Readers Respond to Article on RSPBA’s MSR Rule Change

A mixed bag of response to yesterday’s article by Ian Forbes. (Read it here.) Before we get to them the Editor writes: ‘I was interested in the comment in the rule change which states that four part tunes should be ‘where the tune was written as a four parted tune’. ‘This is misleading. If we look through our older collections we see that many standards we accept today as four…

The RSPBA Have More Pressing Issues to Attend to than this Unnecessary Rule Change on MSRs

The RSPBA have made a rule change for the Grade 1 MSR, distinguishing between four-parted tunes and six and eight-parted tunes. Why is this necessary? Can someone from the Music Board please explain? Before going any further, I have tried to simplify the hard to understand wording of the rule change as it appears on the RSPBA website. It will apply from 2023. Grade 1 bands to submit two MSRs….

Hector Russell 1945 – 2022

I am saddened to report the sudden passing of piper Hector Russell, writes the Editor. Hector suffered a heart attack at his home in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, and died on Saturday. He was 77. His death comes only a few weeks after the completion of his ‘Pipe Music of Alex M MacIver’, a book he compiled in tribute to his former teacher and which was recently reviewed with acclaim on Piping…

Composer Niall Adds Another Success to his Growing Catalogue of Pipe Music

Niall Mathieson of Easter Ross has a reputation as a composer of merit and two weeks ago added yet another tune to his burgeoning oeuvre when he won a competition for a tune to commemorate the 170th anniversary of Pitlochry Highland Games, writes our Special Correspondent. Mr Matheson’s prize was £500 and he attended the games on September 10 and performed the tune for the first time in public before…

Pipe Band Formations – Transforming from the Circle Part 3

As already mentioned the RSPBA previously undertook a number of trials of the semi-circle format in 1998.  I participated in the trial at Bathgate Highland Games.  As far as I am aware no advice was given to the bands about how the pipers and drummers should form up in the semi-circle, so there were wide variations which resulted in different sound projections.  One band even had the drummers facing backwards…