The BC Highland Games Open (pro) Pìobaireachd Competition

bagpiperThis is the highest level of piping competition and takes place the night before the BC Highland Games officially opens.Some of the best pro players from the Pacific Northwest are competing.

Join us for an evening of the classical music of the Great Highland Bagpipes in the new Highland Pavilion at Percy Parry Stadium. Come in your kilts and tartans to enjoy the atmosphere of the Highlands of Scotland with other piping aficionados.

When: Friday night June 17, 2016 Starting at 5:00 pm
Where: Highland Pavilion, Percy Perry Stadium, Coquitlam
Admission: $5.00 (Buy your tickets online.)

What is Piobaireachd?

“Piobaireachd, pronounced “pea-brock”, is the classical music of the Great Highland Bagpipe and for which the highest awards in the bagpiping competitions world are given.

Champion BC piper Jack Lee performs “War or Peace” – a rarely heard pìobaireachd at the More Ceol Mor recital at Mosspark Armoury in Toronto, January 31, 2015. Video courtesy: Pipes/Drums magazine.

A more general term is Ceòl Mor (Scottish Gaelic ceòl mór) meaning the “Great Music” which separates piobaireachd from the more popular dances, reels, marches and strathspeys which are called Ceòl Beag or “Little Music.” There is freedom in the piobaireachd to express joy, sadness, or sometimes in the “gathering” tunes , a peremptory warning or call to arms.

Piobaireachd is an art music genre unique to the Great Highland Bagpipe that consists of a theme or “ground”, which  is repeated and underlined in a series of variations of increasing complexity that follow the theme. This usually progresses to the “crunluath” variation, where the piper’s fingers give a dazzling technical display of embellishment or gracenotes.

The theme is often very slow, and the general effect of the whole piece of music is slow – slowness being a characteristic of Highland music. They are anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes in length and present the performer with technical, musical and tonal challenges to address to give a high quality performance.

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