Editor’s Notebook

The terrorist atrocity in Sri Lanka a couple of months back postponed the scheduled meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). This meant that the planned dispensation for bagpipes and other African blackwood instruments will have to wait a few months more.

It had been proposed that the meeting would agree a proposal that finished instruments would henceforth be considered exempt from costly licences and paperwork. These were adding £60+ to a set of pipes.

Licences would still be deemed necessary for suppliers of raw, palleted wood but provided manufacturers had the necessary documents to prove that their unworked wood was from registered and sustainable sources then the time consuming and costly red tape at point of sale could be dropped.

I think everyone agrees that protection is appropriate with such a rare tree as dalbergia melanoxylon but the addional paperwork was a bind for pipe makers and costly for the consumer.

As far as I am aware no date has yet been set for the next CITES meeting but we’ll keep a watchful eye.



Pipers wishing to enter the 2019 Mod contest, to be held in the centre of the bagpipe universe, need to get their entries in soon.

James Graham of An Comunn: ‘With preparations for Mòd 2019 in Glasgow well underway, we would like to remind any potential senior and junior piping competitors that the entry deadline for Mòd 2019 is Friday 12th July 2019.

‘Any late or incomplete entries submitted after this date will not be accepted. 

‘The Mòd will make a welcome return to Glasgow for the first time since 1990 when it was held in Govan, with junior and senior piping competitions taking place in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 12th October 2019. 

‘Both senior and junior entries for any piping competitions must be submitted to An Comunn Gàidhealach by Friday 12th July 2019 and entries can be submitted online at: https://enter.ancomunn.co.uk/. Details about the competitions themselves can be found by downloading the syllabus at: http://www.ancomunn.co.uk/nationalmod/rules

‘The Royal National Mòd takes place in Glasgow between 11th and 19th October 2019. For any further information, please contact An Comunn Gàidhealach on 01463 709705 or by e-mail: info@ancomunn.co.uk.’


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News from Brittany. Firstly details of the ‘Pibroch by the Sea’ event this coming September (14th and 15th). Participants need to get in touch by July 31.

Click anywhere on the poster to contact the organiser. A test for your French:


Still with the Bretons, see if you like this from Dominique Molard (Patrick’s brother) and his Breton Rhythmn Orchestra.

It’s an interpretation of the melody from the ground of the the piobaireachd the Desperate Battle. Yes, I know it’s not piobaireachd, but I found it attractive all the same:

YS La sonore | Breizh Rythmik Orchestrad | Dominique Molard from Tam Tam Production on Vimeo.


Finally today, a reminder about the Highlands & Islands Young Piper of the Year up in Benbecula.

Entries close July 1. The competition takes place on Thursday 18th July at Sgoil Lionacleit, Benbecula.

It is part of a week of events with the South Uist Games on Wednesday 17th July and the North Uist Games on Friday 19th July which makes three consecutive days of competition on the islands.

Snr. and Jnr. winners at last year’s Young Piper on Benbecula

Competitions in the following categories will be held:
Open Chanter  –  2/4 March (4 parts)
Novice Piping  –  2/4 March (4 parts)
Under 15  –  Ceol Mor / March / Strathspey & Reel / Jig
Under 18  –  Ceòl Mòr / March / Strathspey & Reel / Hornpipe & Jig
Aged 30 and Under  –  Ceòl Mòr / March / Strathspey & Reel / Hornpipe & Jig

Enquiries should be e-mailed to: youngpiperoftheyearcompetion@gmail.com

I think 30 is a bit old for young but they say 70 is the new 60 so let’s just go with the flow.


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