"The Northumbrian Smallpipes Tutor", reedmaking, maintenance and much more  at

"I have decided to 'set my book free', so you can now download The Northumbrian Smallpipes Tutor from my website at [1] for free. I am no longer offering the book in a printed and bound version for sale, although there are a few copies in England to be bought if you desire. Enjoy!" John Liestman.


Piping around the world


Alternative pipers of North America

APNA serves as a clearinghouse and source of information for and about bagpipers and bagpipes in North America. We are particularly focused on reaching those pipers playing other than Great Highland Bagpipes, both bellows and mouth blown, AND pipers who are interested in using the GHB in ways that do not conform to current solo and band playing standards.


Lowland and Border Piping Society

The home on the web for all things related to Scottish and Border Bellows-Piping.


Facebook - Northumbrian Piping Group

looked after by Gracie Grey (genuine pipers admitted)


Note: This is not an official society page, but many pipers "hangout" their views are entirely personal.




Tune storing

Capture a voice, moment or music in seconds, or upload audio you've already created.

The recording remains under the control of the originator and, even better, it looks to be possible to restrict access to the recordings making them available only to those internet users who are given the specific URL of the recording.


Northumbrian Minstrelsy

A Collection of the Ballads, Melodies and Small-Pipe tunes of Northumbria, Edited by J. Collingwood Bruce and John Stokoe 1882


and here are the  tunes from it searchable and printable by tune as dots or abc


Folk Archive Resource North East All sorts of stuff


Derek Hobbs' tunes for pipers arranged as duets, and many other tune books, are available at


A collection of tunes


Searchable list of tunes


James Scott Skinner, tunes and more


Hooky Mat records - Anthony Robb's sites 

Including his tutors for the first 30 tunes - ideal for those are remote, trying to learn the pipes learning


Radio FARNE features collections of selected items from the FARNE archive based around a particular theme. Some are collections of recordings or concerts, others are full interviews. Hear Northumbrian smallpipes, moothies, fiddles and more from live 20th Century reecordings





Mainly Playford, about 200 tunes in dots

A whole load of stuff, including, it says, some of Playford, in Noteworthy format

for which you will need Noteworthy, there's a free version for reading stuff. Windows PCs only I think.


A load of fiddle tunes in abc format

Irish and Swedish tunes in ABC



An abc converter

and another for Macs


Some Scottish collections as free pdfs


The Grand catalogue of Conrad Bladey's Beuk of Newcassel songs

A bit hard to navigate, but has a lot of lyrics, and hidden away some ABC notation for many of the tunes


Folk Tune Finder

More or less what it says on the tin, put in the first few notes and it will try to match them


Links to a world of traditional music


Tune Manuscripts List

This list is based on the one in the Hardcore English tune book published by the EFDSS. It represented, in April 2007, the majority of the manuscripts that were known to the English tune playing community


Stacks of stuff to while away a few wet afternoons




A fairly extensive discography of Northumbrian pipes 1928-1988



Historical stuff

For those interested in earlier, 1500-1800, music


C16th Ballads


Ravenscroft 1609 on-


Thompsons Compleat collection of 200 country dances 1751-57

Includes a couple of Rants, No.s 30 and 183, and Because I  was a Bonny Lad (sic) No. 169

volumes II, III & IV covering 1758-80, include few others we still know



Manuscripts C17th to C20th

Kohler's Violin Repository, a hard to find but much used source of tunes for 
fiddlers in this area in the C19. It was sold in weekly or monthly instalments and 
then copies were passed from hand to hand. The editor possibly knew James Hill, certainly he lived in N. Shields for many years.



Collections various


A letter to his Grace the Duke of Northumberland on the ancient Northumbrian Music, its collection and preservation, by Thomas Doubleday

John Peacock

Robert Reid


The Compleat Tutor for the Pastoral or New Bagpipe


and much more besides on Ross Anderson's excellent resource for

"the evolution of folk music in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This was a period of rapid change; the Scots, Irish and Northumbrian traditions developed into their current form, as did our three countries' pipes and many other instruments."



A New, Improved, and Authentic Life of James Allan: The Celebrated Northumberland Piper 1828


The Rook Manuscript




Putting yourself on the internet.

The recording remains under the control of the originator and, even better, it looks to be possible to restrict access to the recordings making them available only to those internet users who are given the specific URL of the recording.


For making uncompressed files available, setting up a free Dropbox account and using its public folder is probably as good a solution as any.

Download it here



A variety of Pipers piping


7 hole whistle and Flute hole calculator


Reference to Town Wait in Hexham 1665


Young Piper's personal website


Piping in modern musical theatre


Northumbrian Bands for hire







Previous page: Join the Society