P A’ Ghlas Mheur / A bagpipe lament P: 42
C2 Glass Mhoier C2.48: 108
H ’Ghlas Mheur / lock on fingers H.5: 10v
D1 A Ghlass Mheur / The Finger Lock D1.2: 7
K1 A Ghlas Mhiar / The Finger Lock K1.22: 61
SC Glas Mhir SC.33
Notes on Gaelic Titles
A’ Ghlas Mheur / A’ Ghleus Mheur Glaisvair 1778; A’ ghlas mheur / A bagpipe lament P; Glais-mheur 1785; Glass Mhoier C2; A Ghlais-Mheur 1804; ’Ghlas Mheur / lock on fingers H; A Ghlass Mheur / The Finger Lock D1; A Ghlas Mhiar / The Finger Lock K1; Glas Mhir SC. The spellings ‘Glaisvair’ and ‘Glais-mheur’ suggest that the anonymous transcriber who provided the English translation ‘lock on fingers’ in about 1815 introduced or perpetuated a corruption, mistaking gleus for glas (R. D. Cannon, ‘Gaelic names of pibrochs: a classification’. Scottish Studies 34, 2000–2006: section 7.3, pp 40–42). Earlier sources only give English expressions like ‘a bagpipe lament’ or ‘a favourite piece’ (I.I. MacInnes, The Highland bagpipe: the impact of the Highland Societies of London and Scotland, 1781–1844. M. Litt. Thesis, Edinburgh University, 1988: p. 232). If the title had previously been understood as A’ Ghleus Mheur, meaning ‘The Finger Test/Trial/Preparation’, then gleus possessed a wide range of meanings to eighteenth-century pipers, including: 1) tuning phrases a couple of bars long; 2) short pieces to settle the pipe and player (such as PS 50 A Glase, PS 127 A Glass and PS 146 A Glas); and 3) a large-scale work (the present tune), so named possibly because it focuses on a particular finger movement or, perhaps more likely, in response to a popular story involving a piper’s fingers. For texts and other concordances see A.M. MacDonald, The relationship between pibroch and Gaelic song: its implications on the performance style of the pibroch ùrlar. MLitt Thesis, Edinburgh University, 1995: pp. 197–214.