January 09, 2008


Get out your kid gloves.I can’t help but wonder what Seumas MacNeill would have thought about Angus MacKay’s MS being made available on the net.

He (Seumas, not Angus) died just before the Internet took off, which was a shame. Seumas was not only a born reformer but a born communicator. I think he would have recognized very early how he could use the net to reach more people. After all, he was the first to use radio and television to broadcast and promote piping in a meaningful and reliable way.

(Angus knew the delights of the quill pen and, he claimed, Queen Victoria. Not such a great swimmer.)

Then again, Seumas was also a man who did his best to reject and control anything that he thought threatened Highland bagpipe music as he knew it, and his comment about a Gordon Duncan performance making him want to take up the fiddle is legend.

Willie Donaldson early on recognized the communications-power that the Internet might provide to piobaireachd. His brilliant Set Tunes Series from the outset has been free and accessible with no strings attached, like piobaireachd used to be. Glad to see he’s convinced seemingly fusty organizations like the National Library of Scotland to do the same.




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