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Updated 01/19/2016


Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band
Roderick Campbell

Though not a household name among pipers, Roderick Campbell's contribution to the catalogue of great pipe tunes is outstanding: “Royal Scottish Pipers Society,” “Edinburgh City Police,” and “Cecily Ross,” to name just three. He was extremely prolific, and his tunes are dotted throughout many older collections of bagpipe music, including Logan’s Collection, Volume 3, and the books of John Wilson, Edinburgh, who was his most famous pupil.

He was born on May 24, 1873 in Lochbroom, Ross-shire to Thomas Campbell and Margaret Morrison, both 27, who had married in 1856. Sandy Cameron reportedly heard him play before he’d received any formal training, was amazed by his ability, and subsequently became his teacher. He was no second-rank player, winning the Gold Medal at Oban in 1908, and the Open Piobaireachd there in 1910. He was piper to the Count de Serra Largo, who lived in Tain, Ross-shire, and then to Colonel Scott in Derby, England, and was instructor to the Royal Scottish Pipers Society.

After the Great War he settled in Edinburgh, where he spent most of time making reeds and teaching. Aside from these details, very little is known about him. 

Roddie Campbell died a single man on August 4, 1937 in Southfield Sanatorium in Edinburgh of pulmonary tuberculosis. He was noted on his death certificate as a "professional piper."