Ken Bice RYCI Golf Tournament Dinner 2009

ABOUT my music – compositions, adaptations and arrangements

Over my 55 years plus of playing the bagpipes I have managed to compose a number of tunes.

They range from 2/4, 6/8, 4/4, 3/4, 9/8 marches to less common march times signatures such as 5/4, 6/4 and 12/8 marches.  Some of the 2/4 time signatures are in the form of Hornpipes and Polkas. I have also composed in the same tempos a number of slow marches, air’s and laments in including some waltzes and quick waltzes.  There are a number of Strathspeys and Reels including several reels in the Calypso style along with Jigs in 6/8 and 9/8 time signatures. 

A number of tunes have been written in both cut and held and round tempo especially when it comes to Jigs, Hornpipes and Reels. 

I have arranged other composer’s tunes to suit some pipers with limited abilities, as over the years I have had a number of pipers not as adept as others in the band, so some tunes would be adapted to allow them to be able to play them with the rest of the band.

I have on occasion been asked by couples or people looking for a piper to play for a function if I know a particular song or tunes not originally composed for the bagpipes.  Tunes which may have be songs or orchestral music.

One such tune a young woman who wanted to surprise here mother with a bagpiper at her 60th birthday party asked if I knew how to play the song “Out on the Mira”.  I said, not, but it might be possible to play it on the pipers.  I adapted it (basically in my head, as I didn’t write it down on paper) and played it at the birthday celebration. Her mother was born and grew up in the Mira area in the East Cost of Canada.

I continued playing that tune for a number of years and I actually officiated that young woman’s wedding a couple of years after that birthday celebration.   A relative of the bride’s mother who was at the wedding, heard me play the bride in with “Out on the Mira” and told his long-time friend Allister MacGillivray who a Canadian composer, lyricist and singer from Glace Bay in the Cape Breton region of Nova Scotia.

Allister contacted me and asked me if I had it arranged for the pipes in sheet music.  I said no, but I could write down on paper which I did and sent him the copy.  He then put it into music writing software and sent me a copy.  He also asked if I could adopt another one his tunes to the pipes and as he wanted to give the music to some of the pipers and pipe bands in the East Coast. The second tune was called “Far from the Roll of the Sea”, which was a wonderful song and tune for use with a choir as well as orchestra.

This web site was developed in order to share with other pipers and musicians my own compositions, adaptations and arrangements.

You can listen to the tune via a MP3 track, view and print a copy of the sheet music via PDF file of the sheet music or view and select and copy the source code used to create the electronic format using Bagpipe Music Writer (file extension .bww) via a PDF copy of the code.  Once you copy and insert the code into a new .bww file you can view, listen to, play along with, print a copy of the sheet music or make changes to suit your own skill or the skill of the various pipers within band whatever they may be. They are found following the tune page, title and information in the order of MP3 Clip, PDF File of a copy of the sheet music and BWW code in a PDF file in the last column. 


COPYING THE BAGPIPE MUSIC WRITE CODE from the BWW (PDF) file from the site:

Click on the item in the 3rd column of the table titled BWW which is on the same line as the title of the tune.   This opens in a new screen in the Adobe PDF program as a PDF file.

Using the Adobe PDF program under the EDIT section, click on EDIT the click on SELECT ALL then click on COPY.

Now, go to your Bagpipe Music Write Program, open a NEW file, then select the existing new file code that is present by highlighting it and the PASTE the code you copied from the Adobe PDF file containing the .bww code, which overlays the original code in the file.

Then when you click on your Bagpipe Music Write program VIEW, select REFRESH MUSIC and the music of the tune will display.

ONE PROBLEM that I have not been able to overcome so far it that when you copy .bww source from a PDF file it does not format properly. In some instances you will see to movements joined together. The tune plays ok, but the format is hard to read. You can go to the various parts of the music code and hit your tab key to move to code over one tab between the sections of the code that seem to be joined together or actually break out the bar lines into individual lines rather than them being compressed all together. YOU WOULD NEED TO DO THIS TO FORMAT THE CODE FOR EASY READING and ALSO TO ALLOW IT TO PRINT PROPERLY….I know it is a bit of a pain to do this, but if you are only selecting a few tunes, then it should not take too much time to reformat the code after you have copied and pasted it to a NEW BAGPIPE MUSIC WRITER FILE.

DUE TO THE PROBLEM with the formatted .BWW PDF copy ……………

IF YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO SEND YOU A COPY OF THE BAGPIPE MUSIC SOFTWARE IN THE ORIGINAL FORMAT FROM MY MASTER FILE SIMPLY SEND ME AN E-MAIL AT  either or INDICATING THE WHICH TUNE OR TUNES YOU WOULD LIKE THE .BWW SOURCE CODE FOR AND I WILL SEND YOU A COPY.  You can see the e-mail address below in the contact section and can click on it to send me an e-mail or copy it to you e-mail server.


There will be several sections based on the where the tune is located (BOOK NUMBER, etc.) that will have what I call MUSICAL NOTES. These pages you will information on how the tune got its name or why the tune was composed and some stories about the tune and even enjoy some of the photos which are in some way associated with some of the tunes such as places, items or people after which a tune was named. The page also contains a MP3 Clip in order that you can listen to the tune as well.  I hope those who visit with enjoy their visit and the content they find on the site.

There will be a gallery section as well with various photos of The Piping Padre over the years.

So enjoy your visit and the music and come back often, as new compositions, adaptations, arrangements, photo and notes about the music will continually added.