This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
NEWS


The Great Highland Bagpipe: From the Archaic to Modern Little Has Changed


BY PIPING TIMES REPORTERS N


EW research into the bagpipe’s history has found that the basic instrument has


not changed significantly since it first appeared in its ‘golden age’ 400 years ago. This is contrary to the view of some piping historians.The research – to be published in the PT – has been conducted over a number of years by US based scientists and pipers Dr John Kidd and Dr ElliotWoodaman. Dr Kidd received a Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1962. Dr Woodaman received a Ph. D. in Linguistics in 1972, and through his work in acoustic phonetics was able to follow Dr Kidd’s bagpipe investigations. In a preliminary statement they write: ‘Our position is that


the Highland bagpipe has existed largely in its current form since the ‘golden age’ of the 17th century, and that the differences between the archaic and the modern Highland pipe simply reflect two basic improvements: 1) more precisely finished exteriors and bores, due to the improvements in lathe technology made during the industrial revolution; and 2) a significant acoustic advance, the shift from the


flare-top to the bell-top drone.To put it more succinctly, today’s Highland bagpipe has not changed significantly since it first appeared in the ‘golden age’: the chanter plays the same just scale and three pentatonic modes; it has had one bass and two tenor drones at least since the ‘golden age’; and to this day, the same ‘golden age’music is played.


‘Thus we are not in accord with Hugh


Cheape’s Conclusion disputed


suggestion (‘Bagpipes’ 2008, p.123) that in the 18th century, the modern Highland bagpipe was ‘arguably a new invention’. This is our only major difference with this admirable book (and on which our research strongly relies).We also acknowledge the work of Dr Roderick D. Cannon in his 2002


work The Highland Bagpipe and Its Music as our first specific source of the notion of continuity between the archaic and the modern bagpipe. Finally we note that none of this would have been possible without having subscribed to the PipingTimes (PT) over the years, and so having had access to its illustrations of historic pipes and the invaluable work of Jeannie Campbell.


5





Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64