“Il Saluto di Giovanni Moscardini” premiere in Barga

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Blair Douglas

Back in August 2008 we published an article about Blair Douglas, one of Scotland’s foremost musicians who had just penned a composition in honour of the Scots-Italian footballer, Giovanni or Johnny Moscardini, who though born in Falkirk in 1897, took to the field a total of nine times for ‘Azzurri’ between 1921 and 1925. The tune “Il Saluto di Giovanni Moscardini”, (Johnny Moscardini’s Salute) is a reel for pipes and drums, brass band, strings, and percussion. Whilst composed in the Scottish traditional idiom, it has distinct Mediterranean influences. Il Saluto is up-tempo and exhilarating as would befit a tune named for a prolific striker such as Johnny Moscardini.

We wrote then that Blair was planning to record the reel on his next album, but relished the idea of premièring the tune in Barga itself. The idea of playing the tune in the Johnny Moscardini’s home town greatly appeals to him, particularly if it could be done in collaboration with local Barga musicians.


“I was immediately intrigued with Johnny Moscardini. Here was a young man who was born of an immigrant family in Scotland but pursued a highly successful professional football career in Italy and who gave it up to help out in a family business in Kintyre. How times have changed. It was also a revelation to read about Barga’s strong connections with Scotland through the numerous local families who came over to this country.
The tune Il Saluto di Giovanni Moscardini, is in honour of Johnny, one of Barga’s most famous sons, but it is also in recognition of the huge contribution Scots-Italians in general have made to our nation.

The Johnny Moscardi football stadium in Barga

This morning comes the new that this summer there is a very good chance that that premiere will take place in Barga as the high spot of the concert of traditional Scottish music and dance being organised by Hamish Moore in Barga during the last week of June as part of the new Barga School of Piping, Traditional Music and Dance

Barga School of Piping, Traditional Music and Dance – Hamish Moore is delighted to announce an exciting new Summer School to be held in Barga in Tuscany from the 20th – 27th June 2010. Barga is where he spent last 2008 as musician in residence (all of Hamish’s articles written that year can be found here). Barga dates back a thousand years and is a walled hill town of astounding beauty. As well as being surrounded by natural, spectacular mountain scenery its architectural glory is a joy and its narrow streets and lanes make pedestrian transport the norm with the presence of cars somewhat of a rarity. This all adds to the incredible charm of the town.

Teaching will take place in an old Convent School, which is ideally suited to hosting classes.
As well as budget dormitory style accommodation in the Convent, Barga has many self-catering apartments, hotels and Guest Houses.
Because approximately 60% of the town’s population have relatives in the west of Scotland and also because of the strong links through John Bellany with East Lothian, Barga quite rightly and proudly boasts the title of, “The most Scottish Town in Italy”.

Co-ordinator – Hamish Moore in conjunction with B.I.G. – Dates – 20th – 27th June 2010

Full details can be found by downloading this .pdf file: BargaPipingSchool or email Hamish Moore directly on


Click on the link below to hear Hamish Moore speaking in Barga this morning:


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