Nether Lorn Canntaireachd
Nether Lorn Canntaireachd is the name for the written system of vocables used in Colin Campbell's manuscripts (Vol. I and Vol. II).  Broadly, it indicates the pitch of notes and decorations along with phrasing, but there is no explicit way to express duration. In this sense it is ambiguous as a musical notation and it has been suggested that its purpose is more as an aide-mémoire than a full system of musical notation.
Generally, pitches are indicated by vowels and grace-notes by consonant prefixes, but there are exceptions to this rule. B (o) and C (ho), for example are distinguished by the preceding consonant, or lack thereof. Different representations of a given pitch are also used depending on the position in a word. For example, both en and in. In this way the system is overspecified in terms of pitch, since there are multiple equivalent symbols for some musical constructs.
Phrasing can be indicated by forming words out of several vocables and in Campbell's manuscripts punctuation marks, in particular the comma, is used to further indicate longer phrases. It has been suggested that the spacing between words is significant in some pieces but evidence for this is inconclusive. There is no mechanism to indicate note duration and in this way the system is ambiguous in terms of rhythm: usually there are several musically-reasonable choices for a given phrase.
The correspondence to staff notation presented below is drawn mainly from Cannon's paper as well as the original source material.
- Canntaireachd and Colin Campbell's Verbal Notation, Frans Buismann, Piping Times, Vol. 50 No. 3, December 1997
- The Campbell Canntaireachd Notation, Roderick D. Cannon, 2000 http://www.piobaireachd.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/cambellcanntaireachdexplanatrion2000version.pdf
- citation needed
- Cannon, 2000