Bagpipe Scotland

August 4, 2015
Lowlands Regiment at the Royal
Hands on chanter playing bagpipes

Highland and Lowland pipes

Two main forms of bagpipe are played in Scotland, Highland and Lowland. You are going to be much more acquainted with the fantastic Highland Bagpipe. It is usually played at open-air ceremonies eg Highland games and weddings. Bagpipes have grown to be popular all around the globe - even Sultan of Oman has actually his or her own pipeline band, plus in Brittany they usually have created their very own local types of pipe musical organization - bagad - which combines the Scottish pipelines with regards to own tools, the oboe-like bombarde.

The drones together with chanter

The piper blows into a pipeline to help keep a case full of a reserve of air, then the air escapes through four various other pipes. Three among these tend to be 'drones'. Another pipeline, labeled as a chanter, is fingered by the piper to relax and play the track, and plays inside key of B♭. Two tenor drones play B♭ one octave underneath the chanter, together with bass drone plays B♭an octave lower nonetheless.

The chanter of all different types of Scottish bagpipes has actually a nine note diatonic scale. The fantastic Highland Bagpipe addresses a variety written as G below Middle C to A above, even though real sound of the pitches is a semitone greater.

Stuart Liddell is a really effective competitors and pipeline musical organization player from Argyll. Right here Stuart plays the truly amazing Highland Bagpipe in a collection of marches.


The Centenary Jewel (Stuart Liddell)

'The Centenary Jewel' done by Stuart Liddell '71st Highlanders'

Other designs of bagpipes sound in numerous keys, and all sorts of the music is written making use of a stylised kind of staff notation. Pipers in addition usually had a vocal approach to moving on tunes from to some other, utilizing combinations of noises to point pitch and ornamentation. It was understood because of the Gaelic title, 'canntaireachd', which means 'chanting'.

Rona Lightfoot from Southern Uist sings canntaireachd accompanied by Iain MacDonald on some pipes called smallpipes.


Canntaireachd (Rona Lightfoot)

'Canntaireachd' - done by Rona Lightfoot


High Path to Linton/Cuddy's Wedding Ceremony (Gordon Mooney)

Lowland pipes

The Lowland pipes are different. Rather than blowing into a pipeline to fill the case, pipers make use of their supply to press bellows that blow air to the bag. Also, Lowland pipers frequently sit, while Highland pipers stand and will often march up and down as they play. Lowland pipes in many cases are known as the 'cauld wind' pipelines, while they get cool environment through the bellows as opposed to warm air through the mouth. They've a quieter sound compared to Highland pipelines and therefore are more suited to playing inside. The most used as a type of Lowland pipes will be the Border pipes, and additionally there are other bellows-blown pipes known as the Scottish Smallpipes, which are today's recreation of an extinct tool, and that are less noisy and sweeter-sounding compared to the Border pipelines.

'tall Road to Linton/Cuddy's Wedding/The Douglas Tragedy/The Flower o' Yarrow' done by Gordon Mooney


Salute on the Birth of Rory Mòr MacLeod (John D Burgess)

Musical designs

Both Lowland and Highland pipelines can play a myriad of tunes including strathspeys, reels, jigs, marches, and sluggish airs. This sort of light music is recognized as 'Ceòl Beag' in Gaelic - this means ‘little music’.

The 'classical songs' for the Highland bagpipes is called 'ceòl mór' (great songs) or 'pìobaireachd’ (piping). This term can be written in English as ‘pibroch’. This music includes:

  • salutes, tunes resolved to someone worth focusing on
  • gatherings, tunes familiar with gather people in a clan
  • laments and elegies, tunes articulating despair at someone’s death
  • tunes associated with historical activities.

John D Burgess, among great pipers associated with 20th century, plays a pìobaireachd printed in gathering associated with the birth of an heir to a clan chief.

'Salute on Birth of Rory Mòr MacLeod' carried out by John D Burgess

Famous pipers - Habbie Simpson

Lowland cities once had their very own city pipers, the most famous being Habbie Simpson, town piper of the weavers’ village of Kilbarchan, near Paisley. Residents of Kilbarchan are known to today as ‘Habbies’ following the piper. In 1661, the poet Robert Sempill wrote ‘The life-and-death of Habbie Simpson'. As you possibly can read in the opening verses, this tells the story of Habbie's role as town piper many of tunes he played, like ‘Trixie’ and ‘Maidin Trace’.

This poem can also be famous because it offered its name towards six-line structure associated with the verses which became preferred in Scottish poetry, such as in the poems of Robert Burns. It became known as the ‘Standard Habbie’.

Source: www.educationscotland.gov.uk
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