Pipe Major George Cruikshank

For this bagpipe lesson Pipe Major Bill Robertson explains playing the tune Pipe Major George Cruikshank. Bill breaks the lesson down into sections with commentary for each section.

The tune is a 6/8 Jig and the tune was composed by John Wilson


Listen to Bill's Audio Instruction
Pipe Major George Cruikshank - 6/8 Jig

Download the Music Notation for Pipe Major George Cruikshank

Click to download the tune notation for Pipe Major George Cruikshank

Lesson Pointers for Pipe Major George Cruikshank

Remember the basic beat rhythm of 1,2,3, without undue stress on the downbeat “1” but almost evenly off to “2,3–”, as in the audio.

Additional Information

For this bagpipe lesson Bill has chosen the a 6/8 Jig – Pipe Major George Cruikshank, composed by John Wilson. This jig is suitable for the more advanced piper. It appears in the John Wilson's Collection of Highland Bagpipe Music Book 1, printed in 1937, a good collection of tunes, especially fine jigs. It is a jig that I have always liked. 

The Composer – John Wilson

John Wilson was a well known piper who competed with much success in the solo competitions in Scotland, and who emigrated to Canada in 1948 where he was a great influence on Piping in Canada.

The following brief extract from the Canadian Encyclopedia website gives some indication:

“However, much of the credit for the improvement of standards after World War II must go to John Wilson (1906-79), one of the most distinguished players and bagpipe composer of his generation who emigrated from Scotland and settled in Canada in 1948 and who taught nearly all the best soloists in Ontario and elsewhere.”

Pipe major George CruikshankPipe Major George Cruikshank
The Gordon Highlanders BadgeThe Gordon Highlanders Badge

Born in Stoneywood, Bucksburn Aberdeen December 1899 died January 1976. Joined Gordon Highlanders Terriers at the age of 14 yrs where he was taught his piping by Pipe Major William Mann, a pupil of John McDougall Gillies.

He was made Pipe-Major of the 5th/7th Gordon's circa 1926 and remained so until the conclusion of the second world war. He competed at most of the highland games in the north east of Scotland with considerable success and was best known for his playing of March, Strathspey and Reel.

He had a very accurate and clean finger and as a teacher demanded this quality in his pupils. He played on the boards until 1958. The jig P/M George Cruickshank was written by his friend John Wilson a fellow competitor. George's brother, William, was I believe a very fine exponent of MSR as well and was also Pipe/Major in the 4th Gordon's. GS McLennan was his great friend and mentor and were regular competitors in the 20's and 30's.

This was supplied by William Cruickshank, the dedicatee's son, a good friend of mine who emigrated to New Zealand from Scotland about the early 1960's where he has been and still is a great influence on Piping in the Taranaki region. He also was a successful solo competitor both in Scotland, in his earlier days, and in New Zealand. Willie was a piper during his British National Service (1950's) with his father's regiment The Gordon Highlanders.


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