Tag Archives: bagpipes

Uilleann Pipe recordings

Best Uilleann recordings I own or listen to.

Do you know any other good recordings? Let me know.

Uilleann CDs (no order)

  • Liam O’Flynn – The Pipers Call
  • Davy Spillane – Atlantic Bridge, Pipedreams, Out of the Air
  • Paddy Keenan – The Long Grazing Acre
  • Sean McKeon – The Dusty Miller ( Multiple players playing harmony)

Calum Stewart (I know him from his Flute playing)
I play “Am Monadh Ruadh” from this CD, also Randolph’s Leap is awesome.
Look up “Randolph’s Leap”. I’ve been there, beautiful.
(A better name should be Cummings Leap)

Brian McNamara

He plays a ‘flat’ set pitched in ‘C’ made by Geoff Wooff in 1997 and a ‘concert-pitched’ set of pipes made by Peter Maguire, I was lucky enough to have him as my teacher in Drumshanbo.

Single tracks I like

High energy playing of Blackie O’Connoll. He was my tutor when I attended Tionol 2011

Fred Morrison‘s Kansas City Hornpipe

Paddy Keenan – Harvest Home & Boys of blue hill
(Check The Pipering Of Willie Clancy Vol II)

Doinna by John McSherry (I play this one also, but it is nothing compared to his pipe-sound, melodic virtuosity and feeling he puts in this relatively easy piece of music)

Another often played CD with Uileann, Borderpipes and Low Whistles is:

Partners in Crime by Jarlath Henderson and Ross Ainslie.
A very nice combination of two different pipes together.
Coline and I try to have at least one set with both instruments.

Some others:

  • Some tracks of Bad Shepherds
  • Some tracks of Afro Celt Sound System
  • Some tracks of Enya (See Sun in the stream post)

List of Artist i’ve got recordings from:

Cillian Vallely, Finbar Furey, Ronan Browne, Willie Clancy, Seamus Ennis, Johnny Doran, Leo Rowsome, Liam O’Flynn,Davy Spillane, Paddy Keenan, Finbar Furey, Brian McNamara, Paddy Moloney, Jerry O’Sullivan, Gay Conor, Sean McKeon, Declan Masterson, Michael McGoldrick I probably missed several

Female pipers

In the middle of recording Mhairi Bhan Og

Also known as Mary Young and Fair – this Gaelic air was published in Capt Simon Fraser’s “Knockie” Collection of 1816.

I made an arrangement using Musescore, Ardour and Bagpipe Music Writer.

Hardware used: Tascam 2488, Behringer B-1 studio microphone, Yamaha QY-100 sequencer, ESI MidiMate eX USB 2.0 MIDI-interface and Shepherd Smallpipes.

Ardour remixing, using QY-100 via midi and Sound Fonts

(I tried Qtractor and some other tools but liked Ardour more)

Recording online soon, I have to re-record the harmony part.
Maybe I’m going to add a Flute part also.


Music top .. dunno

Warning .. nerd stuff ahead, many many more.
These are the ones I currently can think off.

Sid music (commodore C64)

  • Rob Hubbard – Monty on the run
  • Chris Huelsbeck – R-type
  • Chris Heulsbeck – Great Giana Sisters
  • Jeroen Tel – Cybernoid 2

Northumbrian pipes



Irish Bouzouki


  • Tim Connell Jack Dwyer – The Rakish Paddy
  • Luke Plumb (Plays with Shooglenifty) – Drunken Landlady


  • Ali Hutton
  • Ross Ainsley
    (Partner’s in Crime CD)

Great Highland Bagpipe (TO many)

  • Fred Morrison
    Frances Morton’s

Irish Flute / Whistle

  • Michael McGoldrick – Angel Meadow
  • Fraser Shaw – Air Chall

Uilleann Pipes

Other pipes

Callum Armstrong (with Branschke)
Angie’s Jig on double chanter, I love that tune
He even has a tripple chanter

Other instruments

Balalaika – Aleksei Arkhipovsky

Throat singing:

Enjoying music

I will add to this in time


  • Shooglenifty – Celtic Fusion
    ( The recordings with Angus )
  • The Sidh
  • Ross Ainsley
    Partners in Crime (with Jarlath Henderson)
  • Fred Morrison
    All of his CD’s
    His tunes played others
    Breizh by Claymore pipes and Drums, I will put my version online also.
  • Gordon Duncan
    Thunderstruck, bellydancer, fourth floor, Pressed for time, Sleeping tune and many more
  • Manran
  • Kyle Warren
  • Fraser Shaw
    Air Chall (I play this one on tinwhistle)
  • Martyn Bennett
    Mackay’s Memoirs (Based around the theme and first variation of the piobaireachd ‘Lament For Mary MacLeod’)
  • Callum Armstrong ( Branschke/Armstrong Duo )
    Like his tune Burrito Hurricane on a Triple Chanter!


  • Jutland by Tommy O’Sullivan (We play this one with our Folkband, I play this on Uilleann)
    Versions I like:
    Paddy Keenan and Tommy O’Sullivan
    Michael McGoldrick and John McSherry
  • Bellydancer by Gordon Duncan
    Tape on B and F sound holes to produce the Middle-Easterny, B-flat phrygian scale.
    Gordon Duncan – Thunderstruck CD
    Session A9


Some old skool CD’s

I’ve got many, some can’t be found online in a streaming service

(Maybe i’ll add some track info)

One of the first I bought because I had some cassette tapes with the Corries. Legends in Scottish Folk

PM of the Shotts and Dykehead. I’ve met the guy on a contest on the mainland, and got to speak to him and his mate Jimmy Killpatrick.
Liked his melodies, some easy to play but always interesting.
On of the first tunes I played with a natural C was Ebb-Tide.

Great piper, one of the most brilliant technical pipers. Met the guy in Scotland 1992. Got his autograph on this CD.
Mostly of his March, Strathspey and Reel playing.
(Got his MSR book somewhere)

One of the gold old oldies folk.

I fell in love with this CD (got this somewhere in ’93-94)
Amazing fusion of pipes mixed with other styles and instruments.
I still play Death of a space piper.

Another amazing composer

This CD made me fall in love with “Cauld wind pipes”
(Not mouth blown)
There are many kinds of pipes on this CD.
It made me want to have a set of smallpipes.

Dick Lee’s Book

Again amazing stuff, fusion of instruments and styles.
Dick Lee plays clarinets, saxes and melodicas. But composed as a non-piper amazing tunes!
With the amazing playing of Hamish Moore, a joy for your ears!

He died far to young, this amazing musical wonder.
Hard to explain his style. From Classical piping to electronical music.

Pipes played

  • Lying down
  • In a trucks cabin
  • Elevator
  • Phonebox
  • Cruise ship to England
  • While riding a bicycle without holding the handlebars
  • Motor tricicle
  • Parking garage .. amazing echo
  • Churches
  • Toilets
  • Trainstation hal at night
  • Standing in a back of a bus ( drones through the sunroof )
  • In the back of a car
  • Upside down

Some funny pictures I found

Automating the h*ll out of windows applications using linux

I’m using a windows program for typesetting bagpipe music.
Luckily this runs on Linux using wine.

Sometimes i just want a PDF version of a tune, for example for my tunebook compiler. (Other post)
Or i want to batch convert a lot of bww files.

A long time ago i used a virtual machine with automation software for this.
Why not automate the process on my Laptop?

So i made this script, with a workaround for the xdotool wine problem.
(wine window needs to be active to accept key strokes, other linux xwindows you can use the ID of the window)

# use c for close at the end, without c bgplayer wont be shut down
# bww2pdf path/to/music.bww c
# make tmp file
cat "$1" > /tmp/deze.bww
# start bgplayer if not started .. if not started wait 3 secs
pgrep BGPlayer.exe >/dev/null || slp=3
pgrep BGPlayer.exe  >/dev/null|| ( nohup wine ~/.wine/dosdevices/c\:/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Bagpipe\ Player/BGPlayer.exe & )
sleep $slp
# get program id
pid=$(pgrep BGPlayer.exe)
# get xwindow id using pid
winid=$(xdotool search --limit 1 --all --pid $pid)
# activate window
xdotool search --desktop 0 --class "BGPlayer.exe" windowactivate
# open file menu and Open file
xdotool key --window $winid "alt+f"
xdotool key --window $winid "o"
# give program time to execute
sleep 1
# open our tmp file
xdotool type '\tmp\deze.bww'
xdotool key KP_Enter
sleep 2
# open file menu select Print and PDF as output
xdotool key "alt+f"
xdotool key "p"
xdotool key "P"
sleep 2
# execute
xdotool key KP_Enter
sleep 1
# File close
xdotool key "alt+f"
xdotool key "c"
sleep 2
# close program when c was added to commandline
mv ~/PDF/deze* "$1.pdf"
if [ "$2" == "c" ] ; then 
	xdotool key "alt+f"
	xdotool key "x"
I’m not touching the keyboard when the program is running, all handled by the script

Music notation programs

I play several instruments, and know a lot of tunes by heart. But for some instruments i’d like to have a music sheet in front of me.
When playing new tunes or from my old stash, i need it on paper also.
And when i do, I’d like my music nicely printed and in the same style.

So i’ve been using multiple programs and tools to get a result i can live with.
I’ve got a huge collection of pipe and folk tunes, but whenever i decide that i’m going to play it more often then i’m going to re-create the music sheet.
The musicsheet will be printed and put in a folder. But also as PDF wil be placed in my calibre server, with i use to provide my tablets and phones with a digital version.
For automatically generating a PDF musicbook i’ve written some scripts.
These PDF’s i can use with my DIY bluetooth page turner.

For my bagpipe tunes i started a long time ago with a dos version of Bagpipe Music Writer. Getting a decent result from your printer was a b*tch. But it was do-able.

Several other programs i’ve tried but few stuck.
CelticPipes, Ceol Mor, Bagpipe (French), MusicTex, Lilypond for example.
I don’t like to click a symbol and place it on the bars, i like typing .. so i’m a little biased.
For midi and printing multi bar/staff music i also used Cakewalk Pro.

So i’ve been using the following software:

ABC Music notation :

X: 1
T:After the Battle of Aughrim
E2A2 ABcd | e2d2 c3A | B2G2 GFGA | B2AG E2D2 |
E2A2 ABcd | e2d2 e2ag | e2d2 BedB | A4 A4 :|
a2e2 e2fg | abag e2fg | abaf g3e | dedB G4 |
a2e2 e2fg | abag e2d2 | B2e2 d2B2 | A4 A4 :|
  • I use this mainly for Whistle and skeletal melody lines for Uilleann pipes (no ornaments)
  • Bagpipe IS possible but hard and ugly.
  • Multiple voices (harmony) is possible.
  • Chord names can be places above bars, as well as vocals.
  • I’ve made scripts with headers and footers to get the same output result.
  • Creating the music is typing the notes and ornaments in a text file.
  • Little chords for guitar mandoline are also possible.
# Edit/createing a abc music file
vi musicpiece.abc ; edit with plain editor
abcm2ps musicpiece.abc ; convert to ps
ps2pdf14 Out.ps musicpiece.pdf ; ps convert to pdf
Also EasyABC i use occasionally

Bagpipe music:

I still use Bagpipe Music Writer, but the free Player, which is a full version also. (Long story)
Using wine on linux it is usable.

In the past i made a virtual machine which could be controlled by a web form and some CGI scripts.
I could paste a “bmw” score in a webform which would be send to the virtual machine, a BMW program would be started, printed the tune as a PDF that was send to the website again.

For a long time i also had a abc music to PDF convertor on my website.

I like the way of writing the tunes .. just type abbreviations of ornaments to print.
When you know these you are faster than using a mouse!

& sharpf sharpc
I!	hdbe Er_8 'e LAl_16		gbr LA_4					dbe Er_8 'e LAl_16			gg Fr_16 El_16 Dl_8
!	dbe Er_8 'e LAl_16		gbr LA_4					dbhg HG_4					tg Fr_16 HAl_8 'ha
!	hdbe Er_8 'e LAl_16		gbr LA_4					dbe Er_8 'e LAl_16			gg Fr_16 El_16 Dl_8
!	dbb Br_8 'b LAl_16	gg LGr_8 'lg dg Bl_16					dbhg HG_4					tg Fr_16 HAl_8 'ha			!t

There is no way to write harmonies.
In the past i’ve been using a pdf editor to merge music bars and align those by hand.
I’ve stopped doing that. I just print 2 versions.
Sometimes i use MuseScore for harmonies and multiinstrumental sheets

Mhairi Bhan Og with multiple other midi instruments (a test composition I did in 2024)

I wil post my MusicBook compiler here, when i’ve cleaned up the code.
UPDATE: https://www.henriaanstoot.nl/2022/12/09/generating-pdfs-from-abc-files-to-include-in-tunebooks/