Highland Games wouldn't be Highland Games without Music Events. The site and sound of the pipers, drummers and bands all in traditional Highland Dress with kilts-and-flashes is truly a sight to behold. I never fail to feel 'moved' by it. As you watch the band marching or cheer on those participating in the Athletic Events you might be wondering about the age-old question of what Scotsmen wear underneath their kilts. Of course you''ll see folk not in Highland Dress but still wearing tartan clothes, but if you're not sure of the difference between tartan and plaid, press HERE for a bit more information.
The Music is just one category at Highland Games. I also enjoy watching the grace (and stamina) of the dancers in the Dancing Events. The Athletic Events are also amazing, none more so than 'Tossing the Caber' (Poles tossed by Scots). Check out Highland Games in Fife - for this year's venues for the games in the Kingdom.
However, let's get back to the Music Competitions. There are a number of categories in the music events. Here are some of them you'll see at a Highland Games.
Pipers in Highland Dress
You'll always see in the Music Events at Highland Games The Piping competition. This is usually for solo pipers and they compete at 6 skill levels. The judging is based on the tuning, timing, temp, and expression. Competitions fall into 2 categories: the MSR events (MSR stands for Marches, Strathspeys and reels) and the Piobaireachd (which is classical music for the pipes). Some games also have competition on the jig and hornpipe categories.
The Music Events at Highland Games will also always have The Pipe Band category. This is a competition where a specified minimum number of pipers and drummers are required. Each band must play a medley of tunes where the types of tunes required will depend on the caliber or grade of the pipe band. In addition, the higher the level of competition, the longer the band will play. Three judges will determine each bands standing within the competition. The judges consider a number of areas including how well the tunes were played as well as how difficult the tunes are to play. They also look at the quality of tuning for the pipes at the beginning and end of the set, and the musical theme of the tunes (eg if the chosen tunes flow easily from one to the next.
Although the The Massed Band features in the music events, it is NOT a competition, but a ceremony. This is when all participating pipe bands parade together playing a common medley of pipe tunes. Traditionally, the massed band will perform simple maneuvers on the parade field, and the medley consists of popular bagpipe tunes.
The Massed Band is NOT a competition, but a ceremony. This is when all participating pipe bands parade together playing a common medley of pipe tunes. Traditionally, the massed band will perform simple maneuvers on the parade field, and the medley consists of popular bagpipe tunes.
The drumming category is also a solo competition, at 5 levels. The judging is based on the tone, tempo, rhythm, variety and blend
The Drum Major category is another solo competition for the Drum Majors. Since they set the tempo for the band through the swing of the mace or staff, this competition is helps bring about consistency. The Drum Major is always in full Highland dress and is judged on that dress, their deportment and general conduct and of course their ability and skill in using the mace.
Competition consists of the following pieces: Air, March, Strathspey and Reel.
See also the following:-
Athletic Events - Highland Games Categories always include a variety of athletic or sporting competition. Dancing Events - Learn more about the Dancing competitions, always a joy to see, and again featured in every Highland Games. Tossing The Caber - Look at this wonderful athletic event. If you don't know what it is, you might refer to it as 'poles tossed by Scots' Highland Games in Fife - for this year's venues for the games in the Kingdom. Tartan, Plaid and Kilts> - A brief look at Scottish Tartan and Plaid. Underneath Men's Kilts - A quick look at the age-old question, and the fascination people have about what Scotsmen wear under their kilt. Kilts and Flashes - A brief look at the history of the kilt. Tartan Clothes from Scotland - A summary of some of the tartan clothes that come from Scotland.