What is piobaireachd?

When the Highlands and Islands of Scotland adopted the bagpipe, perhaps some four hundred years ago, they began to develop the instrument and its music to suit their needs and tastes.

What emerged was the instrument we know today as the Great Highland Bagpipe, and a form of music, piobaireachd, which is unique to the instrument. It is a very stylized form of music. There is freedom in the theme or "ground" of the piobaireachd to express joy, sadness, or sometimes in the "gathering" tunes , a peremptory warning or call to arms.

The Little Spree

Thereafter the theme is repeated and underlined in a series of variations, which usually progress to the "crunluath" variation, where the piper's fingers give a dazzling technical display of embellishment or gracenotes.

For a more in depth look, go to Utah Pibroch Society member Marc Pehkonen's site: here!
(Synopsis courtesy of The Piobaireachd Society
Recording property of Utah Pibroch Society)