The Kitchen and the Fireside

Affiliated with pibroch.net, Learning Living Pibroch represents both a forum for discussion for pipers (and others) of all ages, abilities and aspirations, and a distinct space where we focus upon research, learning, interpretation and performance of pibroch informed by the discoveries uncovered in the exploration of the early manuscripts perusable on our sister site. Think of the Pibroch Network’s main site and Learning Living Pibroch as the kitchen and the fireside, respectively. Discussion and learning, after all, go hand in hand.

The dram in the hand is optional.

Our purpose here is to facilitate discussion, engage performance, edify readers and encourage a more inclusive style of learning and teaching. We hope this level of collaboration invites a pibroch polyculture: bringing new insights, expression and musicality to pibroch as a result of discoveries unleashed by the release of previously inaccessible manuscripts and scores.

David Hester’s writings

Via this site’s menu, you can review a series of pages authored by the late David Hester (co-founder of the erstwhile Alt Pibroch Club) entitled The Modern Traditional Piper. These pages, in his own words, ‘seek to elucidate some of the most important, and yet most overlooked aspects of performance as revealed by the pre-1840 manuscripts’.

It is important to clarify and recognise, however, that Dr Hester’s writings represent his own personal views, historical opinions and stylistic interpretations of the written scores; his writings should not therefore be viewed as being necessarily subscribed to by the Pibroch Network team. This is why each page carries David’s name as author in the top right corner under the title. We offer them here as an ongoing tribute to David’s zeal and in recognition of their usefulness as starting points into some aspects of the material for the benefit of learners and teachers.

Further information discussed in these pages may be found under the category of the same title, as discoveries continue to be uncovered and shared. ‘Categories’ are in any case perhaps the most useful way to review or search posts related to any given topic.


Membership is free – we ask you to register in order to prevent the site from being taken over by spambots.

We hope you enjoy, and feel comfortable enough to contribute to re-envigorating the performance and interpretation of pibroch.

Original post by J David Hester, 2013

Adapted by Joshua Dickson, 2 Sept 2022