Membership of the Society slowly creeps up year on year and the new joiners always outweigh the non-renewals. I often wonder what makes someone join The Bagpipe Society and I like to think that for many, the impetus for joining is to have four journals a year pop through their letterbox. In my role as editor of Chanter, I aim to meet the aims of the Society by publishing articles informing on the diversity of bagpipes and their social and cultural history and encouraging research into all aspects of piping.Read more »
Jane Moulder Welcome to another edition of Chanter! I’m hoping that for you, like me, music and performance opportunities are beginning to open up again – whether that’s simply being able to listen to live music (not experienced through a screen or headphones) or being able to meet and play in person with other musicians and friends. It wasn’t until I met with my bandmates for a rehearsal after 15 months that it struck home just how much I had missed the comradery and sheer joy of playing with others.Read more »
Welcome to The History Special! This is an edition I’ve wanted to do since taking over as editor 6 years ago but as history is a field so close to my heart, I always thought it a tad self-indulgent to produce it. However, following the AGM at the Blowout in 2019 several people came up to me and suggested that the history of bagpipes and bagpiping would be a good theme for a special edition.Read more »
This accompanies the article in the Spring 2021 edition of Chanter. It’s available to members only, so please sign in to view and listen.Read more »
11-13 March 2022 The International Bagpipe Organisation warmly invites you to participate in the Sixth International Bagpipe Conference (IBC) to mark International Bagpipe Day 2022 (10 March 2022), a celebration of the world’s diverse bagpipes and bagpiping traditions. This event celebrates the 10th anniversary of the International Bagpipe Conference. For 2022, the IBO has joined up with the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society (NPS) and Newcastle University to host a 3-day event, combining the conference with the 3rd Newcastle Piping Festival.Read more »
On August 2, 16 people were detained at a summer house near Minsk (Belarus) including members of the internationally acclaimed Belarusian fantasy-folk band IRDORATH (https://www.facebook.com/Irdorath.by/ ). The detention with machine gun shooting took place at the birthday celebrations of the vocalist of the band, Nadezhda Kalach. The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that criminal proceedings have been instituted against six detainees. According to human rights activists, members of the band are charged with Art.Read more »
As you will know, we had to cancel the Blowout in 2020 due to the corona virus. At the time, we were hopeful that the situation would have improved to something closer to normality by the end of the year – over optimistically as it turned out! Nevertheless, we decided to work towards a slimmed down event and, to gauge likely support, I sent out a questionnaire. A sincere thank you to all who responded so quickly and your carefully considered and positive comments were most appreciated.Read more »
Tucked away on our website, there’s a seldom visited and possibly less well known page I am keen to develop further: the ‘Members’ page’. This is where you will find Bagpipe Society documents, such as the loan policy for our student pipes and criteria for grant applications (upload pending) and access to the Member Directory, but that’s not all: half way down the page, you come to ‘Member-only content’. This is where I am putting all bagpipe plans and any other documents that may be of interest.Read more »
Dear Jane, I have recently acquired a set of Jon Swayne pipes and joined the BagSoc. I am keen to learn as much as I can about my new pastime so I have been working my way through all the online back issues of The Chanter and I’ve enjoyed every edition. I am now wondering whether BagSoc members have a list of favourite books on bagpipes they could recommend. It would be interesting to all your readers to learn which books on piping have had the biggest impact on other readers of The Chanter.Read more »
You may remember that the sourdeline, or sordellina in Italian, is a scholarly bagpipe, with bellows, equipped with two, three or four chanters, invented and played in Italy between the 16th and the 17th century. This fantastic bagpipe has been the subject of several recent studies and proposals for its reconstruction. Here is the account of our research, construction and bringing back to life the sordellina inspired by Manfredo Settala1 (1600-1680, Milano).Read more »
Traditional music is once again struggling to find a foothold among younger people, but I don’t think it’s for lack of interest. Time and time again at concerts, sessions, and since the pandemic, on my livestream, people have told me how they’ve always wanted to play the bagpipes, flute, or whistle, but didn’t know where to start. Often the answer would be that they must pay several thousand dollars and wait years just to get a new instrument.Read more »
I was at Burghley House near Stamford recently, wandering around looking for images of bagpipers - as you do - when I found on the ceiling of ‘The Third George Room’ this lovely lady playing her pipes. She was accompanied by other, similarly almost naked, female musicians, playing amongst other instruments, lyre, harp, shawm and bass viol. The ceiling portrays the Reunion of Cupid and Psyche, who are surrounded by lesser deities and their attendants; it was painted by the Italian, Antonio Verrio, who worked in the house from 1686 - 1697.Read more »
Fig. 1 – Ms. 340, fol.1v Biblioteca Teresiana, Mantua It is a pleasure for me to write some words about our Facebook group “Iconografia della cornamusa in Italia”1 and I am very happy to share this work with English and worldwide friends. The project started in June 2018 driven by the idea to fill a gap on the research into Italian bagpipes, especially in the field of iconographical evidence.Read more »
Those musicians whose aim is to evoke with as much accuracy as possible the lost musical world of centuries past are confronted with a formidable obstacle: how to reconstruct conventions of style and tradition that are relevant to a distant era without the added burden of the baggage of subsequent centuries. Also vital is to take into account the context of the music, where was it played and who played it?Read more »
I probably have more bagpipes on my instrument shelves than is healthy for one person to own. They’ve been accumulating since 1988 when I acquired my first set, and they soon became an indispensable part of my collection of Renaissance wind instruments. While I have logged many more practicing, rehearsing and performing hours on shawms, dulcians, recorders and crumhorns, bagpipes have been an essential part of my musical life, and a crucial element in the programs of Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, an early music ensemble that I co-founded with 4 other wind players in 1980.Read more »
In this article I put forth observations concerning iconographic and literary sources, and their use as literary symbols. The bagpipe is not an instrument that forms part of Mexican popular culture and up to the date, there are no works of colonial music that explicitly mention its use, although we start to see more concrete evidence of the use of the bagpipe up until the late 19th century. However, in this article I intend to document its presence in iconography and literature — and possibly its use — during the Viceregal Period of New Spain, from 1521 through 1821.Read more »
Background to the project During 2020 I barely played my bagpipes at all - I started the year with a cough which took weeks to shift, by which time lockdown, home schooling and a house full of people (I normally work partly from home, and my usual time to play has always been when the rest of the family is at school/work), plus a general feeling of lethargy meant that I got out of the habit.Read more »
The woodcuts that appear in Michael Praetorius’s Syntagma Musicum II are almost too well known and are so often taken for granted that it’s easy to think we know all there is to know about them. Less well known are the written descriptions and the pitch and range charts of the instruments that are included in Syntagma Musicum. In order to fully understand the information that is being presented, it is necessary to consult and combine all these three areas of information.Read more »
In 2007, we published, in association with CRMT Limousin, the first edition of a book which brought together 200 melodies for the chabrette limousine, as well as for other bagpipes from Central France. The melodies were, for the most part, traditional. The “Carnet de Notes” was immediately successful and it sold out in a few months and it has since become a real collector’s item.Read more »
Frank Vickers Paddy Shaw died quite suddenly in June, aged 63. He will be greatly missed. Paddy had joined the ceilidh band, Pendragon, as a bass player. At the time, Pendragon were playing a lot of French music and around 1990 they decided to go to the St Chartier festival. Inspired by the sight (and sound) of La Grande Bande des Cornemuses abseiling down the front of the chateau, Paddy bought a set of Jon Swayne's student pipes and then a very fine set of boxwood pipes in D.Read more »
Dear All This year’s blowout will be held online! Click here for more details. Let’s look forward to making up for this next year at Blowout 2022 (10 to 12 June) 😀 Stay healthy! Ian Chanter Spring 2021 The Spring 2021 edition of Chanter has been published. Read all about it. Chanter Winter 2016 The Winter 2016 edition of Chanter has been published. It’s the second edition to be published through the new website, and members can read it online.Read more »
AK: You’ve done a lot of work in what you could call it the archaeology of sound. On the one hand we find traces in written sources, like the treatises of Quantz and Hotteterre… on the other hand recordings of the last generation of cabrette players. But can you apply what’s written in classical/early music texts to traditional music? And do you find the same kinds of articulation, ornamentation and phrasing in early 20th century traditional music that you do in the music of the baroque?Read more »
About 10 years ago my son gave me a CD re-release of an LP from 1981 called “Lament For The Rise And Fall Of The Elephantine Crocodile” by Yoshi Wada. I played it a couple of times, without giving too much attention to it, and then filed it away and would not have listened to it again had not Liam recently emailed me to let me know that Yoshi Wada had died earlier this year.Read more »
The Definition of Ecstatic Methexis A great artist of folk tradition, where his tsambouna entertained generations and generations in the Cyclades, left for the neighbourhood of Angels. Dimitris Koukas, known as "Stravalogas" (which means in "Cock-Eyed Horse" due to the arrangement of his eyes and his physique) or "Pappous" or ‘‘Barbas’’ will remain engraved in the pages of traditional music history of Greece as a prominent and emblematic figure in the large family of tsambouna players.Read more »
The changing status of the bagpiper from the 12th to the 17th centuries Bagpipes have, of course, proliferated throughout many parts of the globe and over many centuries. The continuing and revived traditions are perhaps stronger than at any time in history and looking back at the long and varied story of this wonderful instrument, a complex interwoven quilt presents itself, with myriad manifestations from the subtly similar to the outrageously varied.Read more »
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