Selecting Bagpipe Tunes

Tunes should be chosen to match the desired atmosphere of the event. From regal and majestic tunes for weddings to upbeat, lively tunes for celebrations to slower, more reverent tunes for memorials, funerals, and celebrations of life. You can jump into tune lists based on your event by clicking the links below or read on for more information.

Clients looking to hire a bagpiper often fall into one of three categories:

  1. clients are well-versed in bagpipe music and have a specific tunes already selected

  2. clients either have one or two tunes in mind, but want recommendations for additional tunes

  3. clients have no strong preferences in bagpipe music and defer to the piper for the tune set

In most cases, clients fall into the second and third categories. It could be that the bagpipes are a surprise for a family member or friend who loves the bagpipes or that the deadly departed requested bagpipes at their funeral without instructions for the tunes. Whichever the case, Piper Jonas can either work off of a tune list, suggest additional tunes that match the tempo of a certain tune, or simply create a tune set (or medley) on his own that would work well for the event.

If interested in learning more of the terminology of bagpipe tunes — 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.