Piobaireachd for Solo Flute
Composer: John Purser
This work is an exploration for flute of an ancient style and in the form of Scottish Highland bagpipe music still practiced today. The origins of piobaireached (pronounced “peebarochk”) are obscure but may well have developed from Celtic harp music as well as being occasionally derived from Gaelic song. Piobaireachd consists of a slow, carefully structured theme (urlar or ground) with variations increasing in complexity before the theme returns. Such themes fall into different classes – Laments, Marches, Salutes and Gatherings – and this work is no exception. Its urlar makes use of a pentatonic scale with implied drone suitable for a gathering. It also uses typical bagpipe decorations that have to be executed in the correct crist styule, demanding great finger dexterity.