On Sunday September 20th, RTÉ Radio 1 marked the 50th anniversary of Uilleann piping legend Leo Rowsome's death with a special edition of The Rolling Wave - listen above.

Leo Rowsome was born in Dublin on the 5th of April 1903 and he died fifty years ago this week on September 20th 1970.He was the third generation of pipers in his family, both his father William and his grandfather Samuel had played before him.As a musician, a teacher and a maker he made a huge contribution to Irish traditional music and especially to the tradition of Uilleann piping in Ireland. His skill as a pipe maker means that his pipes are still regarded as the gold standard in pipe making today. 

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Watch: Leo Rowsome in Broth of A Boy (1959)

He began teaching in the Municipal School of Music in Dublin at the exceptionally young age of sixteen and he continued to teach there and in Dublin's Piper’s Club for the next fifty years and many of today’s best known pipers passed through his classroom, including Liam O’Flynn and Paddy Moloney.As a musician he’s notable among pipers for the way in which he made use of the full set of pipes all the time- playing the melody on the chanter and accompanying it with the full sound of the drones and the regulators. The result was an exciting sound full of energy, life and joy.

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Listen: Leo Rowsome - The Ace & Deuce of Pipering

Leo Rowsome is without doubt one of the most influential Irish traditional musicians of the 20th century and without him it is likely that the landscape of Irish Uilleann piping, in particular, would be very different.

The Rolling Wave, Sundays from 9 -10 pm, RTÉ Radio 1 - listen back here.