This section of our Musical Materials site covers all Gaelic language aspects of pibroch: spelling, pronunciation and meaning. For centuries, anti-Gaelic actions and inactions have eroded sensitivity to Gaelic culture and crushed confidence within it. These pages aim to rebuild understanding and appreciation for how pibroch’s composers described their music in their native tongue.
We have three projects at different stages of development:
- Gaelic names of pibrochs – 284 pages; complete up to 1850; this is a living resource, regularly updated.
- Gaelic musical terms – several pages coming soon to complement the Gaelic Names of Pibrochs resource.
- Names of pibrochs in pre-1820 sources without music notation – a page gathering documentary evidence, supplementing the pre-1850 musical materials.
The first two projects include pronunciation recorded by Allan MacDonald. They grow out of discussions recorded in Edinburgh, highlights of which are published in various places with a complete list maintained on the page About the Gaelic audio materials. I am deeply grateful to Allan MacDonald and to John MacInnes for the generosity with which they have shared their knowledge and given permission for the recordings of our discussions to be used on this site. I am also grateful to the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK who funded the making of these recordings in Edinburgh between January and December 2015 through the research project Bass culture in Scottish musical traditions.
Barnaby Brown, 12 January 2016