December 06, 2020

The 2020 Set Tunes Series: “The Men Went to Drink”

It’s perhaps fitting that we conclude the 2020 Set Tunes Series by William Donaldson with “The Men Went to Drink,” a piobaireachd that has gained some popularity in recent years probably due to it being prescribed some years ago for the Silver Medal events.

It’s been a hard year for everyone, some certainly more than others. With COVID-19 encircling the globe, it brought down the piping and drumming season for most of us. Heavy drinking is never a good solution, but if you – man or woman – were driven to it from time to time, you might be forgiven.

Dr. William Donaldson takes us through the composition and its many sources. Also known as “The Banquet,” the tune can sit nicely in a piper’s standard repertoire, and suits a wide range of abilities, a test of musical creativity to lend variety to its repetitive structure.

A toast to Willie Donaldson, one of our greatest academic contributors to the art of piping. His Set Tunes Series since 2001 has brought hundreds of published settings of piobaireachds to all of us, and we are far richer for his unstinting and invaluable work.

Just click on the image to go to the Set Tunes section, each painstakingly researched and analyzed by Donaldson, resulting in the largest single collection of published source material in one place.

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The 2020 Set Tunes Series: “The Tune of Strife”

The 2020 Set Tunes Series: “The Marquis of Argyll’s Salute”

The 2020 Set Tunes Series: “Gathering of the MacDonalds of Clanranald”

The 2020 Set Tunes Series: “The Battle of Balladruishaig”




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