OT: 8 June 1929 – John Grant “Noting of Piobaireachd”

The Oban Times, 8 June, 1929

Noting of Piobaireachd

Edinburgh, 18 May, 1929

Sir,–in your issue of 11th May, Mr. MacInnes makes reference to my name and Pipe-Major Ronald Mackenzie, late of Seaforths. To read what Mr. MacInnes writes one would think that he knew every note that Ronald McKenzie played in Piobaireachd in minute detail, and that I had never heard him play.

Let me tell him that Ronald was no stranger to me; I got my tuition in Piobaireachd from him. I spent years with him, and the performance of Toarluath and Crunluath so far as he played it was clear to me in the minutest detail. Mackenzie played every note absolutely correct, and he played the A’s in the Toarluath and Crunluath, which Mr. MacInnes would fain delete.

Ronald McKenzie could play the g d g grace note group with perfect fingering and effect. There is no mistake about that. I have gone through the movements too often with him not to know what I am talking about.

It is quite evident that Mr. MacInnes is groping in the dark as regards the performance of Toarluath and Crunluath when he asks for a Committee to discuss and settle a matter which has been settled hundreds of years ago. He would fain disown the men who gave him Piobaireachd, and endeavour to get along his own way.

It would be well for Mr. MacInnes if he would consult someone who can play Toarluath and Crunluath as Ronald McKenzie, Angus Mackay and the MacCrimmons played them, and be convinced.–I am, etc.,

John Grant, Highland Society of London’s Medallist.