Sunday 6th September 2020
Events Commence at 10:00am.


Admission Price includes Games Programme
Children & Concessions
Under 5's
Family Ticket (2 + 2)
Car Parking

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Entry on the field  -  (located behind the Secretary’s Caravan).



10:00 hours – Piping Draw at Piping Convenor’s Stand (behind Secretary’s Caravan)

Solo Piping

Draw for Senior Piobaireachd 10:00 – commencing 10:30 hours

Draw for C.P.A. 10:00 – commencing 10:30 hours

Draw for Senior Light Music 10:00 – commencing 10:30 hours

10:30 hours Competing Pipers’ Association – Piobaireachd

11:00 hours Draw for Junior Under 18 Light Music – commencing at 11:30 hours.

Solo Piping Junior – Local – to be held after open events

Solo Piping Senior – Local (Piob Mhor Cup) – to be held after open events

A little bit about our late Piping Convenor…

Jimmie McGregor was Convenor of the Piping at Blairgowrie & Rattray Highland Games. He was Clan Piper to the MacGregors and was honoured when he was invited to become a member of the Atholl Highlanders. His father, the late P/M Jimmy McGregor, also served as Convenor and Judge of Piping at Blairgowrie. He served as Pipe Major in the Gordon Highlanders during World War 2 and was one of the Royal Pipers at Balmoral for 22 years. He won virtually every major piping award including the Gold Medal at Inverness, the Bratach Gorm, and the Silver Chanter at Dunvegan Castle.

The pipe was played by man from the earliest times. It is one of the most ancient instruments of music, having its origins in the beginnings of civilisation. It was in use among the Greeks when its form, still to be seen on very old sculptures, was not unlike the bagpipe of today.

It is thought to have originated in Egypt where a simple chanter and drone were played together. Later, a bag made of skin was used and this, fitted with a blowpipe, made a primitive form of the modern bagpipe.

It remained unchanged till around 1500 when a second drone was added. A third drone, known as the Bass, developed approximately 200 years later.

In olden days each Highland Clan Chief had his personal piper whose duties included rousing the courage of his clansmen before battle, warning them of danger, collecting them when they became scattered, and solacing them on long marches.

piper & judges

The Clan Piper led a life of comparative ease and dignity. He was allowed a servant whose function it was to carry the Piper's instrument when he had finished playing it. The most important piping family were the MacCrimmons who resided in Skye and were hereditary pipers to the MacLeods of Dunvegan. They founded a Bagpipe School at Borreraig (1670 - 1770) and it was to this school that all the famous pipers of the early days were sent to have their playing perfected. They attended the School for a total of seven years.

After the 1745 Rising the playing of the bagpipe was proscribed and was not allowed again till 1782 because it was known as an instrument of war and could be used to incite rebellion.

Around this time Highland Societies were set up in various places with the purpose of keeping alive the Highlands. These societies began to hold piping competition.

The first piping competition on record took place at the Falkirk Tryst of 1781. It lasted for three days and attracted 13 competitors, each of whom played four piobaireachd. There were seven judges who listed screened from the players. The winner was Patrick MacGregor, Piper to Henry Balnaves Esq. of Ardradour in Perthshire. The music performed on the Great Highland Bagpipe can be divided into five categories:

  1. Piobaireachd (‘Ceol Mor’), known as the great music or classical music of the pipes. For this class the most valuable prizes are awarded.
  2. Competition Marches and Strathspeys and Reels.
  3. Jigs
  4. Marching Airs and Dancing Tunes.
  5. Slow Airs and Slow Marches.

The qualifications required to judge solo piping are a wide knowledge of the various styles and settings of tunes, plus the ability to recognise good musical phrasing and rhythms and an ear for a well tuned and balanced bagpipe.

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© Blairgowrie & Rattray Highland Games March 2020 | Webmaster Alan McCombe