Small Tunes: Vintage Melodies from the Bagpipe Tradition—Online Tunebook

smalltunes_coverNEW7I love small tunes. The smaller the better, I say. Nothing captures the liveliness and character of bagpiping like a tiny reel or quickmarch. Eight bars of music and away ya go. Trouble is, many of these little ditties have been cast aside in our competition-driven bagpiping scene. I’ve tried to remedy that with the Small Tunes series. Small tunes, little strathspeys and reels, tiny jigs, and short marches, tunes full of personality; they form the core of the Highland piper’s repertoire. And there are thousands of them, many of which haven’t been heard in a hundred years or more on the bagpipe.

Below you will find a categorized list of all the tunes in the series to date, in what is the very first serial tunebook for the bagpipes. Each link will take you to the a post that presents either a write up or short podcast with a bit of background on the tune with the printed score for download. Each podcast also contains a rendition of the tune on the bagpipe to accompany the set score. Have a listen to the “Introduction to Small Tunes” podcast for the full gist of the series and then have a look and a listen to the tunes that pique your interest. Enjoy.

An Introduction to Small Tunes


Chester Castle
Dewar’s Fancy
He’s O’er the Hills That I Love Well
Kilmartin Castle
March to the Battlefield
Mary, Young and Fair
O’er the Water to Charlie
Saint Columba


Ballindalloch’s Dream
The Buckskin Kilt
The Fairy Piper
The Guragag
The Haughs of Cromdale
Miss Haswell’s Favorite
My Lady’s Gown There’s Gairs Upon It
The Red Coat
Thump the Bitches


Athole House
Big Robert
Cuaich Side
The Death of the Wren
The Falls of Foyers
Had the Lass ‘Till I Win at Her
Home Rule
The Lassie Lost Her Crinoline
Let the Bottle Circulate
Nameless Reel


Jack Ashore


Bung Your Eye!
Cam Ye O’er Frae France
Collin the Piper
The Favorite Dram
A Fig for a Kiss
Give Me a Lass With a Lump o’Land
The Gown and Apron
The Grinder
Jack has Got a Wife
A Jig

Airs and Slow Marches

Deirdre’s Lament
Johnnie, Lad, Cock Up Your Beaver
Keppoch Desolate
The Witch’s Stane


Hiharin Hiodreen (One of the Cragich)
Hodin Hiotra (One of the Cragich)
One of the Irish Piobaireachd

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