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On March 24th and 25th the the Piobaireachd Society will hold it’s Annual Conference in Perthshire, Scotland.  Band member Alan Armstrong will be speaking at this conference on his research: An Examination of John Grant’s Music Collection (download the Piping Times article here). 

What is Piobaireachd…when the Highlands and Islands of Scotland adopted the bagpipe, perhaps some four hundred years ago, they began to develop the instrument and its music to suit their needs and tastes.  What emerged was the instrument we know today as the Great Highland Bagpipe, and a form of music, piobaireachd, which is unique to the instrument.  It is a very stylized form of music. There is freedom in the theme or “ground” of the piobaireachd to express joy, sadness, or sometimes in the “gathering” tunes , a peremptory warning or call to arms.  Thereafter the theme is repeated and underlined in a series of variations, which usually progress to the “crunluath” variation, where the piper’s fingers give a dazzling technical display of embellishment or gracenotes.

Congratulations on this remarkable opportunity Alan!

Read more about Alan Armstrong and how he honors others  here — or — visit Alan’s website which tells the story of John Grant here;  a website developed to highlight the life and works of  Pipe Major John Grant, Medalist of the Highland Society of London,  Author of “The Royal Collection of Piobaireachd”, “Piobaireachd, Its Origin and Construction” Joint author of “The Pipes of War” and Author of “The Silver Chanter.”

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