"Miss Heriot's Reel" is not a piece for beginners—it requires precision, concentration, and a mastery of the instrument. Some musicians describe it as a mere technical exercise due to its quasi-mathematical complexity and difficulty, yet many well-known pipers have considered it an essential part of their repertoire. When performed well, it can have a beautiful undercurrent of melancholy longing, coupled with a sense of adventure.
The tune is associated with the Jacobite tradition. Although it has been traced to the mid-eighteenth century, as with many folk tunes, the Miss Heriot to which it is dedicated has never been identified.