1987-2009 The Church Piper Vol 1-14 by Dr. Keith E. MacDonald

An update by Geoff Hore 2008-2015.  The writing in black font is from A Bibliography of Bagpipe Music. The update comments are in blue font.


1987 The Church Piper ool 1 Music of Paradise by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
1994 The Church Piper Vol 2 Christmas Carols by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
1997 The Church Piper Vol 3 A Piper’s Garden by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
1999 The Church Piper Vol 4 A Sojourner’s Joyful Adventure by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
1997 The Church Piper Vol 5 Hymns of Discovery by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
2001 The Church Piper Vol 6 Wedding Music by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
2004 The Church Piper Vol 7 Wondrous Love by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
2005 The Church Piper Vol 8 Thanksgiving Hymns by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
2003 The Church Piper Vol 9 Sacred Memories by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
2002 The Church Piper Vol 10 Friends and Neighbours by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
1989 The Church Piper Vol 11 Heavenly Music by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
2006 The Church Piper Vol 12A Songs of Scotland by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
2008 The Church Piper Vol 12B More Songs of Scotland by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.
2009 The Church Piper Vol 14 My Favourite Hymns by Dr. Keith E MacDonald.

As can be seen above the publication dates of the 14 books in this series were not published in consecutive order. A suggestion was made to the compiler to provide a few tidbits of information about the publication of this series and the following is an edited version of an email sent to the writer 1 November 2011:

Here is a run-down of the Church Piper series of music books and the years in which they were published. As you will note, they were not published in order of the volume’s number, but as the inspiration hit me to complete and publish any one of the planned volumes which were in order on my shelf.

The Church Piper, Volume 1 Published 1987 by Welch Publishing Co., Burlington, ON
Music of Paradise, Volume 1 Rev 1 Published 1998 by Hignells Printing Ltd., Winnipeg, CA
Christmas Music, Volume 2, Rev 1 Published 1994 by Hignells, as are all the rest.

Christmas Carols, Volume 2, Rev 2 Published 2000.
A Piper’s Garden, Volume 3 Published 1997.
A Sojourner’s Joyful, Adventure Volume 4 Published 1999
Hymns of Discovery, Volume 5 Published 1997.
Wedding Music, Volume 6 Published 2001.
Wondrous Love, Volume 7 Published 2004.
Thanksgiving Hymns, Volume 8 Published 2005.
Sacred Memories, Volume 9 Published 2003.
Friends & Neighbours, Volume 10 Published 2002.
Heavenly Music, Volume 11 Published 1989.
Songs of Scotland, Volume 12 A Published 2006.
More Songs of Scotland, Volume 12B Published 2008.
My Favourite Hymns, Volume 14 Published 2009.

If you plan to have the entire series, which I think you do, I’d suggest that you order first of all and without delay, volume 14, “My Favourite Hymns,” from Henderson’s Imports Ltd in Michigan. I had only 175 of them printed because my plan was to publish a few at a time so there wouldn’t be a big inventory to store. Hignells incorporated a new technology in which they could publish a relatively small number at a time. Previous books were printed in amounts of 2000 to get a better price, and of course a large inventory resulted, and expensive too, not only for printing but for storage. Hendersons took my entire inventory before we moved from Winnipeg to White Rock BC two years ago. So, don’t delay in ordering your volume 14.

There are fond memories attached to the publishing of each of these books, but I’ll mention only a few. The first was that I had arranged about 100 hymns and it was my mother who suggested that I should share them with pipers in the world. That resulted in the first book, which the publishers named “The Church Piper,” and had it on the cover and printed before I could correct them and tell them that it was The Church Piper who was publishing the books and this one was to have been called, “Music of Paradise.”

A commentary on the book was that this had to be the very last of the books written by a monk in a monastery. Pipe music would no longer have to be written by hand because computer programs were designed to do it.

Before “The Church Piper” was sold out, I was working on “Music of Paradise,” which would be in a new format. A picture was added and since then, the books were characterized by illustrations and various articles on the theme. A search was made to find a music writer. Clayton Halverson of enScore! Music Publishing Services in Winnipeg, my home town, was perfect for the job. His response to my question whether or not he would be able to take on one of my books, which I think was “A Piper’s Garden,” was that he certainly would, just as soon as he finished writing the music for Maestro Bramwell Tovey’s symphony orchestra arrangement. Believe me, that made me feel that Clayton was being indirectly recommended by the top brass of musicians.

In addition to having the music written with the use of computers, I needed a desktop computer person, and she too, was found in Winnipeg. CJ Byrnes was careful and thorough. I couldn’t have wished for better persons than these two, and then to publish the books, Kevin Polley and Dave Friesen, with Hignell’s Printing Ltd., also in Winnipeg, could be counted on to do a superb job of printing.

I wanted to get a picture typical of Scotland for “Songs of Scotland,” and it was on a holiday that my wife and I climbed some steep hills and found a herd of Highland Cattle which she rounded up so I could get the picture I wanted. We were on Saltspring Island off the coast of British Columbia and while we were driving along, I saw a church that would make an ideal picture for “Sacred Memories.” I turned the car around and took that picture. In Winnipeg, I was looking for a picture for the cover of “Friends & Neighbours,” and it happened that as we drove in from an afternoon at the lake, there were those Canadian and American flags flying. I had to maneuver around to find an angle and a distance at which the two flags would appear about the same size as they were’nt equal, but should be for the cover. The picture on the cover of “My Favourite Hymns” is of a stylized tool shed in the English Garden of Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg. Since the picture was taken, my brother who lives in Winnipeg told me that vandals had burned it to the ground. I am so sorry because it was a fine attraction in the garden.

I asked friends to write the Forewords in The Church Piper books. My daughter Janine, wrote the Foreword for “A Piper’s Garden,” volume 3, and as you will see, that as you read it, you can almost hear the water bubbling along the creek in one of Vancouver’s parks. Janine has a special knack for writing. I’m pleased that I asked her to write that Foreword. I appreciate every one of those who accepted my invitation to write a Foreword.

Though you know I am not superstitious and yet careful not to publish a volume 13 for the sake of those who are, I nevertheless reserved number 7 for “Wondrous Love,” because it’s a number that has impelling significance throughout the Bible. The book contains an article entitled, “The Number Seven.”

I was completing “Christmas Carols” at a time when our son Earl, who was music director for Maynard Ferguson’s Jazz Band, was home for a short holiday. He was busy arranging music and composing. I happened to come across a crumpled up piece of music he had written and thrown into the waste basket. I discovered it was a jazz arrangement for “Silent Night,” in nine-eight time. I rearranged it in 3/4 time, still in the jazz version. I thought he would be perturbed after the book was published, because I used his idea for my arrangement, but he never complained. I will always be thankful for that bit of inspiration of his and for his acceptance of my little surprise for when he discovered it after the book had been published.

I’d love to publish a couple more books if I knew of any demand. I have “Patriotic Music,” and “Aspiring Hymns,” on the front burner. Maybe, if there are signs that pipers might be interested, I’ll warm them up for publication. It was so handy when we lived in Winnipeg, with my desktop lady there, besides my music writer and publisher.

There is much interesting information in the email but above all it confirms many of the publishing details that might not otherwise be known. The writer does not have all the books in this series and as they are acquired this page will be updated.


Volume 1

1      1987 

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Front cover

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p [1], short title; p [2], bible text; p [3], title; p [4], imprint; p [5], contents; p 6, dedication; p 7, acknowledgement; p 8, foreword; pp 9-11, Music of Paradise; pp 12-13, Remembrance Day; p [14], picture; pp 15 [16], contents; p [17], blank; p 18, poem; pp 1-33, tunes (33); pp [45-46], composers.

  • The Author’s Collection. 177mm x 255mm.

An advertisement appears in the Piping Times Vol 38, No 6, March 1986 stating this book would be ‘Available from the publisher about March 1986’. This did not happen until 1987.

2       1998

This edition was published by Hignell’s Printing Ltd, Birlington, Ontario. The alternate name Music of Paradise appears on the front cover.

Volume 2

1     1994 

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Front cover

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p [I], title; p [II], imprint; p [i], Bible text; p [ii], contents; p iii, dedication; p iv, acknowledgements; p v, foreword; p vi, introduction; p vii-viii, The Inspiration; p ix, essay; pp [x-xii], woodcuts; pp xiii-xxiv, religious essays; p [xxv], short title; pp 1-82, tunes (64); p 83, Christmas homily; pp 84-87, alphabetical index; pp 88-89, Index Of Authors; pp 90-91, Index of Composers; pp 92-93, Source of Hymns; pp 94-95, Copyright Owners; pp 96-97, Related Scripture Verses; p 98, poem.

  • The Author’s Collection. 277mm x 215mm.

2      2000

In the second edition the title has changed to Christmas Carols and a number of new tunes have been added.

Volume 3

1      1997 

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Front cover

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p [I], title; p [II], imprint; p [III], short title; p [iv], woodcut; p [i], contents; p [ii], woodcut; p iii, dedication; p [iv], woodcut; p v-vi, essay; p vii, Special Acknowledgements; p viii, Editor’s Acknowledgement; pp ix-x, foreword; p xi, introduction; p xii, poem; pp xiii-xxii, essays; p xxiii, poem; pp xxiv-xxxi, essays; p xxxii, woodcut; p xxxiii, short title; p xxxiv, essay; pp 1-66, tunes (53); pp [67], 68-71, alphabetical index; pp 72-73, Index Of Authors; pp 74-75, Index of Composers; pp 76-77, Source of Hymns; pp 78-79, Copyright Owners; pp 80-81, Related Scripture Verses; p [82], poem.

  • The Author’s Collection. 280mm x 216mm.

It seems this book has not yet gone into a second revision.

Volume 4

1      1999 

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Front cover

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p [I], title; p [II], imprint; p [III], short title; p [i], contents; p [ii]. blank; p iii, Special Acknowledgements; p v, Editor’s Acknowledgement; p vi, woodcut; p vi-vii, foreword; pp ix-l, essays; p lvi, blank; p lvii, short title; pp 1-139, tunes (72); p [140], blank; pp [141] 142-143, alphabetical index; pp 144-145, Index Of Authors; pp 146-147, Index of Composers; pp 148-149, Source of Hymns; pp 150-151, Copyright Owners; p [152], poem.

  • The Author’s Collection. 280mm x 216mm.

The publication date of this book is 1999 and no later editions have yet appeared.

Volume 5

1      1997 

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Front cover

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p [I], title; p [II], imprint; p [III], short title; p [i], contents; p [ii]. blank; p iii, dedication; p [iv], woodcut; p v, A Seafaring Adventure; p vi, Bible text; p vii-vii, Special Acknowledgement; p ix, Editor’s Acknowledgement; p x, blank; p xi-xii, foreword; p xiii-xiv, pp xv-xxxiv, essays; p xxxv, poem; p xxxvi, blank; p xxxvii, short title; pp 1-49, tunes (38).

  • The Author’s Collection. 280mm x 216mm.

Volume 6

1      2001 

Entitled Wedding Music.

Volume 7

1      2004 

Entitled Wondrous Love and subtitled Music of Eternal Love.

Volume 8

1      2005 

Entitled Thanksgiving Hymns.

Volume 9

1      2003 

Entitled Sacred Memories.

Volume 10

1      2002

Entitled Friends and Neighbours, (A tribute to those lost in the 9-11 events.)

 Volume 11

1      1989

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Front cover

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p [i], title; p [ii], contents; p [iii], essay; p iv, dedication; p v, author’s preface; p vi-vi, editor’s preface, special acknowledgements and editor’s acknowledgement; p viii, foreword; pp ix-xxi, essays; p xxii, Bible texts; p xxiii, poem; pp 1-69, tunes (68); pp 70-73, alphabetical index; pp 74-75, Index Of Authors; pp 76- 77, Index of Composers; pp 78-79, Source of Hymns; pp 80-81, Copyright Owners; pp 82-83, Related Scripture Verses; p [84], poem; p [85], Bible text; p ]86], poem.

  • The Author’s Collection. 280mm x 216mm.

Volume 12A

1      2006 

Entitled Songs of Scotland.

Volume 12B

1      2008 

Entitled More Songs of Scotland.

Volume 14

1      2009 

Entitled My Favourite Hymns.


  • Rev 00 (29 October 2011)

© Geoff Hore 2011