370 – The College of Piping Tutor by Seumas MacNeill and Thomas Pearston

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.

 

Part 1 of this ubiquitous Tutor has been through many reprints since it first appeared in 1953. Most of the later editions contain a complete list of all editions and reprints from the previous years. An article in the Piping Times Vol 55, No 4, January 2003, Page 57 states this tutor had been recently reprinted and at 20,000 is the biggest printing ever. It also states it is the ‘…biggest selling pipe book of all time with more than 360,000 copies sold to date.’

Cannon’s format will retained here but scanned images of title-pages will be included where appropriate. In the original Bibliography Cannon did not include Part 2 of this series because it is not a collection of bagpipe music. To avoid confusion it has decided to include it here. Part 3 and 4 will also be included.

 

Part 1

1      1953

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Front Cover

p [1], front cover; p [3], title; p [4], imprint; p [5], untitled essay by Neil Munro; p [6], blank; p [7], index; p 8, Foreword; pp 9-10, The History of the Bagpipe; pp 11-12, essay on the Practice Chanter; p 13, Preliminary Notes; pp 15-69, lessons and music; p [70], blank.

  • The Author’s Collection This book has a gray cover. The imprint on the reverse side of the title-page reads ‘Published by/ The College of Piping, Kelvin House, 27 Otago Street, / Glasgow, W.2. / Printed by / Robert Kirkland, 63 Keppochhill Road, Glasgow, N.’ Below this is written by hand ‘(1953)’. The price on the front cover is 7/6. On the front cover is a rubber stamp with McPhees, 43 Tory Street, Wellington. Neil and Alan McPhee moved from this address in 1953. There seems little doubt this is the first edition.

The College of Piping Tutor was first published in September 1953. A revised edition followed in August 1954; reprinted in August 1955, December 1956, January 1958, June 1959, October 1960, September 1961, July 1962, August 1963, March 1964, March 1965, October 1966, February 1968 – as stated on page [2] of the copy described below. A review appeared in the Piping Times, March 1954.

Copies in libraries represent a number of different early printings, for example: Bodleian Library, received 6 August 1954; Picton Library, Liverpool, dated 1954 in catalogue; Central Public Library, Edinburgh, two copies, one dated 1956 in the catalogue.

2       ND

The College of Piping / tutor / for the Highland bagpipe / by / Seumas MacNeill and Thomas Pearston
Below the title: part 1 / Copyright reserved

Published by the College of Piping, 20 Otago Street, W.2. /
Printed by Robert Kirkland, I St. Mungo Street, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow.

p [2], imprint; p [3], title; p [5], quotation from Neil Munro; p [7], index; p 8, foreword, dated June 1953; pp 9-10, ‘The History of the Bagpipe’; pp 11-12, care of practice chanter; p 13, preliminary notes; pp 14-66, lessons 1-26; pp 67-69, marches (4). Advertisements on pp [4, 6, 70-76]. Pages [1, 2, 75, 76] are the front and back covers.

  • Roderick Cannon’s Collection.* Purchased 1968. Paper covers. 9.7 x 7.5″.

It is not proposed to show scanned images of all the different editions as they are the same as that described by Cannon above. Inside the front cover of some there is a list of the revisions and reprints and their dates. The writer has seven later editions; five have these details and two do not. The list below describes these seven books:

i)  Reprint June 1969. Price 10/6.
ii)  Reprint June 1970. Price 10/6.
iii)  Reprint January 1972. Price 55p.
iv)  Reprint July 1972. Price 55p.
v)  Reprint June 1973. Price 60p.

All those listed above are consecutive with no reprints in between any of them. They all have the familiar green cover with the stylised picture of the Highland bagpipe with a red tartan bag.

vi)  Reprint after 1973. Price £1.
vii)  Reprint September 1994. No price.

The last book is more of a revision than a reprint. Although the text is substantially the same as earlier revisions it is in a different font. The music has been type set rather than the hand written format of earlier versions. The various photos showing the fingering of the notes are much clearer than earlier editions and the background has been removed leaving just the chanter and the fingers on view. There are also subtle changes to the colouring and text on the front cover.

3      Reprinting has continued steadily; by March 1973 over 100,000 copies had been sold (Piping Times, April 1973).

 

Part 2

1      1968

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Front Cover

p [ii-iv], advertisements; p 1, title; p ii, imprint; p 3, motto; p 4, foreword; p 5, index; pp 7-64, chapters 1- 10, pp [65-68], advertisements.

The imprint is as follows: ‘Photographs by T. Pearston / Donald Drone Cartoons by Seoras Telfer. / Printed by Robert Kirkland, 1 Mungo Street, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, Scotland. / Published by the College of Piping, 20 Otago Street, Glasgow, W.2. Scotland. / (c) Copyright in all countries 1968.’

  • The Author’s Collection.

The cover is light blue with Celtic patterns and the price 12/6. The Foreword is dated June 1968 but edition II suggests the actual publication date was September of that year.

This book is not a musical tutor but instruction on the general maintenance and playing of the bagpipe.

2       June 1971

Title, imprint and contents as I.

The Author’s Collection.

There are a number of pages at the front and rear that have advertisements and these all differ from edition I. The cover is now red with the same stylized bagpipe as Part 1.

3       September 1976

Title, imprint and contents as I.

The Author’s Collection.

There are a number of pages at the front and rear that have advertisements and these all differ from edition I & II.

4       c1991

Title and contents as I.

The imprint is as follows: ‘Photographs by T. Pearston / Donald Drone Cartoons by Seoras Telfer. / Pipe chanter components by R. G. Hardie and Co. / Printed by Hugh K. Clarkson & Sons Ltd., Young Street, West Calder. / Published by the College of Piping, 20 Otago Street, Glasgow, W.2. Scotland. / © Copyright in all countries 1968.’

The Author’s Collection.

There are a number of pages at the front and rear that have advertisements and these all differ from edition I, II & III. There is no date anywhere in this edition but the advertisements suggest it would have been published around 1991.

 

Part 3

1       1969

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Front Cover

[No imprint. The cover is lettered The College of Piping / Highland Bagpipe / tutor /// Part 3 // Price 12/6 / (Not for sale or export to Canada or U. S.A.) / / / ]

p [3], title; p 5, dedication; p [6], advertisement; p [7], contents; p [8], advertisement; p [9], motto; pp 11- 71, text (29 lessons) and tunes (18 interspersed); pp [72-3], advertisements. Pages [1, 2, 75, 76] are the front and back covers.

Paper covers. 10. 6 x 8.5”.

There is no imprint or date, but an announcement in The College of Piping Tutor, Part 2 stated that this part was expected to be ready in February 1969. Part 2 of the Tutor, similar in format to this one, published 1968, contained instructions on care and maintenance of the bagpipe, tuning and tone production, etc, but no music.

The present writer has not seen an edition that is the same as that described by Cannon.

2       ND

Cover, title and contents as in I. The imprint reads ‘First edition, June, 1969. / Published by The College of Piping, 20 Otago Street, Glasgow, W.2, Scotland. / Printed by Robert Kirkland, 1 St. Mungo Street, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, Scotland.

p [2], imprint, p [3], title; p 5, dedication; p [6], advertisement; p [7], contents; p [8], advertisement; p [9], motto; pp 11-79, text (29 lessons) and tunes (18 interspersed); pp [80-81], advertisements. Pages [1, 2, 82, 83] are the front and back covers.

The Author’s Collection.

3      ND

Cover, title and contents as in I. There is no imprint

The Author’s Collection.

This book appears to be the same edition I except it has 79 pages of instruction and music and there is no price on the front cover.

4      1992

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Front Cover

pp [1, 2], advertisement, p [3], title; p [4], advertisement; p 5, dedication; p [6], advertisement; p [7], contents; p [8], advertisement; p [9], motto; pp 11-79, text (29 lessons) and tunes (18 interspersed); pp [80- 81, 82, 83, 84], advertisements. pp [85, 86], rear cover, advertisements.

  • The Author’s Collection.

Although the statement on the title-page says this edition has been revised the revisions appear to be minor.

 

Part 4

1     1990

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Front Cover

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p [i], title; p [ii], contents; pp 1-93, tutor; pp 94-96; Appendix A; pp 97-99, Appendix B; pp 100-112. Tunes (4); pp 113-116, advertisements.

  • The Author’s Collection.  210mm x 296mm.

This is a spiral bound book. It was advertised for sale in the Piping Times Vol 42, No 10, July 1990.

2      2002

The publishing history of this book can be seen in the title-page of the edition below where this is called a reprint. At some point the decision was made to call this book Part 4 of the College of Piping Tutor and it may have been at this printing. When one is found the position will be clarified.

3      2003

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Front Cover

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p 1, title; p 2, contents; pp 3-5, foreword; pp 6-59, lessons; p 60, bibliography.

  • The Author’s Collection.

This edition was advertised in the Piping Times Vol 55, No 8, May 2003 where it is called ‘our new revised Tutor for Piobaireachd (Tutor 4)’. On the title-page it is stated this is the ‘Second reprint December 2003’ and that it was first published in June 1990.

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  • Rev 00. (6 December 2008).
  • Rev 01 (15 October 2010). Changes to the introduction. Part 4 has been updated.

© Geoff Hore