PP Editor’s Blog: Dogs and Pipes/ PB Magazine/ Ullapool Cash Boost etc

I have always been interested in the above engraving. Firstly the scene is probably Highland given the piper is wearing the kilt (but it might be a lonely bodach in a Glasgow single-end for all we know). Sitting was possibly a necessity given the low ceiling. I don’t think he plays on the great Highland bagpipe; more likely it is a two-drone reel pipe, a sort of half-size instrument popular for dancing and amusement before the accordion and fiddle took over.

On the sideboard sits his trusty ‘tappit hen’, a beer or wine mug of healthy capacity with a distinctive lid said to resemble a chicken’s head, hence the name. But let’s look at the dogs: they seem far more intelligent in their reaction  to their master’s playing than we would see from some humanoids.

Far left we have Inquisitive, perhaps just arrived in the humble abode or listening to a piece that’s new to him; next is Superior who’s clearly heard it all before and prefers the piper up the glen (or the one from Govan); Howler is not at all happy at the missed gracenotes; Adoration is in raptures at the boss’s dulcet warbling.

Would be interested in hearing readers’ pipe/dog experiences and receiving any photographs.


PB-Mag-Jan-'16-digital-1Pipe Band Magazine will be available from January 1 on the RSPBA website and from the Piping Press Shop. The cover features World Solo Drumming Champion Steven McWhirter of Inveraray & District Pipe Band. There’s an interview with Steven and also with one of the judges and a full picture gallery from last October’s contest held in Glasgow Caledonian University. Other features:

  • All the the dates for the 2016 outdoor season are there too.PB-Mag-Jan-'16-digital-17
  • Bob Shepherd, forward thinking as ever, suggests the next step forward in creating true pipe band musicians who would have knowledge and expertise in  all aspects of band performance.PB-Mag-Jan-'16-digital-19
  • We continue our look back at the best years of the Cowal Championship with nice photographs of some of the medals that
    used to be handed to the winners in both bands and solos.PB-Mag-Jan-'16-digital-8
  • Adjudicator Harry Stevenson concludes his ‘Know Your Judges’ feature with revealing insight into what he is looking for from a pipe band.

Pipe Band Magazine is a free digital download brought to you courtesy the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.


ullapool logoWell done to local firm Scottish Sea Farms for supporting Ullapool & District Pipe Band ahead of the 2016 season.

A £2000 ‘Heart of the Community’ grant has been donated to their newly formed development band and allows them to buy new drums.

The band committee said: ‘The development band gives members free access to musical equipment and provides practice sessions with a view that the new members will then become accomplished players and feed into the senior band. We have only recently established the development band but already have over 40 pipers and drummers attending the regular practice sessions. So this support helps us keep and develop this interest, all very positive for the future of our pipe band.”

Andrew MacNeill of Scottish Sea Farms said: ‘The Ullapool and District Junior Pipe Band give the whole area something to be proud of and we are delighted to be able to help them develop local talent and hopefully go on to achieve further success.’


Australian piper Brett Tidswell’s excellent ‘Complete Pipers Handbook’ is now available via the Piping Press Shop. The book has all the bagpipe maintenance info  the piper will need with details on how to set reeds, tying stocks etc. all complete with necessary diagrams and full colour photographs. There’s also info on how to set up band which might be particularly useful to some. The book is now in its updated second edition.

Wannabe  a piping or drumming snowbird?…then  catch some heat at the South Florida Pipe & Drum Academy!