320 A Collection of Piobairachd by Donald MacPhee

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.


Cannon identified three editions of this book. Since then two new editions have been found. The revision numbering will be updated and at the same time changed from Roman numerals to Arabic.

1      1879 (Edition I in the original Bibliography)

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title; index; pp I-VIII, instructions; pp 1-100, pibrochs (37).

  • National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.* Soft-backed; cloth gilt. One fly-leaf at each end. 13.7 x 10.
  • Bodleian Library, Oxford. Received October 1879.
  • University Library, Cambridge. Received 13 October 1879.
  • The Author’s Collection. This book originally belonged to David McClure Walker and has the date 23/11/04. It was donated by Donald Bain in 1993.

Pages I-V of the instructions are the same as pages II-VI of MacPhee’s Selection published in 1876 (no. 317 above).

The date on the title-page is in a printing style somewhat different from the rest of the printed matter; it could possibly have been hand-stamped. The book in the writer’s collection appears to be identical to the one described by Cannon but has no date. His comment about the possibility of the date being hand-stamped leads the present writer to believe he has edition 1.

No second volume is known. No doubt MacPhee intended to continue the series, but his early death prevented it.

2     1885 (Edition II in the original Bibliography)

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p [i], title; p [ii], index; pp 1-51, tunes (18).
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p [i], title; p [ii], index; pp 1-49, tunes (19).

Manson says that MacPhee’s piobaireachd collection was republished in 1885 by Logan & Co., Inverness, price 8s. Presumably this refers to a one-volume edition, no doubt identical with edition I already described. Manson does not mention any division into two volumes, but in 1900 the collection was in fact being advertised as in two parts, price 4s. each, and it evidently continued so until it was taken over by Patersons.

The above scanned images are taken from The Bagpipe Works of Donald MacPhee published by EP Publishing Limited 1978. (See edition 6 below.) Because Manson did not say anything to the contrary, Cannon assumed that the Logan and Co edition of 1885 (priced at 8s) was a one- volume edition.

However, this may not be the case. The two scanned images above have the appearance of being the ones Manson was describing. We cannot be certain that they are not from a later date but the price at 4/- each certainly makes the 8s cited by Manson look correct.

If it transpires that there is a one-volume edition then this entry will be revised.

3      c1916-23 (Not in original Bibliography)

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p [i], title; p [ii], index; pp 1-51, tunes (18).

Part 2 has not been located yet and when it is it will be inserted here.

  • The Author’s Collection. Page 51 is missing.

The imprint proves that this edition was published between 1916 and 1923.

4      c1923 (Edition III in the original Bibliography).

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Vol 1: title; pp 1-51, pibrochs (18); p [52] blank.

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Vol 2: title; pp 1-49, pibrochs (19); p [50-22] blank.

  • Central Public Library, Edinburgh. Two volumes bound together, but retaining original paper covers. 13.8 x 10.2”.
  • Mitchell Library, Glasgow.
  • Private Collection. Part 1; Lewis Turrell’s Collection. Originally belonged to Miss Mollie Doyle of Bluff. Has its original cover.
  • The Author’s Collection. Part 1 donated by the College of Piping, Glasgow, July 2009. Part 2 donated by Kevin Nelson of Wellington, 9 May 1996.

Advertised in 1925. It will be noted that the standard spelling ‘piobaireachd’ is now used in the title. Research carried out by Cannon and Jeannie Campbell in her book Highland Bagpipe Makers suggests that Logan & J Marr Wood Ltd folded in c1923. It is probably no coincidence that in the same year Paterson, Sons & Co Ltd first appear on the scene with a version of Logan’s Tutor and Pipe-Major W. Ross’s Collection of Highland Bagpipe Music Book 1.

The present writer has a near perfect edition 1 of Ross’s Collection and it has an advertisement for this edition of MacPhee’s Collection of Piobaireachd (along with his Tutor No 318 and Selection of Music No 319). It is now well established that Ross’s Book 1 was published before September 1923 and as there are no known books published earlier by Paterson, Sons & Co Ltd we can be reasonably sure that was their first year of publishing bagpipe music.

It is most likely that 1923 was when this edition of MacPhee’s Collection of Piobaireachd was published although it was not advertised until 1925 as Cannon points out.

Paterson, Sons and Co Ltd became Paterson’s Publications Ltd in 1925.\

5      After 1940

The writer has a book that is the same as Part 1 edition 4 above but with one exception. The cover is identical to the title page but at the bottom has ‘R. G. Lawrie Ltd., 38 Renfield Street, Glasgow. Bagpipe Makers by Appointment to H. M. the King.’ Lawrie’s moved to 38 Renfield Street in 1940.

6     1978

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p [i], short title; p [3], title; p [iv], imprint; pp [v]-ix, foreword; Complete Tutor with page numbering as per original book; Selection of Music with page numbering as per original book; parts 1 & 2 of Collection of Piobaireachd with page numbering as per edition 2 above.

  • The Author’s Collection.

This edition came out too late to be included in the main text of the original Bibliography but is included in the Addendum.

Unicorn Limited Inc in USA offers a reproduction of one of the later editions on CD. See www.scotpress.com.

  • Rev 00 (9 October 2008).
  • Rev 01 (19 August 2009). Adds a new edition
  • Rev 02 (15 November 2009). Updates edition 4 and corrects the street number in edition 5.

© Geoff Hore 2009