page 10

page 11


The fact that the so called Uillean pipe was made, developed and presumably played in Scotland, among other places, is demonstrated by Hugh Cheape in his check list of bagpipes in the Edinburgh University’s collection of Historic Musical Instruments, [See also COMMON STOCK Vol 1 No. 2 November 1984. Ed]. Among those recorded are two chanters by Donald MacDonald of Edinburgh (Nos 1372 and 1373).

The remains of another set by MacDonald, albeit damaged and lacking bellows, are known to exist in the hands of the MacAlisters of Glen Barr in Kintyre. Glen Barr was part of the lands held by MacAlister of Loup prior to passing into Campbell hands. The current MacAlister of Glen Barr is descended from the Loup family but his immediate ancestors had first purchased an estate on Skye before selling up and returning to Glen Barr some                   generations ago.

The Skye connection may provide a tenuous link with Donald MacDonald, who was a     native of Skye, but whatever the case the pipes seem to have been in the hands of the Glen Barr family for some time, if not made for them.

The pipe bag has been covered with MacAlister of Glen Barr “tartan” but this seems to have been placed over (?lined with) a greenish baize cover which may be the original.

The chanter has had one keyed hole between thumb and first finger at the top and a broken off projection possibly for another key just below the bottom finger hole. However it is   difficult to see how a key would have operated here as it would have been too close to the hole and on the wrong side.

There is evidence of two regulators, one with 4 keys of which two remain, and one with one key although since the lower part has broken and seems to be missing there may have been a second key on it.