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Pipe Music of the Clan Maclean

About the book
This is the first new book of Maclean pipe music to be produced for over 100 years.
Pipe Music of the Clan Maclean - Front Cover

In addition to including a selection of music from the previous publication, David Glen's 1900 collection "The Music of Clan Maclean", this new book collects together for the first time a selection of Maclean pipe music composed since then. Some of this more recent music has been composed by Macleans or by members of the septs of the Clan, such as the Beatons, MacFadyens and Rankins. Other tunes are about individual Macleans or about Maclean lands, such as Mull, Coll, Tiree, Morvern, Ardgour, Muck and Glen Urquhart. The book demonstrates clearly the continuing strength of the Maclean piping tradition.

From an original list of over 230 tunes, 76 were chosen for this book. The selection of the tunes caters for all levels of player, from the novice to the piobaireachd player and the MSR (Marches, Strathspeys and Reels) competitor. They include some interesting and rarely heard piobaireachds.
The book, unusually, includes comprehensive “Notes on the tune”, covering the background to the music and the composers. It also draws attention to the Army’s piping influence, which runs through the titles of many of the tunes.
A chapter on the “Piping Tradition of the Clan Maclean” traces the pipers to the Chief of the Clan from 1900 onwards and highlights the well-known Clan medal winners of the 20th Century.
Finally, there is an important historical review of the Rankins, who were the traditional pipers to the Clan Maclean and ran a College of Piping at Kilbrennan on Mull until the late 18th Century. In their day, the Rankins were significant in piping circles and had strong connections with the MacCrimmons and their College on Skye. In modern times they have not received the wider public recognition that other piping families have received, such as the Cummings, Mackays, MacCrimmons, MacArthurs and the MacIntyres. It is hoped that this book will help to restore the Rankins to their rightful place in the history of piping.
Even for non-pipers, this book appeals to anyone with an interest in the history, culture and traditions of the Clan Maclean and its septs. For pipers, both in the Clan Maclean and among the wider piping community, this book is an essential addition to their music collections.
What the reviews said
Piping Times, magazine of The College of Piping
'This book ... will be a required purchase for all those pipers who are members of the clan or affiliated to it.'
– Dugald MacNeill
'But I would also suggest that anyone interested in pipe music and the history of pipers will gain much from adding ... this excellent and attractive book ... to their collection.'
– Lt-Gen. Sir Peter Graham
Piping Today, magazine of The National Piping Centre
'Pipe Music of the Clan Maclean is a valuable addition to the library of any piper looking for repertoire or historical context.'
– Dr. Josh Dickson, Head of Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
The complete reviews and letter may be found here.
About the contributors
The book was compiled and edited by the late Lieutenant-Colonel Donald MacLean, assisted by James Beaton, the Librarian at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. Donald and James were both Trustees of the Clan Maclean Heritage Trust.
The original list of 230 tunes was chosen with the help of the College of Piping in Glasgow. The final selection was made by three distinguished pipers who had been personal Pipers to the Chief of the Clan Maclean, being Ian MacFadyen, Kenneth MacLean and James MacLean.
Iain MacInnes, who wrote the chapter on the piping traditions of the Rankins, is a Music Producer at BBC Scotland.
The book, in paperback form, costs £20, plus postage and packing.
We have now sold out of the limited edition, hardback version.
To order
To order the book online, complete the appropriate form on our bookshop page.
For those who have no access to the internet, order forms are available from your local Association or directly from the Heritage Trust (e-mail or write to the Secretary). Order forms may also be down-loaded from here.
Books will normally be sent by second class post within the UK and by airmail overseas.