April 30, 2008

The Highland Pipe goes into paperback

Dr. William Donaldson’s groundbreaking book, The Highland Pipe & Scottish Society, 1750-1950, has been released in paperback in its second printing of the work that originally appeared in 2000.

Published by Birlinn, there are no changes to the text apart from minor typographical amendments. The printing of the book in paperback will make it more accessible to a wider audience, demonstrating that one of Scotland’s biggest publishers has confidence in piping as a topic.

“What had until recently been regarded as a specialist and arcane subject area now has something to say to a wider public,” Donaldson said, “and that some knowledge of the pipe and its music is now a legitimate area for anybody with a wider interest in Scottish culture as a whole. What it does mean is that it won’t now go out of print and should be available to the public for several more years, without having to poke about in antiquarian bookshops to get a hold of a copy. It remains ‘current.'”

Since its publication, The Highland Pipe has sparked debate and controversy in the piping world, particularly with those determined to defend the traditions that the Piobaireachd Society might have set to create on the Twentieth Century under Archibald Campbell’s leadership. Donaldson set out to show through thorough academic historical research and evidence that Campbell systematically adjusted piobaireachd settings to create standardized scores that pipers were required to follow.

William Donaldson is also the author of Pipers, a smaller explanatory book published in 2005, and the pioneering Set Tunes Series, now in its eighth year exclusively on pipes|drums.




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