OT: 17 August 1912 – John MacLennan “The Piobaireachd Society’s New Collection”

The Oban Times, 17 August, 1912

The Piobaireachd Society’s New Collection

12 August, 1912

Sir,–One of the many faults “Fear aig am bheil fios” finds with me in your issue of the 10th inst. Is my criticising Part VI of the Piobaireachd Society’s publication because “it is not out yet.” I crave a corner of your valuable paper to place the subject in its true light before the numerous readers of “The Oban Times.”

“Fear aig am bheil fios” (One who Knows) should know that there are now six consecutive parts of the Piobaireachd Society’s book published, each containing different tunes, and appearing at different times. The first was by far the best. It was edited by the late

Major-General Thomason and by Mr. James McKillop, jun., two gentlemen who knew their business, and who left no room for anyone to criticise.

The second part had the appearance of having been edited by persons deficient of musical knowledge. It contained so many errors that “The Oban Times” reviewer designated it a “comedy of errors,” and another critic said the book ought to be entitled “our own make,” by all which the Society inserted in a later part the names of four prominent pipers, presumably to give confidence, and at the same time to deter weaklings from lifting pen or voice in dispraise of the book; but withal the criticism has gone on to such an extent that it was found expedient not to issue a book last year.

I do not know what “One who Knows” may have in his possession, but I have six parts of this book, and it is the sixth part I criticised in your issue of the 27th ult. The Piobaireachd Society blundered in numbering the volumes, but that is no reason why I should follow suit.

Let “Fear aig am bheil fios” come to the front, say who and what he is, and I shall then verify every word in dispute to the full satisfaction of all reasonable persons, and at the same time I will tear the statements of “One who Knows” to shreds, and scatter them through Gaeldom, but to correspond with a man shooting from behind a hedge I will not.–I am, etc.,

John MacLennan