It was on the 9th of June this year that we received the sad news of the sudden death of Dr Roderick D Cannon. His name maybe most familiar to pipers as the author of 'The Highland Bagpipe and its Music', but many may be unaware of the seminal role he played in the 1970's in the revival of the bagpipe in England. Members of the LBPS will be aware of his great interest in the music of William Dixon; he chaired the 1997 collogue conference on the Dixon manuscript and was even heard to play Dixon's music at a meeting of the Piobaireachd Society. He was also president of the LBPS in the early years of the century.
Many will also be aware of his scholarly work on Piobaireachd and his edition of the Treatise by Joseph MacDonald. In the summer of 2014 the Bagpipe Society, in recognition of his role in the revival of the English bagpiping tradition, presented him with a celebratory edition of the three articles he wrote in the 1970’s for the EFDS and the Galpin Society. [Copies  are available from the Bagpipe Society at]
Whilst lecturing on chemistry at Oxford Roderick not only encountered the work of Anthony Baines, the researcher charged with cataloguing the Pitt-Rivers museum’s collection of pipes, but also one of few other piping books in the university library, one which was to spark a thirst for knowledge like no other – Joseph MacDonald’s Compleat Theory of circa 1760. Spellbound by the link with this golden age of piping, Roderick set to work copying it out in its entirety by hand. In 1973 an advertisement led him to his first Piobaireachd Society Conference, at which he was to become a regular attendee.
Piobaireachd Society President Dr Jack Taylor said in his memorial “Roderick Cannon’s death is a huge loss to the piping community.  He was a prolific, avid, meticulous and persistent researcher on all things bagpipe. This was as well as being a physical scientist and one of the most charming men one could meet.”
Members of the Bagpipe Society in the 80’s and 90’s are unlikely to forget his aubades on the highland pipes, a feature which he also brought to many LBPs Collogues.
Roderick was a man whose interest in piping recognised no boundaries; Barnaby Brown described him as ‘my closest colleague and an inspiring mentor. I will miss his bubbling enthusiasm, sunny spirit and warm generosity sharing his latest discoveries and insights over the phone ... His unfailing courtesy, energy, productivity, resilience and good humour overcoming obstacles have been an uplifting example.’

President of the Bagpipe Society, Jon Swayne, presents Roderick D Cannon with Essays on the Bagpipe in England – A celebration of the pioneering work of Dr Roderick Cannon BA., D.Phil. June 2014.