Published: April 30, 2007

2008 Set Tunes showcase modern piobaireachds

The Piobaireachd Society‘s intention when it included eight piobaireachds written in the last 50 years in its Senior list was to provide a mix of styles from some of the great pipe-music composers, according to the organization’s recently elected President, Dr. Jack Taylor.

“We thought that it was time to have some more recent compositions in the Senior competitions,” Taylor commented. “The last time this was done was in 1993. Six of the tunes in this year’s list are the same as the 1993 ones; they provide a mix of styles from modern composers such as John MacLellan, Archie Kenneth, Willie Barrie, Donald MacLeod, John Goodenow and Archibald Campbell, and we have added two more recent ones. “Lament for Alan, My Son” and “Echoing Roots of Brittany” have both gained recognition as first-class pieces and we felt that folk would like to learn and to hear them.”

Senior Competitions
TuneComposerSource
“A Lament for Angus Campbell”Archibald CampbellPiobaireachd Society Collection of 20th Century Ceol Mor and on the Piobaireachd Society website
“Salute to the Isle of Iona”John GoodenowPiobaireachd Society Collection of 20th Century Ceol Mor and on the Piobaireachd Society website
“Salute to James Campbell”Archie KennethPiobaireachd Society Collection of 20th Century Ceol Mor and on the Piobaireachd Society website
“Roderick MacDonald’s Salute”Donald MacLeodDonald MacLeod’s Collection of Piobaireachd book 1 and PS website
“The Phantom Piper of Corrieyaireack”John A. MacLellanPiobaireachd Society Collection of 20th Century Ceol Mor and on the Piobaireachd Society website
“Lament for Pipe-Major Robert Reid”Willie BarriePiobaireachd Society Collection of 20th Century Ceol Mor and on the Piobaireachd Society website
“Echoing Roots of Brittany”Patrick MolardPatrick Molard’s Collection of Music for the Highland Bagpipe
“Lament For Alan, My Son”Duncan JohnstoneDuncan Johnstone,His Complete Compositions

The Senior tunes are for competitors in the Clasp at the Northern Meeting and the Senior Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering, among other events around the world. Competitors will have to submit four from the list.

Gold Medal Competitions
Group 1
TuneSource
“The Blind Piper’s Obstinacy”PS3, K
“Sobieski’s Salute”PS5
“The Stewarts’ White Banner”PS7
“Clan MacNab’s Salute”*PS15, K
Group 2
“The King’s Taxes”PS5 and K
“My King Has Landed in Moidart”*PS5 and K
“The End of the Great Bridge”*PS7 and K
“The Park Piobaireachd No. 2”PS4 and K

In another Piobaireachd Society innovation, competitors must submit two tunes from each group and play one. Pipers playing tunes designated with an asterisk are required to play the a mach variation.

As with the Gold Medal, competitors must submit two tunes from each group and play one.

“There is really no mystery in how the tunes are selected,” Taylor said. “The Music Committee takes its job very seriously and we try to choose tunes year on year that will provide a varied and appropriate mix for audience and players. We understand that we will not be able to please everybody all the time.

“This year we hope that, by providing groups of common, and less common, tunes in the silver and gold medal lists and asking pipers to choose two from each group we will ensure an enjoyable balance.”

Taylor added that competitors are being encouraged to explore additional settings. The organization goes as far as to say that “judges should give credit for musical interpretation of the written scores and should not favour interpretations which reproduce the score with mechanical exactitude.”

Taylor added that “It is interesting that, this year, there are people looking at Peter Reid’s dithis in ‘MacLeod of Raasay’s Salute’ so this maybe indicates a willingness to look beyond the conventional.”

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Silver Medal Competitions
Group 1
TuneSource
“Hector MacLean’s Warning”PS2
“The Rout of the MacPhees”PS4

“Lament for the Castle of Dunyveg”PS1

“I Am Proud To Play A Pipe”PS6, K

Group 2
“The Little Spree”PS7, K
“The Massacre of Glencoe”PS6, K
“Corrienessan’s Salute”PS8, K
“Kinlochmoidart’s Lament No. 1”PS6, K

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