OT: 1 August 1936 – John Grant “Review: PS 6th Book of Piobaireachd”

The Oban Times, 1 August, 1936



The great river dashing down the precipice, the chime of church bells, the roar of battle and the clatter of steel, all suggest themes or foundations for the great music of the Piobaireachd

–John Grant.

Piobaireachd is the classic music of the great Highland bagpipe, the Ceol Mor. The Sixth Book of the series just published by the Piobaireachd Society, Comunn na Piobaireachd, contains known and little known tunes to the number of sixteen. It is an interesting publication and is distinctive for the eminent clearness of its print and the clarity of its directions, as for instance expressed in the Nether Lorn Canntaireachd with its variations, cadences, doublings and throws, grips and echoing beats.

Among the contents, to which Mr. A. Campbell, hon. secretary of the Music Committee, draws some particular attention, is “The Massacre of Glencoe,” presented in staff notation probably for the first time. Other tunes with consorting notes are “Cumha an Aona Mhic” (“The Lament for an Only Son”) and “‘S leam fhèin an Gleann” (“the Glen is Mine”), an ancient tune attributed to John, son of Patrick MacCrimmon. The setting of the tune is that given by Angus MacKay. It is also found in the Campbell Canntaireachd and in MacDonalds and Reid MSS.

“Cumha an Chaiptein MacDhùghaill” (“Lament for Captain MacDougall”), composed by Ronald MacDougall, the family piper, and the Lament from a commemorative article by Colonel Stewart MacDougall of Lunga, written for Captain Alexander MacDougall, Younger of Dunolly, who was killed at Ciudad Rodrigo in 1812.

The Collection deserves well at the hands of every piper and of those who are interested in the spread and preservation of Piobaireachd. The editing is very excellently done. Mr. A. Campbell is the hon. secretary of the Music Committee.


“Piobaireachd.” A Sixth Book of 16 Tunes. Edited by the Piobaireachd Society, with a Preface and Explanatory Notes. Price 3/6d. Garscube Estate Offices, Bearsden, Glasgow.