100 : Are Pipers Musicians?

Episode 100 :

In this Special Episode, the hundredth edition, Pipers’ Persuasion addresses the question regarding how musically literate pipers are now and perhaps in the recent past.  This is in comparison with other musicians and what their level is expected to be.

Six contributors discuss the various aspects of knowledge and how it is applied to playing the instruments. There’s lots of fun music breaking up the serious and light-hearted comment. We are deeply indebted to all the musicians for their input and clarity.
 Further to that, we ask you to respect the access that they have given to their music and  video and direct you not to copy, record or play any of it without the express personal approval of Duncan Nicholson, Mick MacNeil and Marie Fielding who have kindly given Pipers’ Persuasion access for the purposes of this program.

For this Edition alone, Pipers’ persuasion state that the content in full and in parts to be considered under Copyright: Pipers’Persuasion2023.   We are happy to consider any and all approaches to us for access and desire to copy and play that content as we do not expect people to monetise the product or claim it as theirs.   This is out with the express instruction as the above paragraph relating to the music and video of Duncan Nicholson, Mick MacNeil and Marie Fielding.
(for our regular chaps this may seem OTT, but unfortunately I recently refurbished one of my previous episodes and YouTube indicated that I was using copyright material.  It appears that two individuals or groups claimed my original camera work as theirs and had placed a copyright on my footage.  I was instructed as to the use of MY material and not to monetise it!)  So that’s the story. I know that you guys out there love to use the material as a source for your work and play and that’s fine and satisfactory. We don’t monetise the product and you genuine chaps out there fully support all of that.

We have tried to edit the length to what is acceptable to the audience.  Because of this we have also placed below the main interview, the extended versions of each interviewee.  There was a problem with no1 camera at the NPC and from the beginning, some of Finlay MacDonald’s presence was slightly off-camera No2 which was used for this extended chat. No matter – we can hear him, and he appears part way through to give us the full force!

We feel that this is a good program for all to watch and enjoy the questions and answers posed here.  Many thanks for your continued support.

Episode 100: Are Pipers Musicians?




 Below are the extended chapters of the interviews should one wish to access further information.  We suggest that you watch the main program in the first instance.

Finlay MacDonald is the Director of Piping at The National Piping Centre

Dougie Pincock had 23 years as director of the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton High School,

Duncan Nicholson  past Pipe Major of Glasgow Police Pipe Band and long history of playing several instruments with famous folk Groups:=Train Journey North”, “Alan and Ingrid Henderson”, “Canterach”, The Tannahill Weavers” (toured for 5 years), Skipinnish, Skerryvore and The Vatersay Boys.


Jim Wark – Former PM of Strathclyde Police PB.   A former chairman of the Music Board of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, he is now responsible for educational matters in that organisation,


Marie Fielding – Fiddler, Lecturer at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, composer


Alex Ferguson :   Musician and Teacher. Composer. Organist and Choirmaster at Kay Park Parish Church and other choirs


Here are segments of music as set out in the introduction.  Enjoy them but you are asked not to abuse this access as stated above.  Enjoy!


7.Calum MacCrimmon’s Reel;3;2time,Comp MarieFielding

And here’s an explanation to you from Duncan Nicholson regarding the Bagpipe Scale and settings.

Bagpipe Notation 2