May 22, 2024

Campbell Naismith’s 7th collection focuses on piobaireachd and Joseph MacDonald’s Theory

Campbell Naismith, the accomplished and well-known piper from San Diego, has published his seventh collection of music, this time a book dedicated to piobaireachd with his interpretation of the historic Compleat Theory of the Highland Bagpipe published by Joseph MacDonald in 1760.

The Rising Sun Collection also showcases 24 piobaireachds written by Naismith based on the methods described by MacDonald.

“Although edited versions of Joseph MacDonald’s Compleat Theory have been printed in 1803, 1927, by Roderick Cannon in 1994, and by myself last year, there has never been a clear statement about what the Theory actually is until now,” Naismith said. “In addition, the Theory has never been applied to composition until now. I delineate the essentials of Joseph’s presented movements and variations, his four types of pibroch, and his tips for composing.”

Campbell Naismith

As a Distinguished Teacher in Residence at the University of California, San Diego, Naismith has combined his background in both academia and piping to The Rising Sun Collection.

“The pibroch has evolved over time from 1760, the year the manuscript of the Compleat Theory was set down,” he continued. “The early records from late 1700s and early 1800s describe new innovations in pibroch playing that continue to evolve through Angus MacKay’s time (1838) and beyond.”

“Scholarship and musical discipline and creativity,” he said, are central to the work. “Scholarship to research and understand Joseph MacDonald’s work thoroughly and musical discipline and creativity to apply his Theory to compose 24 new pibrochs.”

Campbell Naismith’s six previous collections comprise more than 250 of his own compositions, making him one of the world’s most prolific published modern composers.

In 2020, Matthew Welch, also of California, published A New Compleat Theory for The Highland Bagpipe, a “terse and insightful” collection of new music that was a nod to Joseph MacDonald’s 1760 publication.

The Rising Sun Collection is available from Campbell Naismith’s Vortex Street Music website for US$60 plus shipping.






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