December 17, 2022

Billions served: Jimmy Banks’ “Salute to Willie, the Royal Fendersmith” a historic play for pipes – Part 2

In Part 1 of our exclusive conversation with Pipe-Major Jimmy Banks MBE, the highly decorated piper and military man talked about his air “Salute to Willie, the Royal Fendersmith,” the piece requested by and played for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September.

Queen Elizabeth II with the compilation and editing team of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Collection. Piping greats Iain MacLellan is furthest left, Walter Cowan is second right and Jimmy Banks is furthest right.

In Part 2, Banks discusses matters of copyright and royalties, as well as the composing process and where inspiration can come from.

The performance of his piece to an estimated global audience exceeding four-billion is not only a probable record for Highland pipe music, but it comes with serious issues of legal and ethical compensation from the myriad commercial networks and platforms around the world that must pay music licenses in order to operate.

The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Collection Volume 2 editing team (L-R): Iain MacLellan, Jimmy Banks, Gordon Rowan, Walter Cowan and Jim Henderson.

While Jimmy Banks, like just about every piper, does not compose for the money, any musician whose copyright work is performed as part of a production is legally entitled to receive their fair share of the license fees that are supposed to go to to the holders of the rights of any music used.

Banks also discusses his recent key role in the compilation and editing of three of the most important Highland pipe music books: The Scots Guards Collection Volume 3, and the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Collection Volume 1 and Volume 2.

It’s another interesting and illuminating discussion with Jimmy Banks, one of the best of the best in Highland piping’s storied history.

Our thanks again to Pipe-Major Jimmy Banks MBE for his help with this exclusive interview.





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