OT: 13 March 1926 – A Ghlas Mheur [“Toarluath and Crunluath in Piobaireachd”]

The Oban Times, 13 March, 1926

[Toarluath and Crunluath in Piobaireachd]

6 March, 1926

Sir,–Like Mr. Allan Thomson, I have been following up the correspondence on the above subject which has been appearing in your paper for some time, and I am much surprised to find that Mr. Thomson is of the opinion that everything in Mackay’s book is correct.

Could your correspondent inform us why Mackay does not show a superfluous note in the Toarluath and Crunluath on D, also from B closing to G? I find that the first two A’s in the little finger, and also the first E, and the redundant A in the Crunluath, are written as melody notes in Mackay’s book. I wonder if Mr. Thomson plays them as such! Mackay is also redundant in his Toarluath-a-mach on B and C.

Referring to the tunes themselves in Mackays book, which your correspondent says he was taught, would he tell us how he plays the following:–” I got a kiss of the Kings hand,” “The Viscount of Dundee’s Lament,” and “War or Peace”?

Apart from the foregoing Mackay says in his preface:–

In preparing the following Collection, the Editor has been diligently occupied for many years; and when it is taken into consideration that Highland Pipe Music has in a few cases only been committed to regular notation, the difficulty of his undertaking will be appreciated.

Again in the third paragraph he says:–

He hopes the public will treat with leniency any defects that may be perceived.

Mr. Thomson evidently thinks that the late Lieutenant McLennan was the inventor of the Toarluath and Crunluath movements as he has that written in his book. This is not the case. Lieutenant McLennan has only written correctly what he and all other properly taught pipers have always played.–I am, etc.,

A Ghlas Mheur