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Sheet Music: The Drunken Piper

TitleThe Drunken Piper
Alternate titlesReel of the 51st Highlanders
Far Am Bi Mi Fhin
March of the Meeatoiteen Bull
ComposerTraditional Scottish
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyA minor
RangeE4–A5
Time signature2/4
Tempo108 BPM
Performance time0:35
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (45 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (1 kB) MP3 (452 kB)
Date added2011-06-01
Last updated2011-06-01
CategoriesCeltic Music, Marches, Reels, Traditional/Folk

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Wednesday 1 June 2011

Tune of the Day: The Drunken Piper

Traditional Scottish pipe march

This Scottish tune is part of the Highland bagpipe repertoire, but has also made its way into Canadian tradition. This is the tune to which one of the most popular Scottish country dances of all time, the “Reel of the 51st Highland Division”, is commonly danced. The dance was written by Lieutenant J.E.M. ‘Jimmy’ Atkinson of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders while in a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II. Atkinson's letter home with instructions for the dance was intercepted by the German security service, the Abwehr, who spent the rest of the war trying to break the code! However, another version of the dance reached Scotland, where it became instantly popular.

The tune is sometimes played in a mix of Dorian and Aeolian mode.