Lamenting Patrick Og MacCrimmon : a reconstruction of the ancient art music of the great Highland bagpipe
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The film documents the teaching, reconstruction and transmission of ancient classical Bagpipe music called Ceol Mor, Gaelic for “Big Music”, commonly known as Piobaireachd. The author engaged several leading members of the performer community in Scotland and Canada to produce this aural and visual record of the learning and performance of The Lament For Patrick Og MacCrimmon, composed by Iain Dall MacKay around the year 1730. The author finds that Piobaireachd‟s oral tradition was once a continuum of variation and communal composition which drove the diffusion of new interpretations as it passed between performers. But whereas artistic creativity, variation and communal composition were hallmarks of pre-staff notation Piobaireachd performance, these have been replaced by ritual, stasis and conformity with stylized practices. Mainstream Piobaireachd performance now has as a fundamental object, congruence with past performances derived from strict texts.