Reverse Engineering in Pibroch – by Ronald Smith

We have seen great advances in recovering and reclaiming the nearly lost art of the clarsach, and heard Simon Chadwick’s ressurections of its music and explorations into the lost world of the era when harp music and pibroch flourished side by side.  While illuminating and inspiring, much of this remains a specialist activity requiring dedication […]

An Interesting Puzzle, and a Potential Opportunity

In my encounters chatting with competitors and judges, one  hears discussions about what constitutes qualifications for aassessing “alternative” settings. This poses an interesting question: Since so many of the current and previous generation of pipers only learn from and know the derivative and secondary sources, and are taught in the dominant stylistic paradigm, where does one find judges familiar […]

Instrumenting the Instrument

Making music is not just a matter of interpretation and technique, the instrument itself makes a difference. This is especially true of piobaireachd where harmonics and mutual resonances between chanter and drones are so important. The highland bagpipe is famously cantankerous, sensitive to moisture and temperature. An instrument may by sounding sweet one day and […]