Engraved portrait of Piper in Highland dress

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c. 1900

Postcard of Engraved portrait of Piper in Highland dress.
© National Museums Scotland

Engraved portrait of Piper in Highland dress

Engraved portrait of Edinburgh pipe maker David Glen used to embellish the title page of one of his many published books of bagpipe music.

David Glen (1852-1916) was the son of Alexander Glen, Bagpipe Maker and Music Publisher. He succeeded his father in business in 1873 with premises in Greenside Place, Edinburgh, the firm became David Glen and Sons when he was joined by his sons, Alexander and David, and it closed in 1949 and was incorporated into J & R Glen. Between 1876 and 1911 David Glen published a remarkable series of works for the bagpipes including a major piobaireachd collection with historical notes contributed by the Gaelic scholar, Henry Whyte, a substantial Highland bagpipe tutor and a collection of Irish music. His most important and lasting contribution was a major collection of Highland bagpipe music of 1,100 tunes published in 17 parts up to 1900.

The music for the Great Highland Bagpipe began to be recorded in written form in the 18th century, initially in song and fiddle collections. The first known book on Highland pipe music and 'pibroch' was written by Joseph MacDonald about 1760 but, since he died in India in 1763, his manuscript remained relatively unknown until recently. The first collection of tunes in full bagpipe notation was by the bagpipe maker, Donald MacDonald, who published his Collection of Ancient Martial Music of Caledonia called Piobaireachd about 1820. Further collections followed, notably Angus Mackay's Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd or Highland Pipe Music published in Edinburgh in 1838, and increasingly books of 'light music' such as David Glen's Collection of Highland Bagpipe Music in 17 parts between 1876 and 1911. The number of pipers in Scotland was increasing and players were becoming musically literate. The art of playing the Great Highland Bagpipe passed from an oral tradition into printed books.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-578-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  Bagpipe Archive 3.12
Date: c.1900 (date of manufacture)
Who: David Glen (depicted)
Description: Engraved portrait of Piper in Highland dress.
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