"We received many fine compliments about your bagpipe music from our staff and patrons"

- Jonas Kåge, Artistic Director Ballet West



The Great Highland Bagpipe played on special occasions, has been a tradition in the Scottish Highlands for centuries. The inspiring music of the noble instrument was performed by pipers to accompany song and dance, the celebration of births and weddings, rally fighting men into battle, and lament the passing of loved ones. As Scots and their descendants the world over celebrate their cultural heritage, the tradition of employing a piper remains the hallmark of any memorable event.


It is customary for the piper to play a processional tune, preceding the bride and her maids to the altar. This is characterized as "piping-in the bride". A popular tune for the processional is Highland Cathedral. At the close of the ceremony, the piper plays a recessional tune, preceding both the bride and groom as they exit. Some appropriate tunes for the recessional are Scotland The Brave and Mairi's Wedding. In lieu of this tradition, or following the wedding ceremony, the piper may be employed to perform at the wedding reception too.


Photo Credit - Kathryn McFarland



Tarbet churchyard photo by Arvey McFarland


Traditionally, the piper precedes the casket into the church, or plays at the graveside service by concluding with the popular hymn Amazing Grace, or the Scottish Lament The Flowers Of The Forest.


A piper typically performs a variety of traditional Scottish & Irish tunes at these events - marches, strathspeys, reels, jigs, and airs. Some popular favorites are The 79th's Farewell To Gibralter, Orange and Blue, The Piper of Drummond, and Cork Hill. For recitals the audience may be entertained with music played on the Highland bagpipe, Scottish small pipes, and traditional Gaelic folk song. Scottish small pipes are popular at church services, as well as homes and smaller venues for parties, dances, and wakes where lower audible volume may be preferred.