Selecting Bagpipe Tunes

Tunes should be chosen to match the desired atmosphere of the event. From upbeat, lively tunes for weddings and celebrations to slower, more reverent tunes for memorials, funerals, and celebrations of life. Most bagpiping tunes come in the following formats:

  • Marches (M): as the name implies, these tunes are meant to coincide with the rhythm and pace of marching. These tunes are ideal for entering or departing an event. Marches work well with nearly any event including weddings, parties, and parades. Bagpipe marches typically come in time signatures including 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, and 9/8.
  • Strathspeys (S) and jigs (J): meant primarily for dancing, these tunes feature quick, unique beats.
  • Reels (R) and hornpipes (H): slightly slower than strathspeys and jigs, but still upbeat and lively.
  • Slow Aires (A): these tunes are generally slower and showcase the reverence and haunting beauty of the bagpipers. These tunes are typically used in memorials and commemorations, but can be used for golf course sunset ceremonies or even weddings.
 

Wedding Bagpipe Tunes

Processional bagpipes tunes match the pace of the slow walk to the altar while recessional and reception tunes are fun, lively, and announce the newlyweds with fanfare.

Processional Tunes:

  • Highland Cathedral
  • Murdo's Wedding (M, 4/4)
  • Mari's Wedding (M, 2/4)
  • Here Comes the Bride
  • Castle Dangerous (M, 3/4)

Recessional Tunes:

  • Glendaurel Highlanders (M, 6/8)
  • Miss Lily Christie (M, 6/8)
  • Dr. Ross (M, 6/8)
  • Heights of Dargai (M, 9/8)
  • Scotland the Brave (M, 4/4)

Tunes listed in the recessional tunes section are also appropriate for receptions. It's rather common for newlyweds to be "piped in" to the reception venue to make for a truly grand entrance!

  • Marches (M): as the name implies, these tunes are meant to coincide with the rhythm and pace of marching. These tunes are ideal for entering or departing an event. Marches work well with nearly any event including weddings, parties, and parades. Bagpipe marches typically come in time signatures including 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, and 9/8.
  • Strathspeys (S) and jigs (J): meant primarily for dancing, these tunes feature quick, unique beats.
  • Reels (R) and hornpipes (H): slightly slower than strathspeys and jigs, but still upbeat and lively.
  • Slow Aires (A): these tunes are generally slower and showcase the reverence and haunting beauty of the bagpipers. These tunes are typically used in memorials and commemorations, but can be used for golf course sunset ceremonies or even weddings.

Additional tunes by request based on availability

 
 

Memorial and Funeral Bagpipe Tunes

The atmosphere of memorial and funeral services tend to reflect the character and personality of the loved one. As such, it's no surprise that the music for services range from more traditional, solemn tunes to the more upbeat and cheerful tunes you might find at an Irish Wake. Below are some of the most commonly requested tunes - categorized by their setting:

Upbeat Tunes

  • Green Hills of Tyrol (M, 3/4)
  • The Battle's Ore (M, 3/4)
  • Miss Lilly Christie (M, 6/8)
  • Scotland the Brave (M, 4/4)
  • Heights of Dargai (M, 9/8)
  • Festival March (M, 9/8)

Slow, Reverent Tunes

  • Amazing Grace
  • Lord Lovat's Lament
  • Highland Cathedral
  • Shoals of Herring (M)
  • Sgt. MacKenzie
  • Taps (for military)
  • Flower of Scotland
  • Skye Boat Song
  • Danny Boy
  • Dawning of the Day

These memorial tunes can be arranged into 'sets' as well, so upbeat tunes can be played in-between slower tunes. Some clients may prefer this composition if they're looking for variety in tempo (such as in Celebration of Life ceremonies or Irish Wakes). 

  • Marches (M): as the name implies, these tunes are meant to coincide with the rhythm and pace of marching. These tunes are ideal for entering or departing an event. Marches work well with nearly any event including weddings, parties, and parades. Bagpipe marches typically come in time signatures including 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, and 9/8.
  • Strathspeys (S) and jigs (J): meant primarily for dancing, these tunes feature quick, unique beats.
  • Reels (R) and hornpipes (H): slightly slower than strathspeys and jigs, but still upbeat and lively.
  • Slow Aires (A): these tunes are generally slower and showcase the reverence and haunting beauty of the bagpipers. These tunes are typically used in memorials and commemorations, but can be used for golf course sunset ceremonies or even weddings.

Additional tunes by request based on availability

 
 

Bagpipe Tune Repertoire

Strathspeys:

  • Braes of Mar
  • Orange and Blue
  • Caber Feigh
  • Susan Macleod

Bagpipe Reels:

  • Blackberry Bush
  • The Red Fox

Bagpipe Slow Airs:

  • Amazing Grace
  • Flower of Scotland
  • Skye Boat Song

Bagpipe Marches:

  • Liberation Pipe Band (4/4)
  • Green Hills (3/4)
  • The Battle is O'er (3/4)
  • Heights of Dargai (9/8)
  • Festival March (9/8)
  • Bonnie Dundee (6/8)
  • No Awa' tae bide Awa' (4/4)
  • Highland Laddie (2/4)
  • Bloody Field of Flanders (3/4)
  • Castle Dangerous (3/4)
  • Green Hills of Tyrol (3/4)
  • When the Battle's Ore (3/4)
  • Heights of Dargai (9/8)
  • Kilworth Hills (3/4)
  • Lochanside (3/4)
  • Cock o' the North (6/8)
  • Duncan McInnes (2/4)
  • Lord Lovat's Lament (4/4)
  • Mairi's Wedding (2/4)
  • Murdo's Medding (4/4)
  • Shoals of Herring
  • Scotland the Brave (4/4)
  • Rowan Tree (4/4)

This list is not exhaustive of the full repertoire, but illustrates the variety of music that can be performed for your event. 

  • Marches (M): as the name implies, these tunes are meant to coincide with the rhythm and pace of marching. These tunes are ideal for entering or departing an event. Marches work well with nearly any event including weddings, parties, and parades. Bagpipe marches typically come in time signatures including 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, and 9/8.
  • Strathspeys (S) and jigs (J): meant primarily for dancing, these tunes feature quick, unique beats.
  • Reels (R) and hornpipes (H): slightly slower than strathspeys and jigs, but still upbeat and lively.
  • Slow Aires (A): these tunes are generally slower and showcase the reverence and haunting beauty of the bagpipers. These tunes are typically used in memorials and commemorations, but can be used for golf course sunset ceremonies or even weddings.

Additional tunes by request based on availability