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MacRae, Duncan

MacRae bagpipes were made in Glasgow from 1897 to 1952. The company was started by Duncan MacRae, who was an innovative man and patented several novel inventions for the bagpipe. The hempless metal tuning slide, the chanter grip, the tunable bass top and a stock with a wooden nut to eliminate the need to tie a hide bag in.

Duncan died in 1930, his son James ran the business until his death in 1951. The business was sold to the firm Grainger and Campbell in 1953-54.

Thanks to John M for the pictures below of his cocus set of MacRaes. They were ID’d by Jeannie Campbell.

Love that sapwood!!

The first set I've seen with flat tops

Pictures below of the full silver set are courtesy of Cameron Bell of Professional Bagpipe Services, Australia. He owns this set which used to belong to PM Willie Gray.

Full silver MacRae's, made for PM Willie Gray by Duncan MacRae around 1919. Note the lock nuts on the bottom of the stocks

MacRae's locking wooden stock nut

The MacRae tunable bass top!!

Cameron Bell has used the tunable bass top feature on several occasions.

PM Willie Gray and the Glasgow Police Pipe Band, circa 1925. The pipes he is holding are the same full silver set shown above.

Drone tops from an ivory mounted MacRae bagpipe - circa 1920

Side profile of a MacRae bagpipe

The tuneable bass top once again


Nice side profile shot of the drones

Complete set

Projecting mounts and ferrules - note the replacement in the bass mid section

2 Responses to “MacRae, Duncan”

  1. Did McRae ever produce pipes where the drones screwed into the stocks? Did the stock nut screw on to the stock rather than as pictured above screw into the stock? Cheers for any help.

  2. Super instrument , j’en ai restaurĂ© une ;un son exceptionnel.

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