OT 9 February 1935 – Seton Gordon “Pipe Tune by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales”

The Oban Times, February 9 1935 

Pipe Tune by H. R. H. The Prince Of Wales

 2 February, 1935

 Sir,–it is with intense pleasure and pride we learn of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales composing this slow march for the Highland Bagpipe. I know I can speak for every piper and lover of pipe music at home and abroad and say nothing could have given us more encouragement and help in the study of our national music than this gracious act by our well loved Prince. It clearly shows how highly The Prince values our national instrument and the grand old music of the hillsides and the pleasure he derives in its study. “Mallorca,” which I recently heard played by an expert, is a real pipe tune, with a haunting melody all its own; a tune which will be an asset to every pipers repertoire, apart from the worldwide interest attached is Royal composer. We shall, indeed, be proud men to render this pipe tune when opportunity offers–I am, etc., John MacGregor Murray, Piper to Clan Gregor Society. 

Upper Duntulm, by Uig, Isle of Skye, 2 February, 1935 


Sir,–In your interesting article in to-day’ s issue of the Oban Times on the Prince of Wales there are one or two slight inaccuracies. The Prince of Wales was never at Eton. He was at Dartmouth, in preparation for a naval career, before going up to Oxford. It was at Oxford that he began to learn the pipes. It came about in this way. 

We had had at the University a piping class instructed by Pipe-Major William Ross, but the class had been discontinued a term or two before the Prince of Wales came up. Almost immediately he came up to Oxford he expressed a desire to learn the pipes, and I remember that the late Alasdair Graham-Menzies of Hallyburton (he afterwards joined the Scots Guards and was killed early in the War) and I arranged to get the class going again, and succeeded in obtaining the services of Pipe-Major William Ross. 

The Prince never played the music for the reels at the college dances–his taste was for marches or slow marches rather than reels–but he was a good reel dancer, and was one of the keenest dancers at the Caledonian Society of Oxford’s dinners. 

He was anxious to master the “Invercauld March,” and I recall more than one afternoon when, with Pipe-Major Ross as his instructor, he went over this marched indefatigably, time after time. His keeness did much to help our university class of pipers, and did much to popularise the dinners of the Caledonian Society of Oxford. I am, etc., 

Seton Gordon