Identifying canons in competitive light music for the Great Highland Bagpipe, 1947–2015

Research output: Contributions to journalsArticlepeer-review



Competitions for players of the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe are regarded by many pipers and enthusiasts as the pinnacle of the art form, though some pipers who participate in these competitions have identified a trend of repertoire stagnation within certain disciplines of competition. Focusing on the solo competitive 2/4 march, this article presents the premise and methodology used to study competitive solo and band piping.

This article aims to present the groundwork for further research into canon formation within competitive piping by: identifying the methods by which musical canons are formed in genres outside bagpipe competitions; identifying how those methods may be compared and applied to the formation of canons of competitive bagpipe music; identifying the various canons of competitive bagpipe music between 1947 and 2015 by way of quantitative data collection and analysis; and comparing a canonical list of tunes against a list previously compiled by another scholar.


Original languageEnglish
JournalScottish Journal of Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Performed - Sept 2017

Author keywords

  • Great Highland Bagpipe, canon formation, repertoire, competition, Ceòl Beag