OT: 28 February 1925 – MacVourich “Bagpipe Drumming”

The Oban Times, 28 February, 1925

Bagpipe Drumming

In the Country, 21st February, 1925

Sir,–If you will protect me I will write about drumming and piping as the subject is broached in the “Oban Times.” But I have fears for my life. Drummers are terrible fellows, and if my name and hiding place were revealed they might come and drum near me, and I would sooner die of old age. I have acted as pipe-major with various drummers, and they are the–well words fail me to express how horrible they are to a man, a piper, who believes he has music in him, to his fingertips; music that rises and falls to the swing of the kilts and the hits of the heels of his gallant fellows before him and behind; that without actually changing time at one time sooths the weary steps and again gives them a lift that stirs the hearts of pipers and rank and file to the very feet of the colonel’s’s charger.

Let the drummer beat his sheepskins and the thing is spoiled utterly. You get a dead mechanical noise that may lift the windows but not the step of your men. I do not believe any deep lover of pipe music with a truly musical year, likes to hear the way the drumming in these days degrades the music of the pipes. There have been many bad things that have crept in recent times into Highland art, and the drums drowning pipe music is one of the worst.–I am, etc.,