PP Audio Archive – Solo Piping

Piping Press Audio Archive features bands and soloists of the past and present eras. It is a free resource for all lovers of piping. If you enjoy the music here please consider making a donation to Piping Press to help us cover costs.

If any reader has a recording they think might be suitable for this archive please forward it on to the usual address. The pipers below are featured in alphabetical order based on their surnames. Check out the band archive here.

P/M Craigie Calder discusses the tied Clasp competition at the Northern Meeting in 1923 and we hear a short excerpt of the great John MacColl piping:

Alan Bevan: The Gold Medal winning performance of Clan MacNab’s Salute played at the Northern Meeting in 2008:

Alan Bevan: The Gold Medal winning performance of the Young Laird of Dungallon’s Salute at the 2013 Argyllshire Gathering: 

RU Brown, Balmoral, plays two classic 2/4 marches, Abercairney Highlanders and the 74th’s Farewell to Edinburgh. The settings here are unusual and seldom heard:

RU Brown plays the piobaireachd, the Cave of Gold:

RU Brown: A first class recording of the piobaireachd, Tulloch Ard:

James Campbell, Kilberry, discusses his research into the way some of the early scribes of ceòl mòr portrayed the music and the errors made in interpreting their work:

William Geddes: Iain Dall MacKay’s quirky masterpiece, the Blind Pipers’ Obstinacy, is well handled here with effective change of tempo and rhythmical precision:

William Geddes: Bill negotiates the difficult timing issues presented by Queen Anne’s Lament with some élan. A perfectly pitched high G adds to the enjoyment: 

Alasdair Gillies recorded this at the College of Piping in 2007. We hear the late P/M playing small 2/4 marches and strathspeys and reels:

Alasdair Gillies: Slow airs and jigs; brilliant playing by the late pipe major: 

Alasdair Gillies: An example of how to express 6/8 marches:

Bob Hardie recorded at the Coeur d’Alene Summer School in the early 1970s. The piobaireachd is Corrienessan’s Salute the tune with which he won the Gold Medal in 1947 at Oban.

Ronnie Lawrie from the 1956 Echoes of Oban concert held at the College of Piping. Following this recording’s introduction from Dr Kenneth MacKay, Gold Medallist Ronnie plays his own composition, the popular 2/4 march, Glenfinnan Highland Gathering:

Ronnie Lawrie: From the same concert he plays Bonny Ann, Shepherd’s Crook and Lochiel’s awa’ tae France:

Angus MacColl’s winning performance in the Former Winners’ MSR competition at the 2015 Argyllshire Gathering:

Cameron MacDougall: This is the winning performance by the then 21-year-old professional piper recorded at the Scottish Pipers’ Association annual competition in 2018. The tune is the Old Men of the Shells:

Dave Mason, South Africa, with his winning composition for a tune to commemorate the life and bravery of airman John Cruickshank VC. It is played here by the composer. The competition, launched in 2018, was sponsored by the Royal Northern and University Club Aberdeen and Piping Press:

Dr John MacAskill: Probably the only piobaireachd written by the renowned composer. Here he plays the ground of the tune, entitled Rubh an Dunain. It was inspired by a visit to his clan homeland on the isle of Skye. Recording and publication of this tune is courtesy Mr Cailean Maclean of Skye Media:

Donald McBride with excerpts from his recording for the BBC in 1997. An outstanding piper, Donald is one of those experts who may not have a huge string of awards to his name but who plays as well as, and better than, many who have. The tunes here include the piobaireachd, Salute on the Birth of Rory Mor MacLeod:

Donald McBride impressed everyone with his piping from a very young age. Taught by his father, Donald MacPherson and then Bob Hardie, you can hear the quality in his playing in this set of jigs:

Donald McBride: A recital given by Donald in Kansas City in 2010:

Hugh MacCallum playing in the Former Winners’ MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering, Oban, in 1971. His tunes are the Ross-shire Volunteers, Tulloch Gorm and Dr MacPhail:

John MacDonald, Inverness: Excerpts from tunes in the following order from the great font of piobaireachd knowledge: The ground of the Wee Spree, parts of MacCrimmon’s Sweetheart, the Lament for Donald Ban MacCrimmon, Lament for the Children and Lament for Patrick Og:

John MacDougall competing in the Former Winners’ MSR at the Argyllshire Gathering in 1971. John’s tunes are Lochaber Gathering, Caledonian Society of London and the Little Cascade:

John MacDougall plays part of one of the classic MacCrimmon tunes, Lament for MccSwan of Roaig:

Hector MacFadyen, Pennyghael, Mull, one of the masters of the past, with a selection of light music:

John MacFadyen with a first class performance of Clan Ranald’s Salute. It was recorded by Breton piper Patrick Molard at Oban in 1971:

John MacFadyen recorded this tune, Too Long in this Condition, when on a visit to South Africa in the early 1970s. It is from Chris Terry’s personal collection:

Hugh MacInnes plays the jigs John Patterson’s Mare and Alex MacDonald and then the marches Brigadier Cheape and Stirlingshire Militia. Introductions by Lt.Col. DJS Murray:

Jimmy McIntosh, in his 90th year, gave this interpretation of one of Donald Macleod’s more difficult pieces of ceòl mòr, A Son’s Salute to this Parents:

Jimmy McIntosh: The Earl of Seaforth’s Salute played in full by one of the finest ceòl mòr interpreters:

Jimmy McIntosh: Recorded in May, 1977 on board the SS Calypso moored off the island of Skye. This tune, Lament for the Earl of Antrim, earned Jimmy third prize in a competition sponsored by Clan Donald:

Jimmy McIntosh: The first part of the Prince’s Salute played by Jimmy McIntosh, recorded in his 91st year:

Jimmy McIntosh recorded this performance of part of Lament for the Children just before his 90th birthday:

Jimmy McIntosh: A fine performance of this classic tune, Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay:

Jimmy McIntosh: Recorded on his 94th birthday, Jimmy with Catherine’s Lament:

Seumas MacNeill wrote and presented a wonderful series entitled ‘Masters of Piping’ for BBC Radio back in the 1970s. In this first one he looks at the life and times of P/M Willie Ross:

Seumas MacNeill describes in detail the life and compositions of the great Willie Lawrie, Ballachulish:

Seumas MacNeill on the life and times of P/M Robert Reid. The piper featured is P/M RG Hardie a pupil of Reid’s:

Donald Maclean of Inverness introduces and plays two 2/4 marches, the Braes of Brecklet and the Duke of Roxburgh’s Farewell to the Blackmount Forest. Recorded in 1984 two years before his death:

P/M Donald MacLeod: A remarkable recording of the composer playing three of his own wonderful compositions the Hen’s March, Judge’s Dilemma and the Hammer on the Anvil:

P/M Donald MacLeod plays a selection of reels including the Traditional Reel, a four-part tune arranged by the pipe major:

P/M Donald MacLeod: Lament for John MacDonald, Inveress – An original composition from the maestro, dedicated to his teacher of 25 years probably composed in the early 1960s whilst the pipe major was still serving in the Army at Fort George, near Inverness:

P/M Donald MacLeod: This recording of the ‘Echoes of Oban’ 1952 was made at the now defunct College of Piping in Glasgow. It features an introduction from Seumas MacNeill. This leads to a short speech from Dr Kenneth MacKay talking to the packed crowd in the College. Thereafter we have music from P/M Donald MacLeod. Listen out for the slow air Rory Mor, Donald’s own 6/8, Mrs MacDonald of Uig, and an early version of the Glasgow Police Pipers jig. Thence we have P/M MacLeod playing his Clasp winning tune of that year Salute to Donald. This recording was taken from an old reel to reel tape and the sound quality varies:

Donald MacPherson plays one of the classic MacCrimmon pieces, Lament for Mary MacLeod. This 1977 BBC recital was made at the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness. Donald plays the seldom heard high A instead of high G in the third line of the variation doublings:

Donald MacPherson: Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay, recorded in Glasgow in 1987 at a concert promoted by the BBC. Masterful playing once more from one the great pipers:

Donald MacPherson plays and introduces this recording of light music and piobaireachd from 1972. It includes the piobaireachd, Salute on the Birth of Rory Mor MacLeod, Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay and part of Lament for the Children plus a selection of light music and the first broadcast of his own jig, Donnie MacGregor. The broadcast is in two parts:

Donald MacPherson plays his winning tune, Lady MacDonald’s Lament, from the 1977 Clan Donald invitational competition. A unique occasion, the competition was held aboard the ship SS Calypso off Sleat, Isle of Skye: 

Donald MacPherson plays the tunes, the Duchess of Edinburgh, Maggie Cameron and Major Manson in a Former Winners MSR contest held at the Argyllshire Gathering, Oban, in the early 1970s:

Angus Nicol gives instruction on how to pronounce some piobaireachd titles. This should be listened to in conjunction with this article:

Captain Andrew Pitkeathly: Recorded in Brittany, France, in 1973, we have here an example of the superb piping of Captain Pitkeathly, former Director of Army Bagpipe Music and piper to HM The Queen:

P/M Donald Shaw Ramsay talks about and plays his famous 2/4 march ‘Jimmy Young’:

P/M Robert Reid: Competition strathspeys and reels from P/M Reid. On these old recordings the piper often had to play quicker than normal in order to fit the tunes onto one side of a 78rpm disc:

P/M Robert Reid plays three competition marches in his own style with brilliant technique:

P/M Robert Reid with three popular light music tunes, My Home and his own distinctive setting of Highland Wedding. In the track following he plays When the Battle’s O’er by P/M William Robb:

Iain Speirs: His actual Gold Medal winning performance of Lady Margaret MacDonald’s Salute from Inverness 2007. With this success Iain completed his set of Gold Medals, having won the Oban equivalent in 2002. He has since gone on to win all the major ceòl mòr prizes available to him:

Chris Terry, South African Champion Piper, plays the classic Lament for Donald Duaghal MacKay, recorded 1994:

Chris Terry plays the haunting MacCrimmon composition, the Glen is Mine:

Robert Wallace: The Company’s Lament played in full on the bagpipe:

Robert Wallace: A simple piobaireachd, Glengarry’s Lament, played in full, on the pipe:

Robert Wallace plays the beginners’ tune, MacIntosh’s Banner, in full, on the pipe:

Robert Wallace plays the short but complex tune Lament for Alasdair Dearg MacDonnell of Glengarry:

Robert Wallace plays an MSR, Lord Alexander Kennedy, Dora MacLeod and The Sheepwife recorded in 1981:

Robert Wallace: His 1985 Oban Gold Medal winning performance of the King’s Taxes:

Robert Wallace: A recording of the piobaireachd MacDougall’s Gathering made in November 1986 for a St Andrew’s Day broadcast on the BBC’s classical music channel, Radio 3:

Robert Wallace: A radio broadcast made in 1989 for the BBC. In it he plays a selection of light music and the modern piobaireachd, Lullaby for Iain, by Captain John MacLellan. The programme was introduced by Lt. Col. DJS Murray:

Robert Wallace plays the slow air Nancy’s Lullaby by P/M John D Burgess, written for the wife of John’s friend, Col Sutherland, Caithness:

Robert Wallace plays Salute on the Birth of Rory Mor MacLeod recorded live at the opening of the second phase of the new College of Piping building in 2009:

P/M Gordon Walker: Recorded at the Uist & Barra Professional competition in 2014, P/M Walker is captured at the height of his game. The tunes are Knightswood Ceilidh, Piper’s Bonnet and Ca’ the Ewes and the Stornoway Hornpipe and the jig, Kenny Gillies of Portnalong:

P/M Gordon Walker: A superb performance of competition light music given at the 2016 Lochaber Gathering:

Jimmy Young recorded at the Echoes of Oban concert at the College of Piping in 1956. The tunes are P/M John Stewart, Lady Louden, Mrs MacPherson, Duncan Lamont:

Jimmy Young plays the 6/8s Lord MacPherson and Leaving Port Askaig at the same recital: