OT: 25 September 1915 – John Grant

The Oban Times, 25 September, 1915

27 Comely Bank Street, Edinburgh, 20 September, 1915

Sir,–In reply to “Musaeus,” I again confirm my statement that as Mr. MacPharlain admits that he cannot play the pipes, then he knows nothing whatever of the real merits of its music, and I also again uphold the fact that Highland Bagpipe music and Gaelic song have no connection. I suppose your correspondent signs himself “Musaeus” because he does not know Gaelic. I also presume that he obviously hides himself under “Musaeus,” instead of signing his own name, to hide his ignorance of Highland Bagpipe music. Mr. MacPharlain has a pen flowing with deep and far-fetched devices, but hopelessly effective strategy, and “Musaeus” should leave him to speak for himself. I mean what I say–that there are nine notes in the bagpipe chanter scale, and if Mr. MacPharlain was an expert, as he professes, he would never have spoiled his reputation by making such a statement.

“Musaeus” says “that there are only eight notes in any scale,” which the intelligent know. He now knows that there are only eight notes in the bagpipe chanter scale after I have told him, but I challenge him to let me know where I will find it written, or where he has written, the fact that the bagpipe scale has only eight notes and the compass of the chanter is nine notes, until I had drawn his attention and enlightened him on this fact. When this correspondent says that I have no knowledge of the Gaelic language he is mistaken. I can be seen or met at any time, and, what is of more significance, in person and name.–I am, etc.,

John Grant