The origin and history of bagpipes have never been truly confirmed. However, there have been many visual and textual clues that have given historians an idea of where they came from.
The Bagpipe History: Where Did Bagpipes Originate From?
According to The Oxford History of Music, the first bagpipe sculpture dates right back to one thousand years Before Christ. It was located in a town called Euyuk which is in the Middle East. This sculpture was on a Hittite slab.
During the second century AD, it was noted that a well-known Roman emperor played an instrument called tibia utricular. This is a type of reed pipe that can be played with the mouth. At the same time, the player would place a bladder underneath their armpit.
The History of Bagpipes Throughout Europe
During the first half of the second millennium, it soon became obvious that bagpipes made regular appearances in Western Europe. Particularly in iconography and art.
A piece of music was written during the middle of the thirteenth century which was designed for many different kinds of bagpipes. The bagpipes were soon seen in the British Isles just before the fourteenth century. Before the eighteen century arrived, actual bagpipes were rarely seen or mentioned.
Dance Mania victims, in a painting by Pieter Breughel the Younger (c. 1564–1636), after drawings by his father.
However, there was a wide range of manuscripts, paintings, engravings and carvings that could be seen. These things soon made it obvious that there was a wide variety of this fabulous instrument all around Europe.
They also had their individual locations. The earliest of bagpipes were seen in paintings such as Durer, Teniers, Brueghel, and Jordeans. I guess this is when the history of bagpipes begun.
Bagpipes as an Instrument in Battles
The history of bagpipes tells us that they were first used in the Scottish Highlands. These type of bagpipes originate from France. They were used in 1547 at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh.
This instrument was used instead of a trumpet. During this era, they were often used in marches, in laments and salutes, in battle tunes and at a variety of different gatherings. In the first half of the seventeenth century, the Scottish Highlands began to develop a variety of piping families.
In 1581 the bagpipes began to appear in Ireland. Specially designed clothing for those who played the instrument was made and soon became very popular in this country.
It was also played during wars that took place in Ireland. In the nineteenth century, a music book of fifty different bagpipes tunes was published. This came in many different variations. It was written and published by a man named John Peacock.
Many different types of traditional bagpipe music now sit in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bagpipe music can also be found in Northumberland’s Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum and several other places.
The battle of Achi Baba 1915, by Chris Collingwood
Bagpipes were used on the battlefield because they could be heard above the rattle of musketry and the cannon’s roar, to let scattered soldiers know where their regiment’s center was.
Sometimes when I joke I said that pipes also made the soldiers fight more fiercely, because, as soon as they won, the pipers would stop!
Recent History of the Bagpipes
As the British Empire grew, so did the British military. As a result, Highland regiments began to be involved. From here on in, the Scottish bagpipe soon became very popular all over the world. Soon enough, huge numbers of people wanted to train for military service. This was the first and second world wars.
Unfortunately, the use of the traditional bagpipes used in Europe began to decline. Other instruments soon took over the bagpipes. Today, the bagpipes are often used in countries such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. They are often being played by and in the military and at formal gatherings.
This unique instrument is usually played for native dance and folk music. There are a variety of bagpipes that have been used for this. A pipe band was once developed in Brittany. This was known as the bagad. This band has been used for a variety of gatherings throughout Ireland and Scottland. The instrument can also be seen in some movies.
Bagpipes Have Been a Part of Many Events and Ceremonies
Canadian often use the instrument at a range of events that take place in Commonwealth universities. Since Scottland has had an impact on sporting events in Curling, they are now the only instrument used in the World Curling Federation. They are also played during the ceremonial procession before a major game begins.
Original Source – Truomega.ca
The bagpipes origin has also shown that the making of the instrument used to be a type of craft. This is how various instruments came in their own traditional and unique forms. Today, Pakistan is the main country who makes the bagpipes. In 2010, this particular industry was worth six point eight billion dollars.
During the second half of the twentieth century, electronic bagpipes began to be created. The very first MIDI bagpipes were made by a man named Hevia. He was an Astrian bagpipe player.
Different Types of Bagpipes
These days, thousands of different types of bagpipes can be found in many areas throughout the Middle East and Europe. They are also found in many areas of the British Empire. The types of bagpipes include:
- Romanian cimpoi;
- Aragonese Gaita de boto;
- Gaita Asturiana;
- Scottish small pipes;
- Portuguese gaita transmontana;
- Galician gaita;
- Black Sea Tulum;
- Bulgarian Gaida.
The bagpipes are not only used for traditional music. They can also be heard playing in punk, jazz, classical, metal and rock music. Such music includes Mull of Kintyre written by Paul McCartney.
In this article, we have seen that the origin of bagpipes has never really been confirmed. However, there have been some visual and textual clues that provide historians an idea of this.
Once the source has said that the first bagpipe sculpture goes back as far as one thousand years Before Christ. The bagpipes soon made appearances throughout Western Europe as well as in the British Isles. The instrument was first used in the Scottish Highlands and then throughout Ireland.
It was also played during the first and second world wars that took place throughout the British Empire. The bagpipes are also played in native dance and folk music. Many different bagpipes have been used for this purpose.
Today, bagpipes are usually found in many areas in the Middle East and Europe. The making of this instrument was once a type of craft. The bagpipes are now mainly made in Pakistan. Bagpipes are also used in a range of other music such as jazz, metal, and rock.