On Aug. 17, Seattle bagpipe player Tyrone Heade was judged the world's top amateur piobaireachd practitioner.

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On Monday, Seattle bagpipe player Tyrone Heade was judged the world’s top amateur piobaireachd practitioner.

But what, you might ask, is “piobaireachd”?

According to the Piobaireachd Society (you knew there had to be one), it’s a “very stylized form of music” in which a theme is “repeated and underlined in a series of variations” that climax in “a dazzling technical display of embellishment or gracenotes.”

Heade won his honors in Glasgow, Scotland, at the World Solo Amateur Piping Championships of CLASP (Competition League for Amateur Solo Pipers). He became a full-time piper in 1994, and leads both the Elliott Bay Pipe Band and acoustic ensemble Iona Abbey. He’s also resident cathedral piper for St. James Cathedral and St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral.

He plays R.G. Lawrie Highland bagpipes, built circa 1900, that belonged to his grandfather. You can learn more about his teaching, performing and composing activities at www.bagpipe-entertainment.com.

Michael Upchurch: mupchurch@seattletimes.com