Piobaireachd [Pibroch]: the classical music of the Great Highland Bagpipe

Bissell, Christopher (2017). Piobaireachd [Pibroch]: the classical music of the Great Highland Bagpipe. Corymbus.

URL: http://corymbus.co.uk/piobaireachd-the-classical-m...

Abstract

Bagpipes have been known in countries throughout the world, and are still used in folk music in many rural areas. The word piobaireachd is literally the Gaelic for ‘pipe playing’ or ‘pipe music’. The term (often anglicised as ‘pibroch’) is now normally restricted, however, to the classical music of the Great Highland Bagpipe. Another name for it is Ceòl Mòr, meaning the Big Music (that is, ‘art music’), which distinguishes piobaireachd from other forms of pipe music (marches, reels, jigs etc.) which are referred to as Ceòl Beag – the Little Music (‘light music’).
Ceòl Mòr has its counterparts in Scottish and Irish fiddle and harp music, and is also related to the Welsh genre Cerdd Dant (literally ‘string music’). This short paper discusses the nature, structure, and idiosyncracies of piobaireachd as an art form.

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