Rare piobaireachd manuscripts to be available online
Dr. William Donaldson, author of the seminal Set Tunes Series on pipes|drums and The Highland Pipe & Scottish Society, has worked with the National Library of Scotland to make four classic and rare piobaireachd manuscripts available online.
Scanned versions and complete indices to four manuscripts will be online:
- Angus MacKay (pictured right) – compiled 1830-’50, containing approximately 200 tunes.
- David Glen – published circa 1907, with 191 tunes.
- Peter Reid – 1826. Forty-three tunes in the MacArthur style.
- Colin Campbell’s Instrumental Book, 1797 – the “Nether Lorn “Campbell Canntaireachd” compiled by Colin Mór Campbell. Two volumes of 169 tunes, 70 of which are not recorded elsewhere
With the permission of the National Library of Scotland, the works will be made available at pipetunes.ca and Ceol Sean CDs for free access. According to advance information provided to pipes|drums, the Library stipulated “strict non-commercial conditions” for their use.
The National Library of Scotland owns the four manuscripts, and the online versions of the manuscripts will be supervised by Donaldson.
“This is a great step for piobaireachd enthusiasts the world over,” said Donaldson. “These important documents are primary sources for the piobaireachd tradition, but they have long been almost inaccessible to the performer community. They provide piobaireachd players with a major tool in deciding how they will play the tunes. Unfortunately, there are more such manuscripts that remain in private hands, available for consultation only at considerable expense or by in-person viewing at the National Library of Scotland.”
The works will appear indexed to Donaldson’s “Index of Piobaireachd Manuscripts,” a list of settings from 18 manuscripts. Notes to the tunes will also be available, with the actual documents comprising scans of the originals grouped into pages for faster download.