its use. I say that any tune written in minims I can write equally well in crotchets. The great error made by those who support the minim as the standard bead is that they mentally give it absolute time, while theoretically and in practice it has by itself no absolute time.

The great apostle of the minim says: “the demisemiquaver has no place in pipe music except as a grace note.” With notes only possessing relative time, why has the demisemiquaver no place in pipe music? The question is already answered. I am, etc.,

Charles Bannatyne, M.B., C.M.