Showing posts with label Bagpipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bagpipe. Show all posts

Friday, November 17, 2017

PIPE and DRUMS

Northern Constabulary Pipe Band at Remembrance Parade 2011 Dingwall Ross-shire Scotland
Photo  by conner395 
Bag pipes date back from the period of the Celts who marched into conflict to the sound of horns being blown. At the battle of Flodden it is said, is one of the earliest mentions of the bagpipes, that the town piper played his pipes. From the 1700's onwards bagpipes were mentioned more frequently.

In the early 17th century pipers were not given an official role in the regiment - even when the role of piper and drummer and bugle player were recognized - indeed sometimes the piper was sometimes listed as a 'drummer' on any military records. The first official recognition of the piper was in 1679, and they played an integral part of the regiment greatly boosting the morale of the troops.

Following the battle of Culloden, the victorious Hanoverians banned bagpipes, this was at the same time that the wearing of tartan was always banned.

Playing military pipes was seen as on a par with any the role of any other member of the regiment - highlighted by the sentencing to death of a piper in the regiment captured during the 1745 uprising.
'A Highland regiment never marched without a piper... therefore his bagpipe, in the eye of the law, was an instrument of war'

So what music did military pipers play - there were three types of 'pibrochs' (tunes) - as well as tunes for marching to and well as laments for playing at funerals. Many of the pibrochs were inspired by famous battles, in particular, the Jacobite Rebellion. As such some tunes are linked to certain regiments.

In 1840, the popularity of military pipe bands was given a boost - Queen Victoria's enthusiasm for all things Highland was behind the War Office's decision to provide each of the Highland Regiments five pipers and a Pipe Major. Pipe bands grew in reputation both at home and abroad a positive image of Scotland. While pipers were forbidden from playing in trenches many pipers disobeyed this order and many were killed alongside their comrades, with some pipers receiving the Victorian Cross for their bravery. Military pipers were also present in more recent conflict including the Gulf War. Today pipers in the army are also required to take on a secondary role in the army, such as a medic.

Today military pipe bands, also referred to as 'pipe and drums' have expanded and are common outside of the military and thousands of civilian pipe bands have sprung up all over the world
Pipe band proficiency is typically measured in grades from 1-4. With grade 1 the highest level and grade 4 the most basic or training level. Traditional Pipe bands are made up of a section of pipers, a section of snare drummers, several tenor drummers and a single bass drummer.

Countries that have strong cultural links to Scotland such as America, Canada, and Australia also have a 1000s of pipe bands which celebrate their shared Celtic heritage.


At the annual World Pipe Band Championships pipe bands from around the world come together to perform. The Edinburgh Tattoo is also a key fixture for pipe bands - military bands from around the world play together to create a magnificent sound and spectacle.

An important part of playing in a pipe band is the specific dress that is worm, this allows members to feel part of Scottish Heritage and the impressive look of the uniform adds to the spectacle.




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Playing the BAGPIPES: What to Know and What It Takes?

Mr Bagpipes
Photo  by Silly Little Man 
BAGPIPES are ancient and enchantingly beautiful sounding instruments in the world. They arouse feelings of honour, loss and profound respect. Maybe you have wondered what it takes to play the bagpipes. With that bag and all those pipes, it may be a little daunting to know how to even begin. However, if you take the steps listed below, that big goal to play the bagpipes suddenly seems manageable.

Playing of the bagpipes is rapidly becoming something of a lost art, but those who choose to take up the instrument will find a world of pleasure. Learning to play the instrument itself is somewhat difficult, and hinges on a trio of important opening steps: the purchase and playing of a practice chanter, the use of an instruction book and lessons from a teacher.


A practice chanter looks something like a recorder that many of us played for a time in elementary school. The practice chanter should be used well in advance of picking up a full instrument in order for the student become acquainted with the method behind playing the bagpipes. Later the practice chanter will become a way to practice songs, learn highly complex fingering sequences and to take to places where pulling out the entire instrument is just not feasible. Look for a practice chanter of a good design, featuring a good reed. Quality is highly important at this stage because a student learning to play needs to learn on a reliable instrument.

At this point, the student needs to incorporate both a practice book published by a reputable source and, if at all possible, lessons with an instructor. This is important because the student needs to know fingerings of notes and technique well in advance of picking up an actual bagpipe. Search hard for a formal instructor, or even just an accomplished player, to help with hands-on, real-life experience.

After the practice chanter is mastered, the student can move on to the actual bagpipe. The first step in picking up the entire instrument is basically to pick it up in parts. At first, students need to use a "goose," which is a bagpipe without its three drones. The drones are simple tubes, each usually featuring a single reed, which lay over the shoulder or across the arm opposite the bag. Players change the pitch of the tune by manipulating the drones. Using the "goose" lets the student begin to play while concentrating on developing adequate breathing techniques and learning bag control.



The process of setting up a pipe, its reeds and the tuning process can be highly complicated and can take years for a beginning player to learn and fully master. This is yet another reason why some instruction from an experienced player or professional tutor is essential. Care of the instrument includes the ability to put it together and take it apart correctly from the beginning, and these are skills more easily learned from an experienced individual than from a book or a tutorial video.

With some work, a player wanting to learn to play the bagpipe can begin to master the craft. All it takes is the proper equipment and adequate instruction, and a would-be player can be belting out tunes in seemingly no time at all. Find a reputable provider of the necessary equipment, along with a teacher to help along the way, and the ability to play the bagpipes is well within grasp.

    Joshua Perry Joshua Perry - ArticleSource: GoArticles



Saturday, October 28, 2017

BAGPIPE - Music-Instruments of the World

Bagpipe - Music-Instruments of the World



Friday, August 18, 2017

HIGHLAND BAGPIPES - Choosing a Highland Bagpipe

The Highland bagpipe, a shortened term for the Great Highland bagpipe, is probably the most popular form of bagpipe today. Also known as Scottish bagpipes, Highland bagpipes are woodwind instruments that originated from Scotland and Ireland. They are known to be the best bagpipes in the world, and are commonly being used in marching bands, musical performances, and symphonic orchestras.

Highland Bagpipe - Photo: Wikimedia


Parts
Highland bagpipes are double-reed instruments that are typically made up of a bag, a chanter, a blowpipe, two tenor drones, and one bass drone. The chanter has a scale in Mixolydian mode with a flattened 7th or leading tone. It has a range of one whole tone lower than the tonic to one octave above it. Meanwhile, the pipe bag has to be inflated with air.

Kinds
Highland bagpipes come in two sets: Highland bagpipe practice sets and Highland bagpipe full sets.
The Highland bagpipe practice set is perfect for beginners and young players who want to master the art of bag piping. It is the cheapest kind of bagpipe set and is very easy to use.

A practice chanter allows for easy playing. It also does not have drones, allowing the player to practice proper breath control and maintain optimal bag pressure. Most practice sets also come with stealth features so other people will not be disturbed by its sound.

Meanwhile, Highland bagpipe full sets consist of a pipe bag, a chanter, a blowpipe, one bass drone, and two tenor drones. The chanter plays in the Mixolydian scale ranging from the key of low G to the key of high A. It is commonly used by pipe bands in military and civilian performances.

Buying tips
When looking to buy Highland bagpipes, look for one that has a sturdy reed for better-quality, more stable, and trouble-free sound production.

Also, determine your level of knowledge in bag piping. Buy practice sets if you are a beginner.




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Types of BAGPIPES

While bagpipes may seem like crudely traditional instruments, there are actually several types of bagpipes--each with a distinctive character and sound. The seven types of bagpipes are: Great Highland bagpipes, Irish Uilleann bagpipes, Northumbrian bagpipes, Scottish smallpipes, Biniou, 
Center-France bagpipes, and Gaita. Great Highland bagpipes

Bagad de Lann-Bihoué
Bagad de Lann-BihouĂ© (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Great Highland bagpipe is probably the most popular bagpipes type. It originated from Scotland and Ireland and is commonly used by soloists and pipe bands in civilian and military performances. It is played in the mixolydian scale, from the natural low G key to the key of A, consisting of two tenor drones and one bass drone.

Irish Uilleann bagpipes The Irish Uillean bagpipe is the most advanced type of bagpipe. It is played in the diatonic scale, in the key of natural C and the key of major D. It is usually played in staccato--a type of playing that is short and rapid.

Northumbrian smallpipes The Northumbrian smallpipe is a bellows-blown type of bagpipe. It typically consists of four drones that can be tuned to various pitches and combinations. It has chanters with seven 17 keys and possesses some of the unique qualities of the Irish Uilleann bagpipes. However, it requires very tight fingering to play in staccato.

Scottish smallpipes
The Scottish small pipe is popular among highland pipers. It is also a bellow-blown type of bagpipe but has the same fingering system as the Great Highland bagpipe. It can also be mouth-blown but will not produce the same sound and tone quality because it has a delicate reed construction.

Biniou
Originating from Brittany France, the Binou is designed to be mouth-blown. It is played one note above the octave scale and a flat lead tone below it. It produces a sound that is one octave higher than the Great Highland bagpipe, producing a very high pitched sound. Together with the bombarde, it is commonly used to accompany folk dancing in Breton.

Center-France bagpipes
Also known as the chevrette, the Cenetr-France bagpipe is made of goatskin and is also a mouth-blown instrument. It is commonly used in the Bourbonnais, Morvan, and Nivernais regions of France.

Gaita The Gaita is played by pipe bands and folk groups, usually in some regions of Portugal, and particularly in Asturias. It has a conical chanter and can be played in the key of D, C sharp, C, B flat, B, A, and G.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

IRISH BAGPIPES - Which Irish Bagpipe Should You Buy?

Bagpipes are known for being highly traditional instruments. Some people may even think that bagpipes are crude instruments. On the contrary, though, bagpipes produce one of the sweetest melodies among the windpipe instruments.

English: Uillean pipes - practice set
Uillean pipes - practice set (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Irish bagpipes
The Irish bagpipe, or the Uilleann bagpipe, is the national bagpipe of Ireland. It produces a wide range of notes that are distinctly sweet in tone, distinguishing it from other types of bagpipes.

Irish bagpipes are made with a set of bellows designed to be wrapped around the right arm and the waist to inflate the pipe bag. Its chanter produces sound in two full octave ranges including the flats and the sharps. It is typically designed to be played indoors while sitting down.

Kinds of bagpipes
Irish bagpipes come in three different kinds, each ranging from the level of knowledge of the user in playing bagpipes.
1. Irish practice set bagpipes - these are bagpipes best used by beginners and young players. They usually consist of a pipe bag, a chanter, and bellows. The beginner set's chanter can be played in the concert pitch D or B flat.
2. Irish half set bagpipes - this set is designed for average or intermediate players, mastering the practice set for at least a year. It has a tenor, baritone, and bass drone. A stock connects these drones to one another and ties them to the bag. The drones can be switched off using a key attached to the stack.
3. Irish full set bagpipes - for expert players, the Irish full set bagpipe is perfect. It is made of complete Uilleann pipes. It is essentially a half set made with additional three regulators.

Tips
When looking to buy an Irish bagpipe, look for one that is leak resistant. Make sure that it is not susceptible to air leaks. Choose a pipe bag made from elk-tanned leather and bellows made of heavy-duty leather gusset.