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Expand Your Repertoire With Regular Piobaireachd

Expand Your Repertoire With Regular Piobaireachd


Any piper interested in piobaireachd is typically also interested in adding more tunes to their repertoire or maybe seeking out that second or third tune.

If you’re looking to quickly add to your piobaireachd repertoire, keep it simple, keep it regular. What is a "regular" piobaireachd? The most regular consist of two phrases (let’s call them A and B) which are played in this pattern:

Line 1 is A - A - B
Line 2 is A - B - B
Line 3 is A - B

A good example of this is "Clan Campbell’s Gathering." In fact, The Killberry Book of Ceol Mor prints only the two phrases and then tells you the order to play them. The AAB-ABB-AB pattern holds throughout every variation.

Some are slightly less regular, in this way: Line 2 becomes  A-B (sort of)-B. "Glengarry’s Lament" and "Tulloch Ard" both follow this format. Where the ground’s B phrase has a B cadence, the B (sort of) has a C cadence. This B (sort of) is often called B-prime, written B’.

Another form of piobaireachd follows this format:

Line 1 is A - B
Line 2 repeats Line 1
Line 3 is C - D
Line 4 repeats Line 1

Examples of this form are "The Company’s Lament" and "Lament for the Old Sword".

By learning a regular tune, you can spend less time memorizing and learning technique and more time focusing on musicality and expression. There are many piobaireachd and piobaireachd lessons available for study here at Dojo U.

Take Action

Introduction to Piobaireachd with Bruce Gandy
The Company's Lament
Basic Piobaireachd Movements
Lament for the Old Sword


Tom Crawford Tom Crawford is Pipe Major for North Atlanta Pipes & Drums and a piping instructor in Marietta GA. He’s been piping since 2000, when he began his studies with Winter Taylor. Tom has played rock, blues, country and Celtic music for nearly 50 years. He’s been a member of Keltic Kudzu since 2006, where he plays mandolin, bouzouki, whistle, and of course pipes. Tom has played and competed up and down the Atlantic coast, as well as in Canada and Ireland.