Play It Like You Sing It: The Shears Collection. Volumes 1 and 2, are now available at the McCulloch House Museum and Genealogy Centre in Pictou, Nova Scotia. The Genealogy Centre remains open during the fall/winter at 86 Haliburton Road and their gift shop is stocked with Bradan Press books and other delightful gifts!

Alongside The Shears Collection, the gift shop also carries our children’s book Fionn MacCool and the Salmon of Knowledge, the paperback and audiobook editions of Ràithean airson Sireadh / Seasons for Seeking, and The Scottish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook.

The history of the Great Highland bagpipes in Nova Scotia began in the 1750s. Scottish and Highland piping traditions continued in Nova Scotia for over 250 years, through periods of immigration, community building, Confederation, economic outmigration, and two world wars. In Gaelic communities of the mainland and Cape Breton, throughout the 19th century bagpipe music was interwoven with fiddle music, Gaelic singing, and traditional and evolving dance traditions. A unique form of dance music emerged and flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, characterized by lively jigs and rousing strathspeys, reels, and quicksteps. Many of these tunes existed in multiple regional variations before the modern standardization of piping. Many also had corresponding Gaelic words known as puirt-á-beul, or mouth music, which were often used to teach and transmit pipe music within in families and communities, as well as providing enjoyment in daily life.

Volume One of the Shears Collection tells the story, through history, culture, and images, of the many families and individuals who maintained this important aspect of Nova Scotia Gaelic culture despite adversity.

Volume Two presents bagpipe arrangements and their Gaelic words as they were played and sung in Nova Scotia. The book contains 230 settings of pipe tunes, 19 fiddle tune settings connected to the piping tradition, and over 85 sets of port-á-beul lyrics. Each volume is sold separately.

Play It Like You Sing It: The Shears Collection, Volume One cover image

Play It Like You Sing It: The Shears Collection, Volume Two cover image