Niel Gow’s Farewell to Whisky


Niel Gow (1727–1807) is an iconic name in Scottish fiddling. He achieved musical renown in his lifetime and was friend to many pipers of the period. His collection of tunes and original compositions is canonical among Celtic fiddlers. In 1757, whisky distilling was banned in Scotland to conserve grain because of extremely poor harvests, much to the chagrin of Mr. Gow. This tune is often played as a march but, in spite of the renditions one might hear today, research uncovers that Niel Gow’s original intent was for the tune to be played “very slow and pathetic.”

View the score for “Niel Gow’s Farewell to Whisky.”

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About the author

Whisky Tunes is the first online, bagpipe music tune book presented in a serial format. Tunes are collected and arranged by Vince Janoski. Vince is the former editor and publisher of The Voice, the magazine of the EUSPBA and publisher and writer for Pipehacker.com.