Torosay Castle - Retreat Air

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

The tune is a retreat air and the tune was composed by Pipe Major J. Laurie

Listen to Bill's Audio Instruction
Torosay Castle - Retreat Air

Download the Music Notation for Torosay Castle

Click to download the tune notation for Torosay Castle

Lesson Pointers for Torosay Castle

This retreat air is in triple time with three beats to the bar that is normal for retreat airs.

It is also customary in retreat airs for the last bar of parts second and third beats to be carried over without any division of the beats.

With the pointed four tied notes relax without trying to over point the notes, or being jerky.

Have cleanclear high G grace notes, singly and in doublings etc., on respective notes that adds good clarity to the melody notes.

Beware of the common fault in Simple Time tunes such as this to have the two tied Quavers/8th notes played with equal duration (down/up), especially the downbeat that is often played too short relatively.

Additional Information

Torosay CastleTorosay Castle

The composer for Torosay Castle was ‘Jack’' Laurie. Jack joined the Gordon Highlanders in 1899 and transferred to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1908, where he was appointed Pipe Major two months later. He held this post until 1922.

He was a pupil of G.S. McLennan's and in 1913 he won the last Gold Medal at Inverness before competitions were suspended for the war. He also won the Strathspey and Reel and was second in the Marches that year.

He was the first Pipe Major to land in France during the Great War in August, 1914.

In 1911, 1920 and 1921, he was appointed Adjudicator by the Glasgow Municipal Authorities for junior and senior pipe band competitions.

The biographical information below was extracted from

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