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"...a 21st century visionary"  piper & composer Matthew Welch

"...Donald has earned our admiration and respect for what he is achieving for piping" piper, museum curator, author and professor Hugh Cheape

Donald WG Lindsay is a Scottish musician and traditional singer, and a musical instrument designer/inventor best known for developing the Lindsay System for Scottish smallpipes.


The Lindsay System provides an instrument which offers a core range of two octaves, more than double that of the traditional Scottish Smallpipes, while still maintaining the traditional fingering techniques and preserving (and extending) the characteristic voice of the Scottish Smallpipes. At full extent, depending on the type of reed used, the System can allow a range just one note short of three octaves. Donald also plays the whistle & low whistle, both now of his own Qwistle design.

Following the successful development of the Lindsay System, Donald returned to live performance during 2016, appearing on STVs The Riverside Show with Alasdair Roberts on guitar, and taking part in Shane Connolly's show "From Taiko to Txalaparta" as part of Celtic Connections 2017


During 2018 he appeared on STV's Live@5 to give viewers an update on the project. In spring of 2018 he developed the show Standard Habbie for the 2019 Piping Live festival, with piper Fin Moore, singers Alasdair Roberts, Iona Fyfe, and Neil Sutcliffe, violinist Roo Geddes, and saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski.


In January of 2019, Donald's work was installed in the permanent collection of the Museum of Piping at The National Piping Centre in Glasgow, in the form of two early Lindsay System prototypes The Rainbow Set of Pollok and A Phiob Ghrianach. Workshop plans for the Lindsay System were published in the centre pages of Piping Today in July as the culmination of a series of articles on the project by writer Elizabeth Ford. Donald then departed for Ascension Island with his family where he was resident from August 2019 until May 2022, and focused on researching the design, before returning to live in the Orkney Islands.

Current projects include a duet project Mars Bay with his son Ryall Lindsay, and a collaboration with Glasgow experimental musician Richard Youngs, leading to the release of The History of Sleep (Good Energy 2020). Writing projects include the method book for the Lindsay System chanter, titled Ascension Method, and expected to be published in 2025.


Donald was resident Scottish Smallpipes tutor at The National Piping Centre in Otago Street, Glasgow (formerly The College of Piping) from 2017-2019, handing the position on to Malin Lewis at time of his departure for Ascension in 2019. He was a member of the St Francis Pipe Band from 2013 to 2018, and is a committee member of the Lowland & Border Pipers Society, sitting as convenor of the society from 2017-2019.

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