What?!?! I hear you cry!

Piobaireachd (pronounced ‘peebrock’) is a Gaelic word which means ‘bagpipe music’ and ‘bagpipe playing’. However, Piobaireachd isn’t a collective term for pipe music, it is the ancient form or ‘classical’ pipe music which is often referred to as Ceol Mor (Gaelic for ‘big music’).

A Piobaireachd consists of an opening slow theme called Urlar (or Ground) This is followed by several variations of increasing tempo and complexity. Most tunes are of at least 8 minutes duration! Although not appealing to everyone, most would agree that a well played Piobaireachd on a balanced and tuned instrument, while not so immediately as a short tune, is ultimately more satisfying, more sophisticated in content, and in every way a ‘bigger’ piece of music.

The type of music you hear us and other pipe bands play is not Piobaireachd, but instead referred to, as ‘light’ or ‘small’ music. Piobaireachd is left to the more accomplished soloists amongst us.


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