For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

Electric Scotland News

In two decades, EU Customs Union membership has not delivered clear benefits for any major UK sector
There’s a difference between what the Customs Union was supposed to achieve in theory and what it’s actually achieved in practice. Thanks to historical trade data published by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) in September 2018, we now know the difference is huge.

Highly recommend you read this at: and having read Part 1 there is a link to Part 2 and from there to Part 3.

I read the whole article myself and feel that it makes the case for a "No Deal" Brexit but of course you'd need to read it to decide for yourself. I will say that there is a bit in it about how EU regulations can have adverse affects on Britain and Scotland. The case of how the EU rebelled at the USA imposing tariffs on Steel and Aluminum by imposing tariffs on Harley Davidson motorbikes and Bourbon. The case for USA retaliation could easily be to Triumph motorbikes in England and Whisky from Scotland.

I still expect Trump to work on a trade deal with the EU and will impose tariffs on the EU just like he has done with China. To my mind the only reason he had not done so already is that he is waiting to see if the UK leaves the EU and if it does then he can go about punishing the EU without it having an affect on the UK. However that's just my view so let's see if I'm right about this or not.


You can view a video introduction to this newsletter at:

Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in newspapers such as the Guardian, Scotsman, Courier, etc. you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish.

Everyday people are reducing poverty not big government
In areas where the government has tried to reduce poverty, the homeless population has increased

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Welding breakthrough at Heriot-Watt to transform manufacturing
Researchers at Heriot-Watt University have unveiled a welding breakthrough which could have major repercussions for the manufacturing industry

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How Trudeau destroyed his political brand
Until recently, Justin Trudeau’s government in Canada was providing one bright spot for a Western centre-left which is, at least in English-speaking countries, rather embattled.

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The National Piping Centre
You can watch recordings of The Glasgow Uist and Barra Association Annual Invitational Piping Competition at this link...

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St Colmcille
Remembering a lesser-known saint. Colmcille, meaning "the dove of the Church" in Gaelic, or Columba was born at Gartan in County Donegal in 520 or 521.

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£82bn reasons the EU held back the UK
How the EU is a drag on UK prosperity,

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The grim reality of life as a pupil in a Scottish school
By Harriet Sweatman. Winning article from the Scottish Review Young Writer of the Year.

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Sweet smell of success for Harris candle company
Candle and home fragrance company Essence of Harris is celebrating after achieving the prestigious Investors in Young People Standard accreditation.

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The trade deal that could kick-start Africa’s industrial revolution
The UN estimates that under the AfCFTA, intra-African trade could increase by 52.3 per cent by 2022

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These 21 photos show the dramatic changing face of the Gorbals in Glasgow
FEW areas of Glasgow have changed so drastically in such a short space of time as the Gorbals did in the late 20th century.

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The Book of Genesis is actually a story about the tech industry
Humankind’s obsession with technology and economics can be traced to the first book of the Bible.

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Scottish expats need somebody to give a damn
Consideration for expats has been so far down the mix in the Brexit cacophony as to be all but inaudible.

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SNP minister abandons entire devolved benefit to the DWP
The Scottish Government has quietly abandoned attempts to devolve one of 11 welfare benefits that were due to be handed over by the UK Government, it has emerged.

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Landscape photography winners announced
Dumbarton-based photographer Allan Donald has won this year's Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year competition.

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James Clerk Maxwell: The Scots genius in love with numbers and nature
James Clerk Maxwell is the most important physicist you’ve probably never heard of, ranking with Newton and Einstein.

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Electric Canadian

Canadian Archive Reports
Added the 1898 report.

You can read this at:

The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs
The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs for 1921 and you can read this at:

The Canadian Horticulturist
Volume 16 (1893) can be read at:

Canadian Life and Resources
A Monthly Review of the Developed and Undeveloped Wealth of the Dominion of Canada and of Newfoundland Volume 9 (1911) and you can read this at:

The Canadian Law Times
Added Volume 16 1896.which you can read at:

I have added more magazines to our new Magazines section and as there is now sufficient content on that new page I've added a link to it directly to our menu. You can get to this at:

I have also added links to the Internet Archive which will provide additional copies for you to read.

Also added 2 copies of Rose-Belford's Canadian Monthly and National Review and to give an example of the type or articles you can read I posted up one of them entitled Canada and her Indian Tribes which you can read at:

Also added copies of...

Canadian Grocer
The only Weekly Grocery Paper Published in Canada. October 3, 1913.

Lumbering In Northern Ontario (1923)
An old black & white silent film which you can view at:

Canadian Nights
Being Sketches and Reminisces of Life and Sport in the Rockies, the Prairies and the Canadian Woods by The Earl of Dunraven (1914) (pdf). You can read this at:

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will visit British Columbia from March 8 to 11, 2019. During this visit, she will make stops in New Westminster, Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria and Comox. You can learn more at:

Electric Scotland

The Scottish Review
Added Volume 27 - January April 1896 for you to read at:

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Got in the March 2019 section 1.which you can read at:

Science Fiction & Fantasy
I did a wee update on my page to add a couple of new authors to you for consideration.

You can read my list of favourite authors at:

A Backward Glance
The Story of John Ridle, An Australian Pioneer by Annie E. Ridley (1904) (pdf)

You can read this and be inspired at:

Elliot Ancestors of New England and many points west
Got sent in a large pdf of these ancestors by Mark Elliott and he also provided a couple of links to further research sites which I've added to our Elliot page..

You can read this at:

The Black Book of Paisley
By David Murray (1885) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Patrick Fraser Tytler
Added links to his 3 volume publication on the Worthies of Scotland which you can get to at:

Chosen Valley
The Story of a Pioneer Town by Margaret Snyder (1948) (pdf) which we've added to our American section at:

Letters from a gentleman in the north of Scotland to his friend in London:
Containing the description of a capital town in that northern country: with an account of many uncommon customs of the inhabitants: likewise an account of the Highlands, with the customs and manners of the Highlanders: to which is added, a letter relating to the military ways among the mountains, began in the year 1726: the whole interspersed with facts and circumstances entirely new to the generality of people in England, and little known in the southern parts of Scotland in 2 volumes (1754)

You can read these at:

Charters and other Writs
Illustrating the History of the Royal Burgh of Aberdeen 1171 - 1804 edited with translation by Peter John Anderson (1890) (pdf)

You can read this at:

George Buchanan
Found another and better biography of him that better explores his work outside Scotland. Humanist and Reformer by P. Hume Bown (1890) (pdf)

You can read this at:

The Story

Bagpipe Music
This article was taken from the January April 1896 edition of The Scottish Review

A HIGHLAND piper, when asked to play, will almost invariably begin with some energetic quick step, and follow this with a lively strathspey and reel. He does this because he knows that music of the martial and bright order is expected of him. His bagpipe is a very old instrument, and, in the early days of its existence, dance music was apparently unknown. The Gaelic name for pipe music is piobaireachd, now commonly shortened and Anglicised into pibroch, and pibroch proper was the early music of the Highland pipe. Hence it follows that, down to the present day, the word pibroch does not signify marches, strathspeys and reels, but the old classic type of music exemplified in laments, salutes, and warnings. The precise origin of our national instrument will probably ever remain obscure. We know that the ancient Greeks and Normans possessed bagpipes, and that many of the nations with whom they came in contact also played upon this form of instrument. But we cannot say that the pipes used in Italy, Turkey, Egypt, or Scotland have sprung from those ancient pipes, any more than we can prove that the people of each country invented an instrument of this type for themselves.

The pifferari of Italy are occasionally seen in our streets with their ungainly monotonous instrument, but the pipes of Turkey and Upper Egypt, which are very much alike, are practically unknown. This type may be described as follows :—The bag is made of pliant kid skin and is almost twice the size of that used in Scotland. It remains uncovered, the holes made by the amputation of the legs and neck of the kid being gathered up and tied. There are no drones of any sort, but a short blow-pipe provided with a valve, to prevent the recoil of the breath, is inserted in the familiar manner. The part which we must call the ‘ chanter’ for want of a better name, i.e., the part in which the fingering holes are situated, is peculiar. Two canes, each about half a foot long, are lashed firmly together and secured with pitch. They project from a single ‘stock’ of olive wood to which the bag is tied. Each cane has five holes, placed at equal intervals, so that the two canes being parallel, the holes appear in couples and are fingered together. To the lower end of this 'twin chanter' two cut goat horns are attached, which bend upwards and appear to be a primitive attempt at the bell mouth, seen in more modern wind instruments. The stock reminds one of the narrow circular pulley of a spinning wheel, having a flattened disc with a groove running round its periphery. A reed is provided for each cane, and these project freely into the cavity of the bag. The reeds themselves are exactly the old fashioned tongued articles still used for the drones of our Highland pipes ; a hollow reed cut off at a joint or node and therefore closed at one end, the wind being forced to pass through the slit which forms the tongue. In place of our tartan streamers there are a number of long brown tasseled cords of camel's hair attached to the horned mouths of the chanter. Some simple ringed decoration is also noticeable on the blow-pipe.

Before bagpipe music was written in the ordinary notation, a special system of saying or chanting symbols was in use, so that airs could more easily be handed on from one to another. This was termed the canntaireachd. It is not generally realized that the pibrochs of the MacCrummens and MacArthurs of Skye, and the Campbells of Lorn, were all originally learnt and circulated by means of this system. Not till about 1830 was pibroch music written as we now have it. The modern sol-fa notation is a very similar method adapted for the human voice. Only one collection of pibrochs, in canntaireachd language, appears ever to have been published. This book contained twenty airs obtained from one of the MacCrummens by a Capt. Neil Macleod of Gesto, it was published by Lawrie & Co., Edinburgh, in 1828. A description of it was prepared in pamphlet form by J. F. Campbell in 1880 (Glasgow, Archibald Sinclair, 62 Argyle Street). This writer has satisfied himself that three distinct systems of writing canntaireachd were common amongst pipers, in different parts of the country, as lately as sixty or seventy years ago. This old pipe language died a natural death with the publication of works, in the ordinary notation, by Angus Mackay, Ross, and others. Now, the taste of the most fastidious piper may be suited from the large collections of pibrochs, marchs, strathspeys, reels and jigs, published by David Glen & Gunn.

The compass of the Scotch instrument is nine notes, usually represented on the treble clef as including the notes from G to high A. The key note of the chanter is E, and to this the three drones are tuned, two in unison as tenors, one an octave lower as bass. All who are at all familiar with pipe playing must have remarked to what an extent sudden leaps occur, and how rarely it happens that anything like a true scale is found. In all very old pipe airs this is especially the case. The characteristic feature of the music, and the subtle effect of it lies largely in the fact that jumps instead of runs constantly seem to break up the normal rhythm, the leading notes of the melody being joined together by passing notes, grace notes, or warblers, in such a manner as to relieve the discord which would otherwise be apt to occur through the absence of the elements of the true scale, the semitones. The resting or sustained notes of pibrochs are practically those which may be found on the piano by playing only on the black keys, ascending the scale from say D flat for six other notes. The airs of old pibrochs such as MacCrimmon’s Lament, Mackintosh’s Lament, Mackay’s Banner, may readily be played on the notes indicated. The use of complicated grace notes is now considered necessary in first class piping, and no doubt the general effect of ‘heavy fingering’ has been to put more solidity and tone into the playing.

In very early days, however, grace notes seem to have been introduced more on account of their use than from a desire to adorn or elaborate the composition. The original use of grace notes can be easily conceived when it is remembered that the construction of the instrument permits of no pausing in the melody, and that therefore, to separate two or more notes of the same pitch, it is necessary to accent the commencement of each note with a ‘cut’; leave out the cut and the effect is similar to that produced on an organ if an attempt is made to play three notes in succession without lifting the finger. Such simple cutting would soon become elaborated, certain combinations of cuts being found particularly effective in certain places, and in this way the complicated 'warblers’ of modern music would result.

Moreover it is certainly true that the greater the number of warblers, so the slightly discordant intervals are more frequently resolved, and any strain on the ear of the listener becomes less. In this connection also, the drones are most useful in assisting the airs at the most trying points and in producing the minor effect. For this reason therefore the drones are of greatest use during the playing of slow pibroch where larger intervals occur than in any other form of pipe music. In pibroch also, as every piper knows, the presence of an inaccurately tuned drone is much more quickly recognised. Hence it happens that the deachan gleue or prelude for tuning the pipe, always partakes of the pibroch character.

Marches, strathspeys, and reels are so well known that their characteristics need not be mentioned. The music of the pibroch, on the other hand, is but little understood by many, and on this account is less appreciated than would be the case if its real value were known. To one whose ear is unaccustomed to the strains of the pipes, the march may be intelligible, but a pibroch seems merely a discordant collection of confusing sounds redeemed bv neither rhythm nor harmony. The reason for this seems to be that, compared to music of the familiar, perhaps w’e might even say more civilized type, the resting notes of the air occur at curious places and persistently prevent the establishment of the expected tune. The idea of having three constant notes continually droning seems also to be fatal to any melody. I have already attempted to show’ the real value of the drones ; should my explanation have proved insufficient I w’ould now recommend that a simple experimental test be applied. Let a piper be asked to stop his drones one after the other and let the listener test the effect upon his own ears. I venture to promise that all three drones will soon be set going again. If the bass drone be left out, the listener will hear the pipe as it sounded before Prince Charlie’s time, but still he will agree that the boom of the muckle drone is a great acquisition. After some experience, as the ear becomes used to the curious scale a strange interest is awakened. It may be likened to the revisiting of an old and romantic country, in which the explorer walks by wild mountain torrent and wind swept heather, a country peopled by a bold and fearless race of kilted warriors. He hears the warning pipe sound the approach of the invading foe to rouse the clans to arms. Fierce and sudden is the attack, and hoarse and loud are the shouts of the slayers. They glory in bloodshed, and cold and cruel is the mocking hand of their mercy. Or he wanders far by the still and lonely loch, where the gathering shadows shroud thİ lofty hills, and the solitary heron, with startled croak, rises dripping from his post and wings away his heavy flight; when the mountain hamlet is quiet, and the hand of death lies with leaden weight on the prostrate form ,of chief ; where the strains of the mournful pibroch rise and float in the quivering air, till rock and glen and far off hill re-echo the weird lament.

The old pibrochs were all, without exception, written to commemorate some striking circumstance. A modern piper, may without great difficulty, construct a march or reel, but with the existant conditions of Highland life, in the gradual extinction of clan sentiment, and the Providential absence of civil strife, the source of inspiration is wanting, so that an historic pibroch of the old style is now an impossibility. It might also be added that, for the same reasons, the pipers of the present day do not grow up in sufficiently romantic conditions to enable them to rise to the high musical standard of the old pibroch composers. The playing of pibroch, as an art, cannot be said to be on the wane, as anyone may judge by listening to the excellent renderings of the famous old airs to be heard at many of our annual Highland Games, but the composition of pibroch may be considered as ended. Each pibroch, then, has its own history, a knowledge of which greatly increases the interest of the intelligent listener. The titles of some pibrochs explain themselves, such for instance as ‘The Massacre of Glencoe/ and ‘The Grant’s Gathering.’ The majority, however, are either connected with the memory of some prominent chieftain or bear titles requiring special explanation. Of the former class we may mention the well-known ‘Mackintosh’s Lament/ a pibroch composed about the year 1529, in memory of a highly esteemed chief named Lauchlan Mackintosh of Dunnachton, who met a violent death at the hands of his enemies. Other compositions of the same type are ‘ MacLeod of MacLeod’s Lament/ in memory of Sir Roderick MacLeod of Dun vegan, who died in 1626; and ‘Sir Ewin Cameron of Lochiel’s Salute,’ a pibroch written in praise of a victory of the Cameron Clan when a famous single-handed combat took place between the chief, Sir Ewin, and an English officer.

As examples of pibrochs bearing more singular titles we may mention ‘MacCrummen will never return,’ composed by Donald Bain MacCrummen on account of a presentiment which took possession of his mind on leaving home in 1745. His duty was to accompany his master, the chief of MacLeod, in joining the royal forces against Prince Charlie. It happened that during an abortive attempt to capture the Pretender, who was resting at Moy Hall, the seat of The Mackintosh, on his retreat northwards, Donald Bain was shot. ‘The Piper’s warning to his Master’ is another example. Campbell of Calder had been commissioned by the Earl of Argyll to expel a section of the MacDonald clan from Islay. Coll Ciotacb, the chief, heard the coming of the Campbells and at once proceeded to the mainland for assistance in defending his island. Before he could return, however, Calder managed to take possession of his castle and imprison his retainers. The chief’s piper, who had been left behind and was therefore a prisoner, noticed his master returning, and under pretence of playing a lament for the imprisoned condition of his clan, played a warning for his master not to return, as his castle was already in the hands of his enemy, who were lying in wait to seize him also. Coll Ciotach at once interpreted the warning and delayed his return, whereat Calder, perceiving the trick which had been played him, and being much enraged, called for the piper and had all his fingers cut off. ‘Heart of my Heart I we’ve got the hill of you,’ is an old pibroch which now, alas, seems to have become extinct. The title as given above indicates extreme sarcasm, but Sir Walter Scott, who, in his Tales of a Grandfather, relates the story of the victory, in commemoration of which the pibroch was written, says, referring to Coll of Keppoch, ‘the victory of his tribe is still recorded in the pipe-tune, called “MacDonald took the brae on them’ The former title was given to the present writer by a descendant of the Keppoch family who spoke of the pibroch as having been last played by an old family fiddler. It was never completely written out, although attempts to do so were made before the death of the old man. Be the title as it may, the events which gave rise to it may be briefly summarised as follows:—Mackintosh of Moy claimed the country of the Keppoch MacDonalds known as Glen Roy, and possessed Crown grants for the same. Arrangements to acquire the lands having totally failed on account of the opposition of the MacDonalds, Mackintosh, with the assistance of a company of soldiers under a Captain Mackenzie of Suddie, proceeded to take possession of the country. The settlement of the MacDonalds was found deserted, and Mackintosh, believing that his enemy had given in, commenced the building of a fortified castle for his own use. The MacDonalds, however, had secured the assistance of the neighbouring septs of Glengarry and Glencoe, and assembled in a narrow glen beyond a ridge of hills lying to the north-east of Keppoch. Mackintosh, hearing that an attack was imminent, decided to proceed at once upon the offensive, and marched his clansmen up the ridge of hills towards the encampment of the Keppoch chief during the night, intending to attack at break of day. The scouts of the MacDonalds, however, roused their camp to arms, and as the Mackintoshes approached the summit of the ridge the MacDonalds appeared upon the crest above them. A fierce battle immediately took place, in which the invading Mackintoshes were completely routed, and their chief taken prisoner. Either title of the pibroch therefore applies equally well. The MacDonalds were highly elated at their success, and proclaimed their chief ‘Lord of Keppoch.’ Whereat the captive Mackintosh is reported to have exclaimed, ‘You are as far from being lord of the lands of Keppoch at this moment, as you have been all your life,’ to which MacDonald, who from his remark can readily be imagined to have given the sarcastic title to the pibroch, said, ‘Never mind, we’ll enjoy the good weather while it lasts.’ It does not seem to have lasted long, for Scott tells us that on account of the resistance to the royal troops under Captain Mackenzie,— who was killed in the engagement—sixty dragoons, and two hundred foot guards were detached to lay waste the Keppoch estates.

Only one more example of this old war-music need be given, in a very old pibroch of the extreme north entitled ‘The Carles with the Breeks, or Lord Breadalbane’s March.’ This pibroch commemorates a bloody victory which was gained by the Campbells of Glenurchy over the Sinclairs of Caithness. Glenurchy had managed to obtain a right to the Earldom of Caithness in spite of the apparently just claim of the previous Earl’s grandson. The clan Sinclair, however, objected to the presence of the Campbells and, all legal methods failing, rose to arms for the purpose of expelling them. The Sinclair duniwassals, or gentlemen of the clan, were mounted and wore truis (tartan trousers, a curious dress to the Highland people of that time). In the battle which resulted, the Campbells not only completely defeated the Sinclairs but followed up their victory with what appears to have been a thorough tn assacre. The battle took place near Wick, and so many retreating Sinclairs met their death while attempting to cross the Wick river that the Campbells are said to have crossed the water dry shod by walking on the piled up bodies of their adversaries. Glenurchy’s piper gets the credit of having burst forth in the extemporary music which now forms the pibroch, the notes of which at the time of its composition bore the contemptuous meaning ‘The Carles with the breeks are flying from the field.’

In former days, the leading piper of a prominent chieftain was an official of great importance. He was commonly provided with one or two attendants whose duty was to care for his comfort, and keep his pipes and accoutrements in proper order. He was not infrequently a person of good family, and invariably received the respect and deference which his dignified position demanded. Sons of pipers were brought up to follow the occupation of their fathers, and in this wav the position of piper became hereditary in all the leading families of the north. The MacCrummens, without doubt the most famous pipers and pibroch writers who ever lived, were hereditary pipers to The MacLeods of MacLeod; the MacArthurs to the Lords MacDonald of the Isles; the Mackays to The Mackenzies of Gairloch ; and many other families of pipers to other chiefs in the same manner. The MacCrummens did so much in raising the standard of pibroch playing and of composition, that some special mention is due to their memory in an article such as the present. The oldest traditions do not indicate when they first became connected with The MacLeods, but so distinguished did the family become, under a liberal patronage, that a college for the teaching of bagpipe music, i.e., pibroch, was established under their supervision at a place called Boreraig, near Dunvegan in Skye. Pupils were sent to the MacCrummens from all parts of the country. They were lodged in a wing of the building and were diligently instructed in the fingering of the chanter. The difficulties of acquiring a thorough knowledge of pibroch and pibroch playing will be more readily understood when it is mentioned that pupils remained under instruction for five, six, and in some cases eight years. It became customary for chiefs to send their young pipers to Skye, and the teaching there bestowed upon them acquired such renown, that no piper was considered of the first rank who had not qualified at Boreraig. There seems also to have been a piper’s college in the north of Ireland where the Scots of Ulster kept up the practice of their national instrument. It was established by a Highlander of some celebrity who had settled there. Its construction must have been considerably prior to the building of the Skye college, for one of the earliest MacCrummens, concerning whom anything is known, one Donald Mor, was sent over to Ireland by MacLeod, for purposes of instruction. He was a mere youth, but already had acquired a wonderful knowledge of pipe music from his father, and is said to have had such a retentive ear and quick genius, that by listening to the lessons given to some other of the twenty-four pupils, who formed his companions, he was able, in a wonderfully short time, to play all the airs his master could teach him. Not long after his return to Scotland he got into seiious difficulties in seeking to avenge the death of a foster brother. In his wrath, he, even a year after the murder of bis kinsman, burned down in one night eighteen houses which stood on the property of Lord Kintail. Several stories are told about him which show his ungovernable temper as well as his great muscular strength and lofty pride. Nevertheless he seems to have been the fountain head of genius for the MacCrummen family, and composed many works, such for instance as, ‘ MacLeod’s Controversy,’ about the year 1603; ‘The MacDonald’s Salute', ‘The Earl of Ross’s March' about 1600; and ‘Donald Duaghal Mackay’s Lament' 1649.

His son Patrick Mor succeeded him. He composed amongst other pibrochs ‘The Lament for the Children’ (seven of his own sons died in one year); ‘I got a kiss of the King’s Hand' 1651; and ‘John Garve MacLeod of Raasay’s Lament' about 1648. After him came Patrick Og, who seems to have been the best teacher and who had three sons; John, who became piper to the Earl of Seaforth, and wrote ‘The Glen is Mine' a well known pibroch; Donald Bain, who succeeded his father as piper to MacLeod, and who wrote, ‘MacCrummen will never Return' already referred to; and Farquhar, about whom little is known, but whose eldest son, Malcolm, succeeded Patrick Og at Dunvegan. Malcolm’s eldest son, John Dhu, seems to have been the last of the MacCrummens who acted as pipers with the MacLeods of MacLeod. He died in his ninety-first year, in 1822.

Pibrochs are almost invariably written on one definite plan. The theme, ‘urlar’ or ‘ground' is given first of all. It is invariably slow in time, possessing curious intervals, and, according as the subject is sad or dignified, so the player has to express the sentiment, walking slowly the while. One, two, or three variations follow, each of which is ‘doubled,’ £e., played half as fast again, the notes of the melody being made of equal length. Each variation has its own system of warblers and grace notes, and a separate name, as the Suibhal, Taor-luath, and Crun-luath. While playing the doubling of any variation the piper stands. After the crun-luath has been doubled, a performance which demands great precision and agility of fingering in the flashing of as many as fourteen grace notes in a bar, the original theme is slowly repeated and the pibroch ends. Formerly it was the practice to play the theme before the crumluath as well as at the end, but as a pibroch of average length occupies nearly ten minutes, this practice is now frequently discontinued. It may probably seem curious that laments and salutes should be composed on similar lines, but the arrangement of the melody, as well as the time and style of playing should, in good piping, make the semitonent at once apparent. The reader may also be reminded that a very similar condition is to be found ammg old Lowland Scottish Songs. The old tune ‘Hey, tuttie tattie,’ which is believed to have been used as a battle-song by Robert the Bruce, is the same tune which now-a-days, when given with vigour and spirit, is called ‘Scots, wha ha’e wi’ Wallace bled,’ or when slow and pathetic 'The Land o’ the Leal.’ No pibroch air can be used in forming two distinct tunes in this way, but the example shows to what an extent the mere method of rendering can alter an air.

While thus drawing attention more especially to the value of our old pibrochs, I do not wish to minimise the importance of the lighter and more modern class of pipe music. The history of our Highland regimepts shows at once, how great has been the value of the bagpipe in the British Army. Yet here also it was first of all the pibroch, and not the military march which, in the early days of Highland regiments, called the men to arms and inspired them with courage for the heroic deeds they so often accomplished. For instance, before Quatre Bras the men of the Black Watch (42nd), who were billeted in Brussels, were called to quarters by the playing of an old pibroch entitled ‘Come to me and I will give you flesh.’ It is a pibroch of one of the MacCrummens and was composed in the midst of the battle of Inverlochy in 1427 when Donald Balloch of the Isles was victorious over the Royal forces. The complete pibroch is given in Keltie’s edition of MacLachlan’s History of the Scottish Highlands, division 7, p. 446.

The rousing quality of the pipe march has been often put to the test, and the battles of Alma, Lucknow, or the more recent Tel-el-Kebir, gave many opportunities for showing what Highlanders can do when thoroughly inspirited by the strains of their native instrument. Moreover, the pipe bands have no doubt done much to keep up the interest of the old country, and bridge over a period when, owing to the rapid march of Saxon influences, old Celtic sentiment had fallen somewhat into abeyance. At the present day, it would appear that a revival is slowly setting in, and although bagpipe playing and kilt wearing may in many instances be instigated by most modern and unromantic impulses, we cannot but rejoice that the large collection of airs for our historic instrument is being opened up from the hidden stores of the past. One evil of modern times, we have to deplore, and it is an evil almost entirely chargeable to regimental pipeing. A custom has become established, in almost all our regiments where brass or string bands exist, for the bandmaster to arrange all manner of tunes to suit his own band whilst bringing some coveted distinction to his own name. Thus we have 'Selections’ from Italian operas, from national airs, or from music hall songs, which vary according to the musical capabilities and discretion of the bandmaster. The pipe-major has naturally followed suit, and has not sufficiently calcnlated the capabilities of his essentially Celtic instrument, He has twisted and contorted fine old tunes' into regimental pipe marches, with the result that, far too often, he has spoilt a fine tune without making a good march. In this way, such tunes as 'Turn ye to Me,’ 'Miss Forbes’ 'Farewell to Banff,’ 'I’m wearin’ awa’ Jean,’ and many others, have been treated. Such tunes cannot be rendered on the bagpipes, because their true airs cannot be adapted to the chanter scale. To attempt such a course is a breach of good taste and a violation of all musical propriety. Even amongst airs specially written for the pipes, a distinction can be drawn between that which is exactly suited to the peculiarities of the instrument, and that which at times is apt to draw attention to the limits beyond which the instrument is unable to go. It was this exact adaptation, and perfect good taste which so distinguished the pibroch music of the MacCrummens. Their music is the pure music of the Highland pipe, as it is the music of no other instrument. Brought up with none but the chanter scale ever present to their ears, they seem to have been saturated with the true essence of Celtic music. The violation of this principle of adaptation has most certainly been the cause of much of the prejudice expressed against the bagpipes. This is all the more to be deplored since it is through our Highland regiments that a knowledge of the music of the pipes is mostly known. In India or Egypt, in Canada, or the West Indies, wherever our Highlanders are stationed, there the sound of the bagpipe makes its impression. Let us then strive to maintain the purity of our Celtic music, to uphold its true quality while we discourage the introduction of all unsuitable and impossible combinations. Our bagpipe music, both at home and abroad, will then call forth the memories of our Highland mountains, and worthily represent the nation at whose hands it has been the means of producing so much. In times of rejoicing when the heartsome reel strikes up its merry note we shall ever fling care and old age to the winds, exulting that we have an instrument which can force us to dance as it can move us to tears; an instrument which has sounded its war-blast in every field of British glory; that has been, and that can be, borne far into the thickest of every fight.

W. L. Calderwood.

And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend.