I would hazard a guess (and do correct me if I’m wrong), that the majority of members of The Bagpipe Society are experienced players of at least one type of bagpipe. So, it is sometimes easy to forget that there are people out there who are interested in the instrument but have yet to make the brave move to taking up the pipes. It can be very difficult for the keen potential player to discover if, firstly, it is the instrument for them and/or secondly to find a teacher or experienced hand to guide them through the initial stages.Read more »
Jane Moulder The months and years seem to swing by in an instant (is this me getting old?) and I’m writing this with less than a month to go before the Blowout but my mind is already racing ahead to my annual pilgrimage to Le Son Continu. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of my first attending the festival. Back in 1988 my exposure to bagpipes had been fairly limited and mainly consisted of the Scottish, Irish and Northumbrian varieties and, through listening to David Munrow recordings, I had some awareness of medieval and renaissance bagpipes.Read more »
Jane Moulder Whilst writing this, I am looking out of my window at the snow falling down and thinking that it really would be great to go to Mallorca for the International Bagpipe Organisation conference in March! Sadly I can’t because of other commitments but whilst it may now be very short notice, if you can spare the time, then do see if you can find a last minute cheap flight as it really does look like bagpipe heaven to me!Read more »
Jane Moulder Just a few brief comments from me this quarter as there is a pretty full edition for you. My quest to explore and feature some lesser known bagpipes continues with the Lithuanian bagpipe taking centre stage. Still relatively unknown in its native homeland, its resurgence is in the hands of a very small group of people who are working hard to bring the instrument back to the fore.Read more »
Editor’s Note: The Blowout is the annual “must go to” event in the UK piping calendar but for our many North American members, the Pipers’ Gathering is a fixture in their diary. Here we have two viewpoints on this event, one from a first timer and another from a seasoned attender. Whilst the reviews focus on the Northumbrian Smallpipes classes, there are tutors and events for a wide variety of pipes, including border pipes, small pipes, Uilleanns and many more.Read more »
Fourteen of us got together to play Säckpipa in the deepest depths of ‘sleepy’ Somerset. There were 12 workshop participants, one who had travelled from Belgium, the rest from all over the UK. This first weekend for the Säckpipa was led by the talented multi-instrumentalists Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer. Four were relative beginners, mainly working with Jonny in the library, while the more experienced players were led by Vicki in the Long Room.Read more »
Have we got a programme for you! Eric Montbel ZampogneriA Jane and Eric Moulder Terry Mann Paul Roberts Steve Tyler and Katy Marchant Pat Goodacre plus … The Friday Tune competition!! Eric Montbel (Sat, Sun concerts, workshops plus Saturday Bal) As a musician, collector, ethnomusicologist, teacher, composer, publisher and co-founder of Modal Magazine, the influence of Eric Montbel on the revival of the French bagpipes and their repertoire cannot be overstated and it is a great honour to welcome him back to the Blowout, after far too long an absence.Read more »
Bagpipers 9-11 March 2018, Palma, Mallorca, Spain Tired of rainy, grey days? Why not join us in March at the fourth International Bagpipe Conference in Palma, Mallorca. We will be celebrating International Bagpipe Day 2018 (10 March) with our regular biennial conference in Mallorca, where there is a rich and unbroken piping tradition. Supported by the Bagpipe Society, the LBPS as well as the Mallorcan government, the Council for tourism, the town of Palma, the Council for culture and the town of Sóller, we have a full programme of piping activities prepared.Read more »
Now we’ve been at Polesworth for so long it’s like stepping into an alternative world when you get to the Blowout. It’s all so familiar and comforting. It changes subtly though, as witness the new toilets in the Hall. The local folk who run the Hall have indeed upgraded the building significantly. More important, though, is seeing all the familiar faces, especially Vanessa working on dinner! As is the custom, we had some light-hearted competitions after dinner to get us into the mood.Read more »
The Bagpipe Society Blue and Green Piping Planet Awards The precise details for the 2019 Competition have not yet been finalised but the general theme is Animal Life. All Society Members now have months to prepare; practising their fish scales, gluing feathers onto their pipe bags and clothing, or whatever, and practising suitable repertoire such as The Birdy Song, The Hens March to the Midden, Nellie The Elephant etc. Let your Natural Animal Instincts run wild!Read more »
There are plenty of reasons to visit Mallorca in March – the gentle breezes from the Mediterranean, the traditional welcome of Mallorcan people, the arrival of the swallows two months before they arrive in northern Europe. The arrival of bagpipers from around the world was yet another; when the International Bagpipe Conference was held, outside the UK for the first time, in Palma, Mallorca, over the weekend of International Bagpipe Day.Read more »
The Friday competition is one of the many annual highlights of The Blowout. However there has often been the suggestion that it has an unfair bias towards those persons who own, or can actually play, a bagpipe. To redress this situation the June 2018 competition has been devised with two special classes that can be entered by more normal persons. One Tune to The Tune of Another. (Open to bagpipers) Each contestant has 3 minutes to attempt to play one tune to the tune of another on the bagpipes.Read more »
Many(1) people know the Luttrell Psalter bagpiper(2) . He tends to be reproduced on mediaeval greeting cards and T shirts, and to be invoked when anyone says “Oh, not just Scottish, then?”. His depiction is quite detailed, his pipes convincing (even if his hands are, from modern perspective, the wrong way round), and his manner a little shifty. Similar figures appear in the margins of other mediaeval manuscripts, often contrasting with the solemn sacred texts on the pages, often weird or grotesque, and frequently rude or overtly sexual.Read more »
Returning to Symposion on the island of Santorini this September (see Chanter Vol 31⁄4), I was immediately impressed by the transformation that had been achieved over a mere 7 months, between November 2017 and the end of May, in time for their summer season. I had been receiving the occasional progress report but this did not prepare me for the reality: what was a neglected concrete courtyard has now become an inviting wine-cafe and mythological botanical garden, planted with borders of fragrant indigenous herbs, plants and trees plus a number of young mulberry trees.Read more »
In the first part of the article, Pablo Carpintero introduced the Rosca pipe and here, in part two, he continues his journey of exploration, reaching back into the history of both the Rosca and the bagpipe itself. Rosca related bagpipes in Iberian medieval iconography Fig. 21 Colegiata de Toro, Assuming that cylindrical or square tubes were, as a rule, furnished with single reeds, we found in northwestern medieval iconography some bagpipes very similar to the rosca.Read more »
Part of the old rood-screen (15thC) at St Leonard’s Church, Ribbesford, Herefordshire, England The Bagpipe Map was officially launched at the International Bagpipe Conference In Glasgow in March 2016, at which point it contained around 35 items with many more awaiting uploading. This total rose to around 140 during the following eighteen months or so. Since then it has gone into recuperation mode, though a new separate map has been introduced containing details of carvings of Pipe and Tabor players in the UK, and one or two tentative ventures across to mainland Europe have been made.Read more »
During an extensive historical survey of the boha, the bagpipe of the Gascon lands, we came across a large number of examples which displayed the craft of pewter inlay. This article will illustrate the technique previously described in Chanter Winter 2016 by Pascal Petiprez from the COMDT (Toulouse-France). It will show what the study revealed about the different uses of pewter in boha design and also show some of the various applications on the instruments.Read more »
The most expensive film ever to be shot in Scotland, the Netflix drama “Outlaw King”, should feature English Great Pipes and Leicestershire smallpipes. It’s a stirring drama about the rivalry between Robert the Bruce and Edward II and was filmed earlier this year in a variety of locations. The musical director for the period scenes was Jim Sutherland; the brilliant percussionist and cittern player from the Scottish folk and swing group The Easy Club.Read more »
I have long been familiar with the image of the female bagpiper at Burton Agnes Hall in East Riding of Yorkshire. I can remember being absolutely wowed by it the first time a friend showed me a photograph of the alabaster carving which she had found in a book on Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture. For me, this one carving scored on a number of levels: it was a bagpiper, it was a FEMALE bagpiper and it was Elizabethan.Read more »
*Photography by Pablo Carpintero and Alba Vázquez Carpenter * Pablo Carpintero is an ethnomusicologist, musician, maker and researcher into Galician culture. A biologist by training, he has a PhD in science and was a professor of biochemistry at the University of Santiago. He has been a UNESCO consultant working for two years on the committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage and also in the Spanish Ministerio de Cultura committee for ICH. He is a member of the Association of Gaiteiros Galegos and directs a group who specialize in Galician musical traditions: A Requinta de Xian.Read more »
The bagpipe in Lithuania was first mentioned in “The History of Northern Nations” written by Swedish historian Magnus Olaus, printed in 1555. In the same year the pipers (bear trainers) who had to be taxed were mentioned in the letter written by Žygimantas, the Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in 1565 the instrument was mentioned in the decrees of Vilnius Seimas. In a small dictionary for the translation of Bible (1580) it was written that “pipe is made of horn” or “murenka”, which is translation from the German word “sackpfeife”.Read more »
As a, perhaps notorious, defender of the proper interpretation of historical information, I felt compelled to comment on Chanter’s brief article about a bagpiping pig on an Irish postage stamp.1 I have no problem with $ean $tewart’s presentation, but I do find the text accompanying the stamp2 annoyingly naïve and potentially misleading to any reader who is unfamiliar with the real history of bagpipes. It would be equally wrong to call the bagpipe the pig is playing a Duda, Chimpoi, Tulum or GHBP.Read more »
This article has been edited to be spread over two editions. In this first instalment, Michael explores the modern revival of bagpipes in Austria and in the Autumn edition of Chanter, he will feature the current makers of the instrument. Part One: A bagpipe? In Austria? 1756: Carnival “Here comes the Peasant Wedding (…) It also has a bagpipe and a hurdy-gurdy in it.” Thus Leopold Mozart described his most recent work to his publisher in 1756.Read more »
A fontanelle on a tenor shawm As researchers and instrument makers of historical instruments, Eric and I have to gather information and inspiration from as many sources as possible. In our field of renaissance double reed woodwind instruments, it is fortunate that there are still some extant examples, albeit in museum collections which may or may not have been well cared for over the last few centuries.Read more »
I first came across the Swedish bagpipe (säckpipa in Swedish) in 1990, when I was staying with my friend Joachim von Usslar in Hamburg. We had met on the London College of Furniture’s Early Woodwind course and, several years after we finished, I went to work with him for a month in his basement workshop. Jo had become a fantastic street entertainer and found the living much better than being a maker, so he employed me to do some turning to complete some orders, even though I hadn’t set up as a maker myself at that point and hadn’t turned anything for three years.Read more »
We are settling into our new website, including making available articles from our thirty year history. If you spot something inaccurate, garbled or missing, or if you want to volunteer to help us improve our site, please mail info@bagpipesociety.
Website by Joe Wass, managed by Ian Clabburn.
Website content by Andy Letcher.
All articles copyright their respective authors.
Enquiries to email@example.com
Membership enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org