Iain Dall MacKay holds an important place in the history of piping. Considered one of bagpiping's greatest composers, he is known to have authored at least 30 piobaireachds. Iain Dall had the distinction of being both piper and bard to the chief of the MacKenzies, an astonishing feat for the time.
When you fail at something, or make a mistake, or come in last place in a competition, it’s easy to want to hide from it. Nobody has to know about it. You can put it in a dark little corner in your mind that only you know about. You only want people to know about the things you do well. Right? The problem is that failure is a way to learn. If you don’t admit to the failure, you don’t learn the whole lesson.
The MacCrimmon family, the Hereditary Pipers of Clan MacLeod, produced many great pipers and are credited with a tremendous historical influence on the art of piobaireachd. The most influential member of the family was Donald Mor MacCrimmon. Patrick Mor, one of Donald Mor’s sons, who followed his father as Hereditary Piper, was known as a great player and composer.
As much as we would like to, we can’t practice all the time. Working to improve your playing everyday is important. With only so many hours in the day time on the practice chanter and bagpipes can be limited. However, there are things you can do to help improve your playing and pick up other skills at the same time.
The role of bagpipes on the front lines of war came to an end after the First World War. The high death toll inflicted on pipers relegated them to duty behind the front line in the camps. However there are always people who defy the rules. Part 1 of this article talked about Bill Millin, the famous piper of D-Day. In Part 2, we'll talk about "Mad Jack" Churchill.