OT: 1 September 1923 – Piob-Mhor “Canntaireachd”

The Oban Times, 1 September 1923


Clive Street, Calcutta, 6th August 1923

Sir,–Referring to a letter in your issue of 30th June, wherein your correspondent asked if any MSS. of MacCrimmon authorship, other than the publication of Captain MacLeod of Gesto, existed, it would seem from the author of “The Highland Bagpipe” (Mr. W. L. Manson) that such were in the possession of Captain MacLeod of Gesto. The following on page 104 of the book would indicate this:–

“Captain MacLeod had a large manuscript collection of MacCrimmon pibrochs, as noted by the pipers themselves, part of which was very old, and part more modern. Of these he published only a few as an experiment.”

If the MSS. he refers to could be traced they might prove of very great value in the revision of piobaireachd music as existing today.

Nevertheless, MSS. later than the Act of Prescription might easily contain many errors as do the collections of MacDonald and MacKay. What is really wanted is MS. of an earlier date before the music was “lost,” for it is obvious that the want of metre and rhythm found in many versions to-day is due to imperfect memory and errors in transmissions by one piper to another. –I am, etc.,