John McGregor's Strathspey

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JOHN MACGREGOR'S STRATHSPEY. Scottish, Strathspey (whole time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The Highland Society of London was founded in 1778, and held its first piping competition in October, 1781, in Falkirk on the border between the Scottish Highlands and lowlands (so as not to trigger any action due to the Disarming Act of 1746, which imposed restrictions on Highland activities following Culloden). The winner was Peter MacGregor of Fortingall (according to The Scots Magazine of March, 1822, p. 418), father of Perthshire native John MacGregor. John MacGregor died in 1822 as the result of having fallen down a stair in the residence of John Wedderburne, "where he had been exerting his professional talents for the entertainment of a party." When young, John accompanied his father to London, where he impressed with his playing and was appointed piper to the Highland Society of London, and to the Duke of Sussex.

In passing through Perth last season (1821), on his return from the Highlands, for London, he was prevailed upon to give a concert, under the patronage of the Perth Gaelic Society, in the Salutation Hall. Although the entertainment had scarcely been twenty-four hours advertised, Mr. MacGregor had a pretty good house; and all who heard him were delighted at his superior executon upon the great Highland bagpipe, Union pipe, flageolet, and German flute.

The Highland Society still manages a well-regarded piping competition and presents Gold Medals at the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Duncan McKercher (A Collection of Original Stathspeys and Reels), Edinburgh, 1824; p. 8.

Recorded sources:




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