A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  ShortcutsShortcuts  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  
Share | 
 

 Bagpipes of the World

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Triceratops
Censura


Posts: 1647
Join date: 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Bagpipes of the World   Mon May 20, 2013 2:27 pm

Mention bagpipes today and everyone, or almost everyone, will think immediately of the Great Highland Bagpipes, one of the most recognisable musical instruments anywhere and, thanks to events like the Edinburgh Tattoo, the most filmed.
Go back a few hundred years however, and bagpipes are one of the most common instruments in Europe, North Africa and the Near East, with every area having its own version.

Here are a couple of types of bagpipes which show just how widespread the pipes were. First a Piva from Northern Italy and the Ticino canton of Switzerland;



and a Volynka from Ukraine;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura


Posts: 1647
Join date: 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Mon May 20, 2013 2:39 pm

The Miller from The Canterbury Tales with bagpipes;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura


Posts: 1647
Join date: 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Mon May 20, 2013 3:14 pm

Flemish bagpipes as depicted by Peter Brueghel in The Peasant Dance from 1567;

Back to top Go down
Islanddawn
Censura


Posts: 1817
Join date: 2012-01-05
Location: Greece

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Mon May 20, 2013 4:49 pm

Nice one Trike, and yes the Highland pipes rather do hog the limelight. Crete has the askomandoura, whilst other Greek islands play the Tsampouna. In the Spanish regions of Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias the signature traditional instrument is also the bagpipe, the gaita.

Askomandoura Tsampouna Gaita


Last edited by Islanddawn on Mon May 20, 2013 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura


Posts: 1647
Join date: 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Mon May 20, 2013 5:06 pm

Had a quick look at the Tampouna, ID;
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura


Posts: 1647
Join date: 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Mon May 20, 2013 5:21 pm

Here we have the Northumbrian Pipes;



Back to top Go down
Islanddawn
Censura


Posts: 1817
Join date: 2012-01-05
Location: Greece

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Mon May 20, 2013 7:03 pm

I've been looking into the history of the humble bagpipe, and attempting to find an answer to whether they developed independently in all the various cultures spread across Europe and the Middle East. So far no luck, it increasingly appears that nobody knows very much at all about their origins.

The first recording we have of the bagpipe comes relatively late, from the Cantigas de Santa Maria 1221 -1284 AD. There is a nice site here with lots of info for those interested.

http://www.hotpipes.com/history.html

Edit. Another interesting site on the history of the pipes in Ireland. The article mentions that the Roman army introduced the bagpipe (tibia utricularis) to Britain? Does anyone know if this is fact?

http://www.bagpipehistory.info/ireland.shtml
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura


Posts: 1647
Join date: 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Tue May 21, 2013 2:21 pm

Good links there, ID. There are stories that the Romans brought bagpipes to the British Isles and there is mention of the Emperor Nero being a bagpipe player, but I haven't found anything definite.

The Zukra from Libya;

Back to top Go down
nordmann
Dictator


Posts: 3584
Join date: 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Tue May 21, 2013 4:05 pm

The Romans did indeed have a form of bagpipe - the Utricularis. In the Praetorian camp at Richborough this image was found engraved on an unidentified stone, possibly once part of a headstone, and has been dated to the 2nd century CE.



Plutarch claimed that Numa Pompilius, the legendary second king of Rome, organised artists into guilds. The Utricularians had their own headquarters and rules, he also claimed, as far back as the 8th century BCE. His implication is that it survived as a secretive and exclusive group (how the hell can bagpipers be secretive?) right up to imperial days. Nero reckoned himself a member of the guild according to both Plutarch and Suetonius. A legend exists among their Italian descendants even today that Caesar, during his campaign in Gaul, actually used them as a weapon. He hid a company of Utricularians in a wood and allowed the Celtic opposition to charge his own legions. At a given moment the company hopped out suddenly blowing as hard as they could - terrifying the Gallic horses and allowing the Romans mount a sudden and victorious counter attack.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Islanddawn
Censura


Posts: 1817
Join date: 2012-01-05
Location: Greece

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Thu May 23, 2013 11:06 am

A Libyan zurka, and typical of the North African bagpipe. It is said that the bagpipe tradition of this region goes back at least 2,000 years. Mmm, I wonder if it was the Romans who also introduced the bagpipe to North Africa?



There is a list here of all the countries in which the pipes can be found, even as far afield as India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bagpipes
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Dictator


Posts: 3584
Join date: 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Thu May 23, 2013 12:29 pm

I wouldn't give the Romans too much credit for bagpipe distribution, simply because as the wiki list also indicates the sheer variety in early design is staggering. They might have known what to do with one when they encountered it in a given culture but it is a stretch to give them credit for introducing it on that basis.

It is important to remember that it was basically regarded in almost all of the cultures that developed it as an inferior instrument (there are many who still share that view!). In Rome especially it was seen as an instrument of the "paganus" (rural) class - Nero's patronage notwithstanding - and indeed both Suetonius and Plutarch's association between the instrument and Nero, who they wrote disapprovingly of, might well have been precipitated by that belief too.

Had Rome adopted it and spread its use I imagine the result would have been a more standardised design, as well of course as more frequent references in extant literature from the period. As it is, the bagpipe is an instrument that largely escaped written reference right up to the late middle ages.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Triceratops
Censura


Posts: 1647
Join date: 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Thu May 23, 2013 1:30 pm

Instruments of War. There may be earlier depictions, this is one from the 1580's;

Back to top Go down
Islanddawn
Censura


Posts: 1817
Join date: 2012-01-05
Location: Greece

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Thu May 23, 2013 5:06 pm

nordmann wrote:
It is important to remember that it was basically regarded in almost all of the cultures that developed it as an inferior instrument (there are many who still share that view!). In Rome especially it was seen as an instrument of the "paganus" (rural) class -

Which is what lead me to think of a Roman influence, due to the many ex military men who were settled on land in areas along the North African coast on their retirement and who (and their descendants) produced a large amount of Rome's grain supply.

It could, of course, work the other way and it was North Africa that influenced Rome due to their time there, but as you say, it does not account for the sheer variety in design. Looking at the list of cultures who have a bagpipe tradition, from Asia stretching right across to Ireland, it struck me that the areas correspond with old East/West trade routes and population shifts. Yet another piece of history we'll never know for sure I suppose. Sigh.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura


Posts: 1647
Join date: 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Bagpipes of the World   Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:31 pm

Three World Championships in a row (and nine in total) for the Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band from Lisburn:

Back to top Go down
 

Bagpipes of the World

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum ::  :: -