Despite centuries of proliferation and cultural adaptation, Europe’s bagpiping traditions have seldom been appreciated collectively as a pan- European cultural asset. Nor are they widely seen, and usually only in isolation. I blame the Renaissance. That was when aristocratic patronage began installing a “classical” musical style based on costly, pitch-perfect, fragile and non-portable instruments, courtly ensembles and salon aesthetics. Composed scores and musical theory ousted oral tradition. Drones were dropped and music became a showcase of prosperity.Read more »
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