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Piobaireachd / classical music of the highland bagpipe Part-2/2

We hope that you have followed, you can find it here Part-1

This month’s tune, Teachd chlain Donnachaidh, or Struan Robertson’s Salute, is often heard around the games, but very little has been published about the history of this fine tune. Clan Donnachaidh, also known as Clan Robertson, is considered to be the oldest of all the Scottish clans. The clan’s first recognized chief was Donnchadh Reamhar, ‘Stout Duncan’, a land owner near Dunkeld, and as legend has it, a faithful supporter of Robert I (king 1306-1329) during the wars of Scottish independence.

The clan asserts that Donnchadh Reamhar’s relatives and followers supported Robert the Bruce in his victory over Edward II’s army at the Battle of Bannockburn on June 24, 1314. The most precious clan relic, the Clach na Brataich or ‘ensign stone’, was unearthed when the chief’s standard pole was pulled from the ground while on the march to Bannockburn. It has been carried by all chiefs since then when leading the clan into battle.

Donnchadh Reamhar had four sons. The younger three, Patrick, Thomas, and Gibbon were outlawed by King Robert III for leading the Raid of Angus in 1392 which garnered 3000 head of Angus cattle and caused great destruction and death. The eldest son, Robert, became the second chief in 1355, and died sometime after 1392. Duncan, Robert’s eldest son, spent some time as a hostage in England, but it was Duncan’s eldest son, Robert Ruabh Duncanson, the fourth Chief, that inspired many of his clansfolk to take the name Robertson. Robert was a strong supporter of King James I and was angered by his murder. More to follow in the following document…

  • Iain MacHarg

    Iain MacHarg is the director of the Vermont Institute of Celtic Arts, and a music professor at Norwich University. He holds the Senior Piping Certificate and the Teaching Certificate from the Institute of Piping, Scotland. He has been a familiar face at the highland games since very early in his life and his father, Michael MacHarg, is one of the premier bagpipe builders in the world. In addition to competing as a professional grade solo piper, he has founded four Highland Pipe Bands in Vermont (Catamount Grade 4 & 5, Norwich University, the Green Mountain Highlanders) and has played with several folk groups. Iain’s solo albums and books: Rooted in Tradition, Ceol Na Beinne, Celtic Christmas, and Feadan Mor, a collection of original tunes for the bagpipe are sold worldwide.

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