Introduction to NAALP Journal No. 2

By Glenn Dreyer-

The second journal from the North American Association of Lowland and Border Pipers was published in February 1991, and it started with some letters commenting on the inaugural issue.  Low and behold, we find an immediate response from Seamus MacNeil, then Principal of the College of Piping, Editor of the Piping Times and Defender of The Faith (in the one true bagpipe – GHB, and the one true way to play it – the way he was taught).  He takes Sam Grier to task for accusing his (MacNeil’s) uncle of actually playing bellows pipes.  An interesting historical footnote, at least to me.

Also in this issue bagpipe collector Alan Jones describes three of his antique bellows pipes, a Scottish smallpipe, a Border pipe and a pastoral pipe.  Not intimidated by Mr. MacNeil’s criticism, piper and storyteller Sam Grier winds out some memories of reel, chamber, and pastoral pipes he has known, including a rather bizarre description of bagpipes with drones repurposed from old chanters, which he claims were “very common indeed”!?

Editor and musicologist Brian McCandless continues to impress with his lengthy and scholarly article on European town pipers, complete with historic illustrations and list of official municipal pipers from the Scottish borders.  And later in this issue Brian summarizes a wealth of information on Scot’s lowland music in an equally informative article that includes lyrics and background information on quite a number of old favorite songs.

Also in this issue pipe maker Michael Mac Harg contributes a piece on the bag in bagpipes; there is a review of the 6th Northumbrian Pipers’ Convention (1990); a piece on an antique border pipe found in Massachusetts; a short profile on French piper Jean-Pierre Rasle, and the music for 14 popular Lowland pipe tunes.

As with all of the reformated NAALBP Journals, the photographs in this issue are not of the quality that we would wish for, but we are doing our best with what we have to work with.  Enjoy!