Dance to the Piper: The Highland Bagpipe in Nova Scotia

Available in many bookstores and on-line. International customers can find the book on Amazon (ANZO:

[CD Included]

New Price

Barry Shears examines the history and traditions of Gaelic-speaking pipers whose emigration to Nova Scotia ensured that the role and music of Highland piping not only survived, but thrived for a long time.

Dance to the Piper provides historical background and provides numerous biographical sketches of key figures in the Nova Scotia tradition and analyzes why this cultural reality endured in Nova Scotia. It also examines the social, economic and cultural developments which altered the status, role and perception of the piper in society, and their eventual decline. Shears shows an abiding respect for those tradition bearers and Dance to the Piper represents more than twenty years of research, interviews and recordings of the last of the traditional-style pipers in Nova Scotia.

Barry Shears is a native of Glace Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and an acknowledged expert on the history of traditional piping in Nova Scotia and its intrinsic connection to the Gaelic language, music and culture. An award-winning musician, Barry has performed at concerts and festivals throughout North America, as well as in Scotland and Europe. He has previously published several books of bagpipe music and history.

Purchasers of the book can access the recordings here:

Link to a video featuring Barry Shears smallpiping in Ireland

Link to Barry’s performance at the Canadian American Club in Watertown, MA