Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "B" is for Bagpiper

Bagpipes are a class of instruments known as aerophones, producing sound via wind passing through the instrument, such as blowing into a flute or trumpet, only with the bagpipe the air is contained in a resevoir bag that is kept under pressure by the players arm, which allows the instrument to continue playing undisrupted where an instrument such as a trumpet would have breaks while the player pauses to take breaths.

While most of us probably think of Scottland or Ireland when we hear the word bagpipe, they have actually been part of the musical history of many locations of the world dating back to the Middle ages or before.

You can check out for a more complete history of the bagpipe as well as a gallery of photos of many of the different types of pipes found around the globe today.

These particular photos are of two pipers found at a Civil War reenactment. Each represented Confederate (Southern) soldiers. Ironically, there has never been any documented period evidence of either Scottish or Irish pipes being used during the Civil War in a military context, in spite of the number of immigrant Scots and Irish who fought on both sides during the war. One New York regiment hired a local piping club to play for a parade as they left to go to war in 1861, but after that - nothing. So while it is possible that one or two bagpipes may have found their way into camp, it is much more likely that none of those immigrants - who were likely quite poor and probably had never owned a bagpipe - even knew how to play.

Still, they are good to listen to - in moderation! - if the player actually knows what they are doing. If they do not? Well, let's just say I think a poorly played bagpipe sounds more like torture than music. :)

But they do make for interesting photo opportunities!

So don your kilt, brush up on your brogue, and pipe your way over to for more ABC Wednesday fun.


Lynette said...

Great series for your ABC Wednesday post. I like bagpipes, properly played.

CaBaCuRl said...

Yes I agree with you, they make an excellent subject for a picture, & I had no idea they were in other countries besides Ireland & Scotland.

Rambling Woods said...

Hello..first visit via the letter B. You have a very nice blog with some great photos....@:}.

RuneE said...

A very interesting B! I have s fancy for the bag-pipe and a couple of special memories of their use. Once heard - never forgotten. I can give you tears in the eyes.

Anyone hearing "Scotland The Brave" will agree.

magiceye said...

that was very interesting accompanied by relevant beautiful visuals too..

Gemma said...

Bagpipers do make an interesting photo op.

babooshka said...

They are big in the North of France too.Very ineresting post.

Texas Travelers said...

Great photos and really interesting. Thanks for the link. I reall like this B.

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Sara said...

There's nothing quite like listening to live bagpipe music! It always bring tears to my eyes.