OT: 18 May 1929 – A.K. Cameron [“Ancient Piobaireachd”]

The Oban Times, 18 May, 1929

[Ancient Piobaireachd]

Powderville, Montana, U.S.A., 8 April, 1929

Sir,–Your correspondent, Mr. Angus MacPherson, claims there is but one way of performing the toarluadh and crunluadh movements. But there were two forms of crunluadh [toarluadh?] and half a dozen or more forms of crunluadh, and each of these were played according to form. Anyone versed in MacCrimmon Sheantaireachd will find these forms in “Gesto,” excepting one form of toarluadh, this form being played in the last two bars of warning tunes, but some of the champions of the present day play this form in laments.

The toarluadh and crunluadh forms, as performed by Mr. MacPherson and his forebears, are not in “Gesto,” nor in Angus Mackay’s, but the proper forms are; and Mackay shows how the crunluadh form should be performed, and his footnote at page 148 proves that Mr. MacPherson’s father and grandfather did not follow Angus Mackay’s instructions, and that they have a way of their own.

Donald Cameron, who was taught by MacCrimmon, played the movements alluded to the old way, and was acknowledged to be the king of pipers by all who knew him, and I defy any proof that Donald Cameron or any of his pupils lowered their standard by performing these notes as MacCrimmon play them.

Mr. Macpherson and others will find the flaw in the rhythm of their system by comparing their notes with those in bar No. 4 of “My King has Landed in Moidart” in Angus Mackay’s book. Bar 4 is: –Hin–drin, in–un: A A, A G. Each vowel of the Sheantaireachd represents a plain note, one for syllable in Teár-lach, Stú-art. Therefore, the notes in his book are perfect, and so is their rhythm but Mr. Macpherson’s are not, because there is not a note for the syllable “lach” in Teár-lach.

The modern version is:–Hin, drin-un: A, A-G, or –Teár, stú-art.

Bar No. 2 of this tune proves that the G D G grip was never considered a note by the old players, therefore Mr. MacPherson and Mr. MacInnes will have to raise their standards to Ha-dra-ha and Hin-drin-in:–B–D and A–A–A. –I am, etc.,

A. K. Cameron