• WordNet 3.6
    • n pibroch martial music with variations; to be played by bagpipes
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Pibroch A Highland air, suited to the particular passion which the musician would either excite or assuage; generally applied to those airs that are played on the bagpipe before the Highlanders when they go out to battle.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pibroch A wild, irregular kind of music, peculiar to the Scottish Highlands, performed upon the bagpipe. It consists of a ground-theme or air called the urlar, followed by several variations, generally three or four, the whole concluding with a quick movement called the creanduidh. Pibrochs usually increase in difficulty from the beginning to the end, and are profusely ornamented with grace-notes called warblers. They are generally intended to excite a martial spirit. They also often constitute a kind of program-music, intended to represent the various phases of a battle —the march, the attack, the conflict, the flight, the pursuit, and the lament for the fallen. The names they bear are often derived from historical or legendary events. as “The Raid of Kilchrist,” attributed to the piper of Macdonald of Glengarry, and supposed to have been composed in 1603. The term is sometimes used figuratively by poets to denote the bagpipe itself.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Pibroch pē′broh a form of bagpipe music, generally of a warlike character, including marches, dirges, &c.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gael. piobaireachd, pipe music, fr. piobair, a piper, fr. pioba, pipe, bagpipe, from English. See Pipe (n.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gael. piobaireachd, pipe-music—piobair, a piper—piob, a pipe, fear, a man.


In literature:

But Robin only held out his hand as if to ask for silence, and struck into the slow measure of a pibroch.
"Kidnapped" by Robert Louis Stevenson
He ordered the pipes to play in the van the ancient pibroch entitled, "HOGGIL NAM BO," etc.
"A Legend of Montrose" by Sir Walter Scott
At the same instant the faint strains of the pibroch were gently wafted to her embattled tower.
"Count Bunker" by J. Storer Clouston
And as the applause died down there rose the first low warning strains of the Pibroch.
"All Roads Lead to Calvary" by Jerome K. Jerome
The pibroch said to have been composed by Helen MacGregor is still in existence.
"Rob Roy, Volume 2., Illustrated" by Sir Walter Scott
Pibroch of Donuil Dhu, Knell for the onset!
"Lyra Heroica" by Various
He gloomed at her, and hissed between his teeth a Skye pibroch.
"Gilian The Dreamer" by Neil Munro
Oh, heard ye yon pibroch sound sad in the gale, vol.
"The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume VI" by Various
Oh, heard ye yon pibroch sound sad in the gale, vol.
"The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI." by Various
The most striking examples of Scotch music are the pibrochs and strathspeys.
"Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 26, August, 1880" by Various

In poetry:

"Thou only saw'st their tartans wave,
As down Benvoirlich's side they wound,
Heard'st but the pibroch answering brave,
To many a target clanking round.
"Glenfinlas; or, Lord Ronald's Coronach" by Sir Walter Scott
Ken ye why we weep? Think ye that they sleep,
Ilka man on his ain bluidy brae,
Ilk ane whar he died wi' a faeman by his side,
An' the pibroch can wauk him na mae?
"The Ghost's Return" by Sydney Thompson Dobell
With pibrochs and reels you are driving me mad.
If you really must play on that cursed affair,
My goodness! play something resembling an air."
"Ellen McJones Aberdeen" by William Schwenck Gilbert
No other could wake such detestable groans,
With reed and with chaunter - with bag and with drones:
All day and ill night he delighted the chiels
With sniggering pibrochs and jiggety reels.
"Ellen McJones Aberdeen" by William Schwenck Gilbert
O, heard ye yon pibroch sound sad in the gale,
Where a band cometh slowly with weeping and wail?
'Tis the chief of Glenara laments for his dear;
And her sire and her people are called to her bier.
"Glenara" by Thomas Campbell
Then the Highlanders attacked them left and right,
And oh! it was a gorgeoua and an inspiring sight;
For a fierce hand to hand struggle raged for a time,
While the pibrochs skirled aloud, oh! the scene was sublime.
"General Roberts in Afghanistan" by William Topaz McGonagall