November 30, 1999

Duncan Johnstone Dies

Duncan Johnstone, one of the best post-World War II pipers ever, died suddenly in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 13.

Johnstone was renowned especially for his ability as a jig player, and was one of the first Highland pipers to make an art form of jigs and hornpipes. He was also a top class piobaireachd player.

In his latter years, Johnstone dedicated much of time to teaching. Among his pupils were the well known pipers Douglas Pincock an Neil Dickie.

In the 1980s, Johnstone published two collections of tunes, including many of his own. As a composer he was known for his clever and inventive melodies and rhythms. His 3/4 march, “Farewell To Nigg,” is almost standard in the repertoires of most pipers and bands. He is commemorated in Donald MacLeod’s hornpipe, “Duncan Johnstone” — one of the greatest light music compositions ever made.

Duncan Johnstone — “King of the Jigs” — will be sadly missed by the piping world.




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