Another Initiative to Encourage Piobaireachd Composition

The US-based Alt Pibroch Club has sent this:

The Mission of the Alt Pibroch Club (APC) is to re-extend the idiom of piobaireachd performance and composition by exploring the multitude of ancient and modern interpretations, styles, and schools of performances. making them accessible to the public.

Motivated by the breadth and depth of piobaireachd expression and musicality evidenced in the primary source materials, we are creating a safe space for performers and composers to explore the extensive range of interpretive possibility this art form represents. To this end we are introducing the APC Library of Modern Pibroch. Working with our friends at pipetunes.ca, created and managed by Jim McGillvray, we are creating a series of annually released volumes of new pibroch compositions. We are now calling for submissions for consideration for inclusion in our first volume ‘New Music for New Times’. Deadlines for submissions will be 1st September 2018.

We are looking for compositions that explore the depth of pibroch as a class of music. We are looking for a variety of different genres represented in the tradition: salutes, martial tunes, gatherings, celebrations, entertainment during mundane tasks. As well as compositions for pipes, we are also encouraging scores for other instruments. After all, pibroch has been performed on the harp and fiddle (and electric guitar, for that matter). We are also considering scores for multiple instruments and ensembles. We accept staff notation and canntaireachd.



Each entry will be reviewed by our international panel of judges, and composers, who will present their recommendation for inclusion in the Library. The anticipated acceptance rate is up to six (6) ceol mor pieces. This rate may vary, however, depending on funding and submissions. Ours is not so much a competition, as it is a call for creativity, and submissions from all sources will be considered.

All submissions must include a recording and score (please consider using Sibelius). Include your name and a bit of your background, and certainly your contact info. You may also wish to include a bit about the background that inspired you to create the tune. Composers may re-submit their music (if not initially selected) at future annual submission periods, if they believe revisions would make the work suitable for re-entry; however, composers may only submit one entry annually.

Once accepted into the Library, those composers whose tunes have been selected will receive a one-time monetary stipend of $200CND for their compositions. This stipend does not restrict the copyright of the composer. The score will be recorded by professional musicians (unless the composer provides her or his own studio quality recording) and the audio files will be stored and distributed for download to purchasers through the pipetunes.ca website. Users browsing the APC page on pipetunes.ca will be able to listen to the entire recording before deciding to download. The recording can be downloaded free, the score, typeset in Sibelius, will require purchase. A copyright fee of 25% will be paid to the composer(s) for downloaded scores, paid once a year provided total royalties exceed CAD$50. The composer(s) may choose to restrict the publication of their work at any time, though the APC and pipelines.ca will retain the right to use the score and recording for the limited purposes of advertising future projects.

It is anticipated that beginning the second year, and every year thereafter, a recital, open to the public, will be held where invited pipers, fiddlers and harpists, etc, will perform the scores from the previous year’s Volume. These events will be recorded, and the recordings will also be made available for purchase.

It is our intention to encourage and reward exploration and invention within the idiom, to explore instrumentation and potential intersections with other art forms, and to open up piobaireachd to a broad range of audiences and venues. We believe that piobaireachd has a lot to offer, and we want to provide an opportunity for composers to create something special. Please send your submission (score and recording) to jdavid.hester@altpibroch.com, with the subject line ‘Library of Modern Pibroch 2018’.

• Click here for more on new piobaireachd compositions and for the results of the Shasta Piping Society’s 2018 ceol mor composing competition winners. Listen to the winning tune here. It should also be noted that the Piobaireachd Society has been encouraging the composition of new tunes for many years. See the message below from President Jack Taylor.


1 thought on “Another Initiative to Encourage Piobaireachd Composition

  1. Good to see another initiative for Piobaireachd composition and performance. And an opportunity to remind composers that the Piobaireachd Society has for many years provided a platform on the Society website for new compositions. A score and a recording if possible should be sent via the website.

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