Archie  CAIRNS  Music



     Major Archie Cairns,  MMM,  CD





        In the music you are listening to, there are 2 tunes.  The first is "Mrs. Joy Cairns", composed by  Archie in 1968, for his wife Joy, who passed away 23 October, 1996.  The pipe music can be found in both "Pipe Music - Book 1" and "Book 2".

        Archie plays it with a brilliant Brass-Reed Band accompaniment, written by Sgt Brian Williams, played by the RCAF Air Transport Command Band under the direction of Captain Ken Moore, Director of Music.

        The tune was first recorded in Kingston, Ontario, in 1974, during Archie's tenure as Pipe Major of the Air Command Pipes and Drums, Ottawa, Ontario.  It can be heard on the CD,  "RCAF 50".




Pipe Major John Knox Cairns


        The second is a Retreat March Archie composed in Ottawa, Ontario, 1978,  and he entitled it "Pipe Major J.K. Cairns"  for his father,  who died in 1952, age 56.

        The tune has been featured several times in the Edinburgh Tattoo, played many times at the World's Championships, and recorded by some Grade 1 Bands including Shott's & Dykehead, Simon Fraser University and the Strathclyde Police.

        This is Strathclyde playing it from the recording they released in 1980.



 Piping has been his life for over 65 years, and his profession during his 52 years of continuous service in the Canadian Forces.   He had excellent tuition from his father, Pipe Major John Cairns, Pipe Major John Wilson and Captain John MacLellan, MBE, and he was a highly successful open competitor for some 30 years.  A renowned Pipe Major in the Canadian Forces, he is also a published composer, and an international adjudicator, lecturer, teacher.

 He was the first to be appointed Senior Pipe Major in the Canadian Forces, a position he held from 1968-1981.  During his tenure as such, he wrote/arranged/had published the Canadian Forces Pipe Band Manual in 1979-80.  

As the first Commanding Officer of the newly established Central Region Cadet School of Pipes & Drums in London, Ontario in 1981 (a post he held until he retired in 1993), and with his appointment as National Cadet Music Advisor for Pipes and Drums (1985 - 1993), he wrote the 5 Volume Cadet Instruction Manual for Pipes and Drums in 1985.   


 Having authored both of these publications for the Department of National Defence, since his retirement in 1993, he has written, produced and had published 4 Books - two of pipe music and two "How To" Manuals - 1 for Light Music and 1 for Piobaireachd.   


 In addition to pipe music and Exercises, these two instructional Manuals contain comprehensive, informative and progressive material suitable for all levels of players from Beginners to Advanced.    


The original "How To" Manual for Light music was been revamped in September, 2005, and replaced by the "Expanded Edition" of the "How To" Manual.  This new book has many additional Exercises and now has 25 tunes.



         By clicking on the icon of any one of the 4 books, you will see:

              a. detailed information about that book;

              b. a sample of the layout, format and typesetting; and

              c. some of the "feed-back" received.   

         All of these books should be a "must" for every Piper's and/or                Teacher's library.



          NEW !          


                                                    THE COMPANION TO THE

                                            "HOW TO" PIOBAIREACHD MANUAL



* date 1st published


                   * 1996                                        * 1999  


            PIPE MUSIC - BOOK 1                                      THE "EXPANDED" EDITION OF THE

                                                                            "HOW TO" MANUAL (For Light Music) and CD  


                   * 2003                                        * 2004  


           PIPE MUSIC BOOK - 2 and CD                      THE "HOW TO" PIOBAIREACHD MANUAL                                                                                                                  and CD






To order copies of any of these Books, either: 

        a.  directly contact:


                        Fiona Cairns

                        15 Conway Drive

                        London, Ontario   N6E 2H4



                Telephone  -  519-686-6194,   or


        b.  E-Mail at:




    Note:  Clicking on this E-Mail address will immediately connect you.


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