Leaving Ardtornish - Slow Air

For this bagpipe lesson Pipe Major Bill Robertson explains playing the tune Leaving Ardtornish . Bill breaks the lesson down into sections with commentary for each section. This video also includes a lesson for Wo0-ed and Married an' aw.

The tune is a slow air and is suitable for intermediate level pipers and on wards. Leaving Ardtornish was composed by Pipe Major William Ross, MBE.


Listen to Bill's Audio Instruction
Leaving Ardtornish - Slow Air
Listen to Bill's Audio Instruction
Woo-ed and Married an'aw - March

Download the Music Notation for Leaving Ardtornish

Click to download the tune notation for Leaving Ardtornish

Lesson Pointers for Leaving Ardtornish

Leaving Ardtornish is reasonably suitable for beginners who have progressed to more tunes. Take steadily at first say two bars at a time. Study the video and audio relevant.

Four beats to the bar. Make sure that you have clean spot on first high G grace notes whether singly or in doublings. Where there are grips on C you may replace with a D grace note until able to play well the grip. Beware that the shorter semi–quaver/16th notes are not too short or hacked, and that some are a fraction longer relatively. The C and B doublings at the end of certain bars should have openness to them with relaxed preceding note.

Lesson Pointers for Woo-ed and Married an' aw.

This unusual and pleasant 6/8 March was part of a group of 6/8 marches set by Barry Brougham when Pipe Major a while with Auckland and District Pipe band some good years ago. Barry was previously a member of the band when I directed the band.

Barry a naturally musical piper is a judge of both pipe bands and solo events in New Zealand and Australia. He also won the Commun na Piobaireachd gold medal 1992.

There is an old poem of this you may find on the internet under the title.

Pointers: Two beats to the bar. As usually with these 6/8 marches beware of the remainder relative duration of the upbeat quaver/8th note in most beats i.e. In the group of three tied notes some pipers tend to dwell on the downbeat dotted note relatively too long and neglect the upbeats making the rhythm disjointed – please beware.

The dotted full beat crotchet–4th note should be controlled for the full beat value without tending to strike the next beat a shade too early. A steady tempo at about 84-96 BPM might apply with good flow.

Please notice the second time through the second part fourth bar that the second beat should be as shown in the incomplete bar 2 leading into the last four bars of the second time.

Consider playing this with a few other 6/8 marches two and–or four parted with good key changes. If I was playing this tune I might tend to play the first part only once. Use the video and audio with these.

Additional Information

Pipe Major Willie Ross, MBEPipe Major Willie Ross, MBE displaying his impeccable dress and deportment at Oban Games in 1910

The composer for the slow air Leaving Ardtornish was Pipe Major William Ross, MBE. Additional information about the life of Pipe Major Ross can be viewed at www.pipetunes.ca


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


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