April 30, 2010

Updated: Piobaireachd Society sets tunes for 2011

The Piobaireachd Society has determined the tunes that the world’s elite pipers will have to prepare and submit for the major solo competitions in 2011. The Senior and Gold Medal lists comprise mostly tunes that are generally seldom chosen by competitors, as well as rarely heard settings of well known compositions. The Silver Medal list consists of more commonly heard shorter tunes.

Senior (submit three, play one)

  • “Lady Margaret MacDonald’s Salute” (MacArthur MacGregor MS)

  • “Lament for Iain Garve MacLeod of Raasay (MacLeod of  Raasay’s Lament)” (Donald MacDonald MS)

  • “Lament for Lochnell,” (Piobaireachd Society Book 13)

  • “Port Urlar,” (PS Book 12)

  • “The Piper’s Warning to his Master (MacDonald’s Warning)” (Donald MacDonald MS)

  • “The Vaunting (An Intended Lament)” (Donald MacDonald MS)

  • “War or Peace” (Gesto canntaireachd version)

The organization stipulated that the Donald Macdonald tunes require the ground to be played in full to conclude the performance.

“We have tried to strike a balance between less and better known tunes, both for the sake of audience enjoyment and for the players,” said Piobaireachd Society President Jack Taylor. “This year we felt that the senior players might like to tackle some familiar tunes, but from unusual sources – often those settings give a very different flavour. We have given the guidance notes from the Donald Macdonald and MacGregor-MacArthur books to help players decide about interpretation, and I like to think that they will feel free to put in their own musicianship. These tunes are available in a more standard style than that of the manuscript, but players might want to refer to the manuscript in some cases to help them with musical nuances. ‘Port Urlar’ and ‘Lament for Lochnell’ are both attractive, and some study of ‘Lochnell’ especially is needed.”


Gold Medal (submit four, play one)

  • “The Battle of Sheriffmuir,” (PS 15, Kilberry)

  • “Keppoch’s March,” (PS 12)

  • “Lament for Finlay,” (PS 1, K)

  • “Mackenzie of Applecross’s Salute,” (PS 10)

  • “The Menzies’ Salute,” (PS 15, K)

  • “Mrs. Smith’s Salute,” (PS 9)

  • “Queen Anne’s Lament,” (PS 7, K)

  • “Tulloch Ard, The Mackenzies’ Gathering,” (PS 12)

“For the Gold Medal, the tunes chosen should give competitors the chance to look at tunes that are of merit, are good to play and that might well stay in their repertoire,” Taylor added. “We feel that the list chosen gives a challenge in line with the high prestige of this competition.”

Silver Medal (submit four, play one)

  • “The Battle of Auldearn No. 1” (PS 2)

  • “The Battle of Strome,” (PS 5)

  • “The End of the Great Bridge,” (PS 2, K)

  • “The Gathering of the MacNabs,” (PS 5, K)

  • “The Glen is Mine,” (PS 6, K)

  • “Glengarry’s March,” (PS 2, K)

  • “MacDonald’s (or Duntroon’s) Salute,” (PS 6)

  • “The Park Piobaireachd No. 2,” (PS 4, K)

“In the Silver Medal, though the tunes are well enough known, they are not straightforward,” Taylor said. “They are aimed to be the type of tune the aspiring Silver Medallist will want to learn and compete with. I think that this maintains the trend of putting in more challenging tunes for this fiercely contested event. It reflects the increasing breadth of piobaireachd knowledge at this level.”




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