September 2017 Piping Times

September 2017 Piping Times


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.....on reading afresh the Book 1 Tutor book, which he [Seumas MacNeill] wrote with Thomas Pearston in 1952, the logic of the classical physicist is educed, which, when combined with clear and strictly grammatical English, reinforces the principles of how one learns. We can understand why Seumas was an excellent teacher. It is fitting that in this the centenary of his birth, the book has been revised and edited by the College. The changes we made were absolutely minimal and done in order to bring the book into line with PDQB guidelines. The book’s integrity has been maintained, a testament to the authors’ clarity, coherence, and ‘connection’.....

.....This mood-destroying nonsense transforms many a wonderful performance into an amateur production. It’s as if Leonardo da Vinci, upon completing the Mona Lisa, discovered a little paint left on his brush, and daubed a moustache onto her intriguing smile.....

.....The security [at the World Pipe Band Championships] is organised by Glasgow Life, the department of Glasgow City Council that runs the city’s cultural events. Our correspondents reported its operatives were overwhelmingly far too zealous and humourless than in previous years. Their rigid control over pipe band members’ access to and from the Green was appalling and the queues at the Grade 1 arena were extremely unsatisfactory.....

.....We are aiming for 1,000 pipers worldwide to begin the tribute with a rendition of the ever-popular retreat march, 'When the Battle’s Over'. In the UK this will fill the air before dawn has broken. This will start the centenary media coverage on television and radio, and will provide some of the day’s most moving and atmospheric sights and sounds.....

.....If I hear two parts of Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban or Father John MacMillan of Barra I want to hear the rest of the tune and not two parts of something else. It is the same with the strathspeys and reels. The two parters are fine but those composed as four parters sound unfinished after two parts, as if one is left up in the air and not brought to a conclusion.....

.....I told 'Sir John' [A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister] that I had composed a pibroch for him, which was true, and in return he raised his glass enthusiastically – just as Sir John A. himself might have done (he was very fond of drink, was the real Sir John, not the impersonator, although he seemed quite partial to it as well)......

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