Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band

For this bagpipe lesson Pipe Major Bill Robertson explains playing the tune Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band. Bill breaks the lesson down into sections with commentary for each section.

The tune is a Competition March, is suitable for intermediate to advanced level playing and was composed by Roderick Campbell.


Listen to Bill's Audio Instruction
Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band - Competition March

Download the Music Notation for Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band

Click to download the tune notation for Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band

Lesson Pointers for Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band

In each part fourth bar second beat “D” you may play a doubling on the “D” instead of the high “G” grace note. I inadvertently at times tended to play a doubling in the audio of this when intending to play as written.

About The Composer - Roderick Campbell

The composer of Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band was Roderick Campbell (1873 – 1935). He was born at Loch Broom and was instructed by Sandy Cameron. Later he settled in Edinburgh after serving as piper to a number of families. In 1908, won the Gold Medal at Oban and in 1910 he won the Gold Medal at Inverness. He was a composer and instructor. The famous John Wilson was one of his students.

Scottish born at Loch Broom. Instructed by Sandy Cameron. Later settled in Edinburgh after serving as piper to a number of families. In 1908, won the Gold Medal at Oban. In 1910, won the Gold Medal at Inverness. Composer. Instructed John Wilson, among other students. He composed many other pipe music tunes such as the 2/4 marches “Colin Thomson”, and “Royal Scottish Pipers' Society” that are in music the books of Pipe Major Willie Ross, MBE.

An unusual feature of Roderick Campbell's compositions is that very seldom does he have a “C” in them. We have the exception to good effect in this tune of the month with the “C” in the second times.

About The Band - Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band

Pipe Major Donald RamsayPipe Major Donald S. Ramsay

The band's leadership changed in 1949, with the appointment of Donald Ramsay as Pipe Major who had previously served as a Pipe Major in the Highland Light Infantry. He arrived with a reputation as a fine player and composer and although this change was not without opposition, it proved to be a highly successful one for the band.

Ramsay is not only credited with winning the World Pipe Band Championships on two occasions, 1950 and 1954, but was also instrumental in introducing the playing of hornpipes and jigs to the pipe band scene, which is now to be heard in modern medley playing.

Edinburgh City Police Pipe BandEdinburgh City Police Pipe Band with major trophies in the 1960's – 70's Pipe Major of the band, Iain McLeod

Ramsay is not only credited with winning the World Pipe Band Championships on two occasions, 1950 and 1954, but was also instrumental in introducing the playing of hornpipes and jigs to the pipe band scene, which is now to be heard in modern medley playing.

In 1957 however Ramsay's time with the band was to come to an abrupt end. While serving as a Sergeant at Drylaw Mains Police Station in Edinburgh he was involved in a shooting and was forced to retire from the police as a result of his injuries.

McLeod built a band which won the World Championships twice in the 60's and another three times in the 70's and featured many great band players of the day including Jock Percival, Harry McNulty, George Lumsden, Bob Gibson and Laurie Gillespie to name only a few.

He was also to recruit surely the greatest drummer ever to grace the pipe band world, Alex Duthart, who spent two seasons in charge of the drum corps in the late 60's before returning to Shotts and Dykehead.

The band was probably at its best under Iain Mcleod in the early 1970's, recording back to back wins at the World Championships in 1971 and 1972. Iain however, was most thrilled by the band's victory at the Intercontinental Championship in Canada in 1972 when the band competed for the first time against the top bands from North America.

Iain McLeod was to finish his time as Pipe major in the mid seventies much as he had started, on a high! The bands name was changed in May 1975 to the Lothian and Borders Police and was again to lift the world title at Corby, Northamptonshire that year, narrowly beating Muirhead & Sons Pipe Band from Grangemouth.

Some of the content above obtained from Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band.

Note: 1950 when I joined the Pipes and Drums of The Royal Scots, my Pipe Major – Willie Denholm, and Piper Bob Gibson were guest players with the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band when the band won the World's Championship 1950.

Donald Ramsay and Willie Denholm were composers of note and very good pipers in their own right.


If you have any questions or comments, please use Contact Form to contact Bill.


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