OT: 16 March 1929 – Angus Macpherson – “Noting in Piobaireachd”

The Oban Times, 16 March, 1929

Noting of Piobaireachd

Inveran Hotel, Invershin, Sutherland, 4 March, 1929

Sir,–In the controversy between Mr. MacInnes and Mr. Cameron my name has been brought in. Mr. MacInnes has said that on writing to the “Oban Times” on one occasion I said that I got my taorluadh and crunluadh from my father, who got it from Angus Mackay’s fingers and practising chanter, and, as he, Mr. MacInnes plays it. In this Mr. MacInnes is absolutely correct.

Mr. Cameron wants Mr. MacInnes to be more explicit, and to say who the Angus Macpherson is that he refers to. Well! I am the Angus Macpherson, and my address is given herewith for Mr. Cameron’s information. Let me say that I never was in Australia, therefore Mr. Cameron should be careful in his statements.

So much has been written regarding the noting of taorluadh and crunluadh that I have no intention of again entering into the discussion. One would have thought that ere now everyone possessing even the most elementary knowledge of bagpipe music would be–with thanks to the “Oban Times “–fully convinced that there is but one way of performing these particular notes correctly, and that is as so ably and explicitly shown by your correspondent, Mr. MacInnes. It is no modern way as Mr. Cameron avers, but the only correct and traditional method.

I got my piobaireachd from my father, Malcolm Macpherson, a Skyeman, who in his day was acknowledged to be the champion piobaireachd player, and is, I am proud to say, still remembered as such by the best piobaireachd players of the present day, who play their taorluadh and crunluadh exactly as my father did.

My father was taught by his own father, Angus McPherson, also a Skyeman, and by Angus Mackay. My grandfather, Angus Macpherson, was taught his piobaireachd in the Isle of Skye by the last representatives of the Boreraig School, and after becoming piper to Cluny Macpherson of Cluny was sent by his master, Cluny, for further instruction to John Mackay, who was at the same time piper to Lord Willoughby de Eresby at Drummond Castle, Crieff, the said John Mackay being the last of the MacCrimmon school of piobaireachd players.

Therefore, no piper who had the good fortune of getting his teaching from such a source with ever lower his standard. –I am, etc.,

Angus Macpherson