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David (nicknamed ‘Blue’) MacMurchie was born in 1957 in Western Australia, a third generation piper. Grandfather (Archie) emigrated from Dundee (Scotland) in 1924 and began teaching the young David the art of wood turning and pipe making when he was 12 years old. At the same time, Davids father, John Stuart MacMurchie (P/M 16th Btl. Cameron Highlanders) taught him the art of playing the pipes.

At the age of 19, David left Australia to serve as a piper in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (of “Amazing Grace” fame). As a young piper, his ambition was to be the first native born Australian to achieve the Pipe Major Certificate at Edinburgh Castle. David attended the Senior Pipers course in Edinburgh Castle (1977) and was recommended for the Pipe Majors course from which he graduated in 1983 with a double “A” pass (‘A’ for music writing, theory and history; and ‘A’ for practical playing), having studied with some of the premier teachers in Scotland. He was also awarded the Institute of Piping ‘Senior Teachers Certificate and the ‘Graduate Certificate’, thereby achieving his long held goal.

Following his army career he returned to Australia to become the instructor of the Western Australia Police Pipe Band (5 years) during which time he received the Advanced and Instructors certificate from the Australian Pipe Band College (1985).

He started his own business under the name “Scotsound Australia” making bags, reeds, chamber and small pipes before returning to Scotland in 1990 to set up his business which expanded to become ‘MacMurchie Bagpipe Makers of Edinburgh’ in 1993. In Scotland David also joined the Lothian and Borders Police (formerly the Edinburgh City Police) pipe band for 4 years and then the Black Bottle Whisky pipe band – both grade I bands. Over the years, David has competed as a soloist, competed with grade I bands and judged piping competitions in Scotland, Australia and Hong Kong.

MacMurchie Bagpipe makers is a two man (father-son) workshop which produces made to order pipes in a small woodworking shop in Mid Lothian, Scotland. Needless to say David and son John put a lot of care and fine workmanship into thier pipes. The handsome drones produce a steady, sweet sound, and their waxed chanter (their own design) ranks among the finest available on the market today. The low gloss finish on the wood shows off the grain to its best advantage and is not subject to the chipping and crackling so often seen with other makes.

Being a small, family run operation, David is also eager to comply with special requests from customers, and to ‘customize’ his pipes when asked. Requests such as putting a hallmarked, engraved Silver sole on the chanter; Imitation Horn rather than Imitation Ivory on the mountings; various choices of bag (or no bag), covers, and cords, installing universal valves in blowpipes etc. If it is possible to do, David is eager to do it, he takes pride in meeting the needs and desires of his clients.

David gives an honest estimate of time required for each order and has always shipped ahead of schedule. This is the nature of the man who makes these excellent pipes – a real professional with respect for the traditions of piping, the craft of pipe making and the wishes of his clients.

Tenor tops from a set made from Australian Mulga wood

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