Bagpipes are synonymous with the folk music of Scotland and Ireland, and are used in military bands or as a solo instrument often at formal occasions such as weddings, or at festivals and celebrations such as the Edinburgh Tattoo. They produce a full sound, consisting of a sustained drone and a melodic line. The sound of bagpipes is utterly unique - nothing else sounds quite like them, but a rough approximation might be reached somewhere between the reedy tone of an oboe and the dynamic fanfare of a trumpet. View all information


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About Bagpipes

Bagpipes could have dated back to Roman or pre-Roman eras as the Oxford History of Music suggests that a sculpture of bagpipes was found on a Middle East sculpture from 1000 BC.

Parts of a Bagpipe

The bag is an airtight reservoir that holds air and regulates its flow enabling the player to maintain continuous sound. The player blows air into it through a blowpipe or pumps air into it with bellows. Materials used for bags vary from animal skin and synthetic materials.

The Chanter is the melody pipe and is played with two hands. The open nature of the pipe means it is hard for a player to stop the instrument from sounding so most bagpipe music follows a constant, legato sound which results in the lilting almost haunting sound associated with these instruments.

The Chanter Reed is installed at the top of the chanter and is what the player uses to produce the sound.

The Bagpipe Drones are the pipes which produce a constant harmonising note throughout play. The drone is generally designed in two or more parts with a sliding joint so that pitch can be adjusted.

Bagpipe Practice Chanters are used for beginners to learn to play and is also used by more experiences players to practice and perfect their skills.

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