OT: 16 August 1930 – MacDonnuil Dhu “The Playing of Piobaireachd”

The Oban Times, 16 August, 1930

The Playing of Piobaireachd

Hoddeson, Herts, 4 August, 1930

Sir,–Frequently in your interesting paper there appears a letter from Mr. John Grant, giving his views on piobaireachd playing, etc. Some time ago Mr. Grant was silenced by Pipe-Major Wm. Gray at the Oddfellows’ Hall, Edinburgh, and also by members of the Piobaireachd Society and by many other pipers who play Ceol Mor. He has failed to prove that he plays the Taorluadh and Crunluadh or other movements in Ceol Mor as the MacCrimmons of old did. Further, he did not spare the dead MacCrimmons, as he now endeavours to have us believe that none of that famous family could memorise a certain number of tunes.

To these famous Masters of Borreraig Piobaireachd was a language. That language however, when I heard it played (or spoken) by John Grant in 1926 was only a tongue-tied version.

Mr. Seton Gordon, who has done so much to preserve our music and encourage its playing, did not include Mr. Grant in his list of pipers who can play Piobaireachd in his letter to your paper last year. I write as a player of Ceol Mor and as one having a thorough knowledge of the music.–I am, etc.,

MacDonnuil Dhu