David Low plays selected tunes from Henderson's pipe book
Pitch of the Recorded Tunes:
The recordings of the tunes on this website are all played on
a bagpipe with what is called an "A" chanter. This is
a suggestion of the pitch which might have been prevalent during
the time these tunes were set down. Present day chanters are made
with the A = B flat and the instrument at this pitch makes for more
compatible ensemble playing with other instruments e.g. brass as
in the Military Band / Pipe Band context. At the time of these publications
the quality and diversity of instrument-making and reed-making was
such that all the makers sought to do was to create a chanter scale
that was in tune with itself and more or less equivalent to the
key of A major. It is at the present day much easier to produce
a bagpipe capable of some degree of concert pitch - there simply
was no demand to do so a century ago.
Because He Was A Bonnie Lad (strathspey) Piper's Assistant,
Also known as Keppoch's Rant, Kiss and Come Again, Highland Laddie's
Fishing, and Taking Dogfish from the Shore. From the Donald MacDonald
Collection and later published in Angus MacKay's Tutor by David
Glen, Edinburgh, 1878.
Donochd Head (jig) MacDonald Collection, 1831
A 6/8 jig from Donald MacDonald's Collection, published c1828. Also
known as The Roses Blaw, Ellis' Jig, Plovers Around the Hills, My
Love is the Fair Lad and Braes of Mellnish. Donald MacDonald was
a native of Glen Hinisdale in Skye. In 1805 he published what could
be the earliest collection of Ceol Mor in existence.
Fair John's Sister's Wedding (jig) MacDonald Collection,
A jig from Donald MacDonald's Collection, c1828. Also known as My
Home (Scots Guards Collection 1) and Ian Ban's Sister's Wedding
(J. MacFadyen's 2nd Collection).
Glengarry's March (quickstep march) Piper's Assistant,
A well known country dance tune also known as The Pair (Poor) Auld
Wife. This version, or, in piping terms, "setting", is
from The Piper's Assistant by Angus MacKay, published by Alexander
Glen of Edinburgh, c1847.
Gown and Apron, The, (jig) MacDonald Collection,
In the early to mid 1800's the premier award for playing of the
piobaireachd was The Prize Pipe, presented annually by the Highland
Society of London. This Donald won in 1817, when he was noted as
piper to the Argyllshire Militia. Donald died in 1840, in or close
to his ninetieth year.
Highland Ketty, (6/8 jig) Piper's Assistant / Tutor, MacKay,
pre-1847 and 1878
Also known as The Cock Knowe, First of May, Little Katie and The
Bride's Jig. From Angus MacKay's Piper's Assistant, 1843, and later
his Tutor for the Bagpipe, published by David Glen, Edinburgh, 1878.
I Lo'oe Nae A Laddie But Ane (air) Piper's Assistant, McLachlan,
An air also known as For All Those Endearing Young Charms, but today
more commonly known as My Lodging's On The Cold Ground.
Johnnie Lad (reel) MacKay's Tutor, 1878
A reel commonly known today as Marion and Donald but also found
in past publications as Donald's Wedding and Donald Was The Laddie's
Lady Macbeth's Strathspey - MacKay's Tutor, 1878
A tune of ancient origin also known as Miss Montgomary and Lady
MacKenzie of Seaforth's Strathspey.
Macpherson's Lament (quickstep march) MacKay's Tutor,
From the song Macpherson's Rant written by freebooter and outlaw
James Macpherson who was hanged at the Plainstones in Banff in 1700.
Legend has it that he played the tune to the crowds at the gallows
and offered the fiddle as a gift. When no-one accepted his offer
he broke the fiddle over his knee and threw the pieces into the
Miss Forbes Farewell To Banff (march) MacKay's Tutor,
To which particular Miss Forbes this tune refers is unknown but
it would be likely that she was a member of one of the North East's
well-to-do families who during the 18th century retained town-houses
in Banff and spent the season socialising there.
Pease Stray (reel) MacKay's Tutor, 1878
A reel also known as If I Had an Old Rascal as a Husband, If I Had
a Dirty Carl, Ducking the Carl and Quoth the Carl to his Wife. From
Angus MacKay's Tutor for the Bagpipe, published by David Glen, Edinburgh,
Rob Roy McGregor (quickstep march) Piper's Assistant, MacKay,
An old tune written in honour of Scottish folk hero Rob Roy Macgregor,
a famous Highland robber chief who was born c1670. He was a landed
man who was once a legitiamate cattle dealer or drover. When he
fell into debt with the Duke of Montrose the Duke confiscated Rob
Roy's lands and the Macgregor became an outlaw. The tune, also known
as Duncan Gray, is from The Piper's Assistant by Angus MacKay, published
by Alexander Glen sometime between 1843 and 1847.
There Came A Braw Lad To My Daddy's Door - Piper's Assistant
/ Tutor, MacKay, pre-1847 and 1878
A tune also known as The Brisk Young Man, The Man with the Big Head,
Lord Dunmore's Jig and Traverse the Rough Hills.
Wood Of Fyvie, The (reel) MacKay's Tutor, 1878
Also known as The Widdy Wood, I am in Need of Shoes, Little Black
Duncan Wants His Shoes, Lady Bighouse's Reel, Keep The Country and
Bonnie Lassie. A traditional tune from Angus MacKay's Tutor for
the Bagpipe, published by bagpipe maker David Glen of Edinburgh
92nd Highlanders March, The - MacDonald Collection,
From Donald MacDonald's Collection, c1830, more commonly known today
as The 92nd Quickstep. A pipe march dedicated to the 92nd Gordon
Highlanders. The Gordon Highlanders was one of the British Army's
most celebrated regiments. It was the local regiment of the North
East of Scotland, recruiting mainly from Aberdeenshire, Banffshire
and Kincardineshire, an area which took great pride in the Regiment's