Posts Tagged ‘Man’
You may have heard that bagpipes are a Scottish invention; you may have heard that they are an Irish invention. The truth (of course) is neither one. The bagpipe was invented in ancient Samaria, in Israel. The Bible mentions the instrument in the book of Daniel chapter 3, where it is listed as one of the instruments use to call the people to worship a statue. This event takes place in ancient Iraq, which was then part of the Babylonian empire.
Many other times in history the instrument has been mentioned and concluding from this evidence we can say that the instrument must have been invented in ancient Samaria. From there migrating tribes of peoples took it to different parts of Europe, India and northern Africa. Some 200 years ago the instrument was very popular throughout Europe. “So, what happened?”, you may say.
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The Bagpipe of The Scots
Nowadays, when one mentions bagpipes, one usually thinks of tartan-clad pipe bands, or the label of a bottle of Scotch whisky. But bagpipes had been around for thousands of years before they reached the shores of Scotland.
It is unknown when the Highlands first echoed to the keen of the pipes. They may have been introduced by the Romans when they invaded the British Isles, or perhaps carried over from Ireland when the Scots invaded and settled the highlands – or they may have evolved independantly.
Early Highland pipes were quite different to their modern cousins. The actual pipes themselves were crafted from whatever was available – even bone was used. Tonally, they were probably somewhat lower in pitch than modern pipes. Early bagpipes only had one drone. The design gradually improved, with more drones being added, until by the time of the last Jacobite uprising in 1745-6, bagpipes with two drones were the norm, although three-drone pipes were not unknown. Two-drone bagpipes are still played by Irish regimental bands, and are called Irish Pipes.
The modern Highland Bagpipe consists of three drones – one bass, two tenors – a chanter (the melody pipe, through which nine notes are produced), a blowstick ( through which the bag is inflated), and, of course, a bag of leather or synthetic material. Read the rest of this entry »
Tour bosses have come up with a way of frightening off rats on their trips round the historic drains of the Austrian capital Vienna – bagpipes.
The Third Man tours – which walk the sewers made famous in Orson Welles’ cult film – were closed down after health and safety chiefs said the risk of rat bites was too great.
Now they’re back on after organisers proved how the squeal of Scottish bagpipes from a kilted piper send the rats scurrying for cover.
Tour boss Peter Ryborz explained: “We get rid of the rats by taking a bagpipe player down with us, and they sound really great in the catacombs that tunnel all under the city.
“You can hear them coming out of drains as the tours walk around under the city.”