Piping doctorate awarded to Forrest
In another testimony to how far Highland piping has come, Decker Forrest, originally from San Diego, has been awarded a doctorate for his thesis, “Ceòl Beag: The Development and Performance Practice of the ‘small music’ of the Highland Bagpipe c.1820-1966” from the University of St Andrews and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Dr. Forrest’s PhD is one of the first on bagpipe music ever to be awarded. He has studied the history and evolution of light music, and part of his dissertation included recordings of himself playing early published bagpipe music using pipes and chanter made specifically for his research from an instrument made in 1810 and played by Donald Macdonald of Glenhinnisdal, Skye and Edinburgh.
Forrest is now the Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Degree in Gaelic and Traditional Music at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College in Sleat on the Isle of Skye. His thesis was supervised by Roderick Cannon and Iain MacInnes, both well known scholars in the history of Scottish piping.
The work will be made available eventually in published format.