Oh Bagpipes

While some may refer to the bagpipes as a instrument that causes more headaches than pleasure, one must understand the tradition behind traditional Scottish music to fully appreciate such an unique wind instrument. I first became interested in this topic while staying at an Aberdeen city centre hotel a few years back; yet, I can imagine that they could be heard all the way to a Perthshire hotel. There must have been some city festival taking place that weekend, since I was able to hear an abundance of bagpipes from the street below. Remaining vibrant through the 21st century, Scottish music demonstrates no sign of slowing down. One of the main reasons that it still has such a strong following is due to the country’s strong relationship with its historical past. Although the earliest mention of bagpipes that I have been able to find so far dates back to the 6th century, you can safely presume that there must have been a distant cousin that had a heavy influence on the creation of the instrument; I will continue my research into this and report back on my findings.

While bagpipes are typically used for military marches and city parades, their influence can be seen on an international scale. I am not too sure why I saw bagpipes at a city parade in Vancouver, Canada, but they were there in full force. It is always nice to see instruments from different countries, especially when the men are in skirt; sorry if that remark offended anyone of Scottish decent, I suppose I should refer to them as kilts.

Although I thought my encounter with bagpipes was limited to Aberdeen, I again was confronted by a street artist mere minutes from one of the Luxury Glasgow hotels that I visited on the same trip. While I am unsure how successful that individual was in obtaining tips, it sure was nice to see him promoting the country’s national instrument. It is just too bad that a volume switch has not been created for them yet.

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December 27, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Destination Tips


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