The Canntaireachd Project –

'Canntaireachd' is an ancient codified language used by Scottish pipers to teach and memorise bagpipe music. 'The Canntaireachd Project' is a joint project of pipers Ailean Dòmhnullach (Scotland) and Thomas Zöller (Germany). It is a follow-up project of the bagpipe apps that they have published starting in the summer of 2014.


'The Canntaireachd Project' aims to increase the understanding of the Campbell Canntaireachd Ms. (c. 1819), the single most important primary source for 'pibroch' or 'ceòl mòr', the 'classical music' of the great Highland bagpipe. By understanding the Campbell Canntaireachd, one can learn how this music was played before it changed by way of increased dependence on written scores and divorce from its cultural context. Almost a quarter of the content has never been published in staff notation. Furthermore, the settings of many of the tunes that have been published in staff notation differ substantially from the Campbell Canntaireachd, where interesting variants and shorter versions appear.

Within the clan system of the Highlands of Scotland, the great Highland bagpipe and its music once enjoyed the patronage of their chiefs – now we are calling upon you: Help us to proceed with this existing project and become a patron today!


Patrons receive various rewards with every issue, i.e. including:

- Allan MacDonald playing a full pibroch in the canntaireachd-style.
- Thomas Zöller singing the corresponding Campbell Canntaireachd, interweaved with the piping version.
- An interview with Allan MacDonald including background information on the piece (in English) and a discussion of the canntaireachd setting.
- A summary of that material (in German).
- Two accompanying PDFs (English and German) that contain the complete canntaireachd, transcribed from Colin Campbell's manuscript, including footnotes.


Become a patron and sign up on: