About the Authors

Allan MacDonald

Allan MacDonald and his brothers, Dr. Angus and Iain (also world-famous pipers), were born in the tiny Gaelic-speaking township of Glenuig in Moidart. Allan won the highest award in piping, the Clasp at the Northern Meeting, two years running (1989 and 1990). He then followed his heart and developed a style of playing more in tune with the Gaelic culture of 1550-1750. His approach is infused with an insider’s ear for the fragile traces of historical continuity that survived within Gaelic-speaking communities, and he attempts to reverse the effects of post-Industrial sanitisation and cultural colonialism.


One of Allan's myriad gifts is to make pibroch accessible and lovable. His work as a scholar-performer reuniting seventeenth-century piping with its Gaelic roots is influencing a whole generation of pipers. He lectured on the Scottish Music course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, and has had numerous commissions to compose for BBC television. 

Allan and Thomas have worked together in a number of projects over the last couple of years, including the world music ensemble HOMEBOUND.


For 'Bagpipe Apps', Allan was recorded playing the chanter, singing the canntaireachd and pronouncing the pipers' terminology with a particular focus on the Gaelic vocabulary, explaining its meaning and derivation. His handwriting has also been included in all apps, contributing to the overall feel and learning experience.

Thomas Zöller

Thomas Zöller studied Scottish music with the great Highland bagpipe as his first instrument at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He was the first German and mainland European ever to do so.


After returning in 2005, Thomas started Germany's first official bagpipe school, the Dudelsack-Akademie. Its ties with Scotland have been strong ever since. Allan MacDonald became its patron, several students of the BA Scottish music degree came here for their work placement and almost 100 PDQB-exams were taken at the Dudelsack-Akademie in conjunction with adjudicators from the National Piping Centre.


Besides his passion for Scottish music, Thomas has taken the bagpipe to new frontiers, weaving it into many different genres of music. He has established the world music ensemble HOMEBOUND, toured extensively with the German band ASPs von Zaubererbrüdern, formed the duo 'Às a' Phìob' with Michael Klevenhaus, recorded and toured with Estampie, Qntal and Adversus. He is the artistic director and creator of the Interkeltisches Folkfestival since 2007. In 2014 he took the position of the pipe major for both the Germany and Loreley Tattoos.


Thomas originally had the idea for 'Bagpipe Apps'. This project is part of his dissertation for an MA in World Music at the University of Sheffield.