OT: 4 December 1915 – Colin Sinclair [“The Bagpipe Chanter Scale”]

The Oban Times, 4 December, 1915

[The Bagpipe Chanter Scale]

29 November, 1915

Sir,–As J. P. M. has expressed his interest to hear me further on this matter, I beg to say that I am glad to note that our difference of opinion has been focused into so small a point as the pitch of one note, viz., upper G.

While I recognise the erudition of J. P . M. in musical theory, and am prepared to accept his assertion as to his experience of the value of this note, I am afraid I have to confess my adherence still to what I might call–if the term “compromise” is debarred–it’s “flexibility”; its value probably varying with the particular instrument.

With regard to the “Alma” tune, certainly “tah” suits better than “te,” but then “te” suits better than “tah” for certain other tunes, such as “Dòmhnull Dubh” and “John Bàn Mackenzie.” Hence there may be something in the “compromise” after all.

In concluding my part in this controversy, a desire to think your correspondents who have contributed much to my knowledge of the theory of bagpipe music, which, as I indicated at the outset, was of a somewhat fragmentary order.–I am, etc.,

Colin Sinclair