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[ 0 ] - To keep the discussion in all the forums at a courteous and reasonable level, please follow these rules. If you don't agree with these rules, please don't post messages. Failure to adhere to these rules may result in temporary or permanent suspension of your ability to post.

[ 1 ] - Please do not post advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes, SPAM, virus warnings or marketing type solicitations. If you are a representative of a company with a product or offering a service being discussed in the forums, or if you're a retail vendor selling the product, please feel free to participate in the discussion, as long as your participation is to respond to question(s) about the product(s) or service(s) in the forums.

[Expansion and Clarification of Rule 1]

In an effort to address posts and threads that are more self serving in nature (ie; promoting commercial interests) and less about sharing of knowledge and learning. We are clarifying already existing rules to clear up what we feel is not acceptable.


These forums are a popular place and many people use them (on average 1800 users look at the forums every day). That is a great deal of exposure, the lure of free advertising appears to be too great for some to respect the boundaries. In order to preserve the integrity of the forums and keep blatant commercial posts out of our discussions the following actions will apply.

  1. Your post or thread will be removed from public view and you will be given a infraction. You will receive notice of this infraction and may appeal to the moderators to have your post re-instated. The appeal option is only available once, subsequent infractions do not have the appeal option.
  2. If you get 3 infractions for violating the above policy, you will be banned from the forum for 90 days.
  3. If after being re-instated you violate the policy ONCE, you will be banned permanently.


We are all here to educate and learn, not use this forum as a platform for self promotion of any product or service. We have two specific forums for that purpose, use them (within the rules of those forums) and there will be no problem. If you really want to "advertise", support the forums by purchasing banner space, it is an excellent deal for the amount of exposure you get.

Please do not use the Forums to announce or publicize any 'new' Forum, or any version of these Forums, or any Forum f or the same or similar discussions as we have here. This would also include bagpipe related picture galleries, bagpipe web directories, bagpipe link sites, etc.

[ 2 ] - Malicious rumors, scurrilous posts, or insulting gossip about products, organizations, or people will not be permitted. The forums are for reasonable and responsible discussions of the Highland Arts (for lack of a better word) of Piping, Drumming, Dance, and other related topics.

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[ 4 ] - Please be civil and courteous. See rule number [ 3 ].

[ 5 ] - Posting of, or sharing material to which you do not own the copyright is not permitted. Neil Dickie posted an excellent explanation of his (and our) views (which has been appended to the bottom of these rules, as a further expansion / explanation of this rule)

Posting of, or sharing web addresses (URLs) for sites where illegal copies of software (also known as Warez - a term used by software 'pirates' to describe software that has been stripped of its copy-protection and made available on the Internet for downloading ) may be found or downloaded is not permitted.

Sadly nearly all software can be fairly easily found for download on the 'Net. This availability of 'free' software does not make it legal, or right. Some warez thieves even ask for 'donations' or set amazingly low prices for 'their' software - a $10 donation (as an example), does not make warez legal or right either.

Commonly used commercial software for bagpipe music notation includes: Bagpipe Music Writer Gold, Electric Pipes, Piobmaster, Pipewriter.

This software can be purchased from the developers, or from authorized software vendors. Shareware of Freeware copies of these programs do not exist; if you think you've found a 'free' or 'nearly free' version of one of these programs - you've found warez.

Search the Music Forum, or the Music Forum Archive, to check.

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An expansion of Rule [ 5 ]:

Below is the text of Neil Dickie's January 15, 2002 post on the subject of 'Asking for music':

Here's a bit of this topic's dialogue...

Q - why don't you enter it into the BMW program???....

A - because it takes a long time and is a pain in the @**

Ken explained the Forum rules on this. Pretty clear I think.

But further, please consider this. Bagpipe Music Writer (and Finale, Sibelius, ABC etc) are described as music writing software, not music copying software or music plagiarizing software. I think we should use the software as intended.

I use BMW Gold to write music and to arrange music for my band's use.

Before BMW I used to write music out by hand. It took a long time and was a pain in the ass too. I don't think I ever asked anyone to write it out for me, though.

So here's some common sense guidelines about the distribution and transcription of music...

In general: Use BMW and the like to WRITE music. Please don't use it to re-publish anything. We are all well aware of the boundaries here, so let's grow up and use the tools we have at our disposal properly.

Published Music: There is no excuse for laziness and cheating. There are directories everywhere. Find them and find out where the music is published then order the book. You can get any in print book in 2 or 3 days now.

There isn't a piper alive who can request the BMW manuscript for 'Itchy Fingers' and still claim to believe that it is public domain material. It's in Marking Time. I think you would owe Mr Mathieson the courtesy of buying his book.

New stuff and/or Unpublished Music: Take the extra step for unpublished music too. Unpublished usually includes new compositions and arrangements of other material (mostly trad). If you want the music for Blue Cloud, find out who the composer is, track him down through this forum or some other tool and ask if you can get a copy. I can do this. So it must be fairly easy to do! I do it this way all the time. Terry Lee does it this way. Bob Worrall, Jack Lee, Michael Grey, and hundreds of others all do this. We Honor the value in a piece of musical art and do our very best to use the music in a proper fashion.

Most composers are actually quite flattered to be asked for music. If they won't give it to you, then accept it. I guess some composers don't want their tunes played, odd as that may seem. Sometimes refusal is because we have written a piece specifically for one performer or band to use and we may not give out music in that case.

Remember this - it might seem pissy, but the truth is that the Clumsy Lover belongs to me. Dunrovin Farm belongs to Michael Grey. Hellbound Train belongs to Mark Saul. etc etc. Unless you write it, no music 'belongs' to you. You are implicitly afforded the right to learn it when you receive the music by permission of the composer. Publication is this permission. You have no right whatsoever to adjust, copy, rewrite, record, transmit or perform for monies that music without the rightsholder's permission.

In piping we allow some exceptions to exist. You can perform these tunes in competition without paying the rightsholder. You can also distribute the music within your band for no charge also. (Other musicians look at us in horror when they learn of this practice!)

You really should seek permission to record the tune or perform it in concert. Sometimes the composers waive the fees, sometimes the y ask for rights to be honored. Sometimes they ask for a t-shirt and a copy of the CD.

In conclusion, 3 options exist. Buy the book, get a copy from the composer/arranger or listen to the music and transcribe it for you rself (but you can't give it to anyone after that). Quite frankly when I see someone say that it takes too long and is a pain in the ass I am appalled that such an attitude exists with in any artistic community, especially one in which I am a member. Perhaps, sir, you believe that blowing in your new reed takes to long and is a pain in the ass. I would suggest you make a more sincere and honest effort to do Honor to your craft. Be less lazy, and work for your successes; the reward derived from honest effort is infinitely more satisfying than the acquisition of anything through sloth.

I hope I never see another person soliciting music on this or other forums. (It's okay to say 'where can I find tune xxx') I hope to see people making a real effort to find music through the proper channels. And I hope that a vigorous dedication to do it the 'right way' will result in a healthier and more Honorable community of musicianship.

Well, one can always hope I suppose.

Neil D >>

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