Inverness Museum & Art Gallery has a fine collection of bagpipes the importance of which, I suspect, is generally underestimated. There are Highland Pipes, Scottish Smallpipes and Union Pipes, some complete and others fragmentary. Among the oddments are the three bagless, chanterless drones that so intriguingly resemble those on Geordie Syme’s bagpipe (see Chanter, Winter 2003, 12-13). The Union Bagpipes interested me most when I examined the collection of items not on display, because of the quality of the Inverness specimens and the instrument’s patchily understood history and evident importance in the music of England, Scotland and Ireland.Read more »
Many years ago my late friend Columba and I noticed the similarity of Playford’s An Italian Rant1 and the River Vltava theme in Smetana’s Ma Vlast2 Intrigued, we kept ears open for additional concordances and soon found a few more, including the Flemish popular song Ik zag Cecilia komen eenen watergank, which occurs in several editions we bought in Bruges that published assorted variants. After Columba died I continued the search, partly on her behalf, stringing the best of our discoveries into a suite I called Out of Italy to perform on renaissance bagpipes as a painless history-of-music lesson for audiences.Read more »
The headline is alarming, but until modern times the disease Dupuytren’s Contracture cold be thoroughly debilitating, and as far as a vocational bagpiper was concerned it might as well have been fatal. It is said that every generation of MacCrimmon – hereditary bagpip- ers at the court of Macleod in Dunvegan, Isle of Skye – fell victim to curling fingers that eventually prevented them from following their family calling; forced them into early retirement and, some say, extinction.Read more »
Gorhemmynadow dhiworth Kernow! We have at last made our CD of pipes and drums (gaita and bombarde - not the reconstructed Cornish pipes, gav dhymm!) and thought that our Celtic cousins might be interested… Tracks Cor Elath Wondrous Works/ Daniel Cooper/ Silver Buttons/ Woolly Monkey An Culyek Hos Joel’s Tune/ An Ahwesyth An Morladron/ Nancledra/ Tom Bawcock’s Fly Cellar/ HevvaRead more »
THE RHODDIEPIPES An Ironic Bagpipes Project by James Merryweather As far as we know, nobody has ever attempted to make bagpipes from rhododendron timber. It has now been done – and why not? The result is a basic Scottish/Border smallpipe in D, with D and A/G drones. It also has an alternative A chanter. The timber is locally sourced rhododendron with black buffalo horn mounts. The tone is scrumptious, a mix of Northumbrian and Hamish Moore pipes.Read more »
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