The Royal Scots Cap Badge


Leaving Lochboisdale


For this bagpipe lesson I have chosen the slow air Leaving Lochboisdale. The tune was composed by the late Pipe Major John Wilson. It has been some time since we had a slow air. This one I think is a very nice unusual melody on B.

From what I can determine, the tune was written on leaving South Uist after competing at the games at Askernish, which at one point attracted all the very top pipers of the day – the Lochboisdale Hotel used to put them up when they came over to compete.

Lochboisdale Harbor set in South Uist Outer Hebrides
Lochboisdale Harbor set in South Uist Outer Hebrides


Lesson Pointers


Endeavour to play the short sixteenth note D's with high G grace note subtly without cutting harshly. There are two beats to the bar. The basic beat rhythm is 1–––, 2, 3––., with some variation on that on certain beats as in second beat first bar and elsewhere. Have good execution of the embellishments as usual where there is plenty of time in slow airs and the like. The Fourth bar second part second beat is replaced as in repeat of the part, line 2, and as you can listen to in the audio file.


Download The Music Notation.


Music Notation Click to download the tune notation for Leaving Lochboisdale


Listen To Bill's Audio Instruction.


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Watch Bill's Video Instruction.



About Pipe Major John Wilson


John Wilson 1927
John Wilson after winning the Gold Medal Argyllshire Gathering 1927


John Wilson was a well known piper who competed with much success in the solo competitions in Scotland, and who immigrated 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.”

Additional information can be gleaned from the Pipe Tunes Website


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