LIBRARY: INSTRUMENTS: WOODWINDS:
Very little is known about the
creation of bagpipes. It is suspected that they have been played in the East
Mediterranean over the last 3,000 years. Some suggestions are that they evolved
from reed instruments such as the shawm.
The bagpipes are woodwinds and
reed instruments as well. They are easily identified by their air reservoir,
which comes in the form of a bag or sack. It is this sack, which allows the
player to breath while playing, and not interrupt their melody. When the bag is
full, the sound is being produced directly by the bag, and is therefore not
disturbed by a brief interruption in the supply to the bag.
A bagpipe’s bag is usually made of an animal skin, and sometimes covered in
velvet. The chanter and blowpipe are inserted into this bag, and drone pipes
come out of it. The musician plays by blowing in the blowpipe and fingering the
melody on the chanter.
Bagpipes are generally associated with
folk music. Some are used as military instruments as well. They generally are
best suited for outdoors, as they are loud instruments, but some can be quiet.
bagpipe: This Scottish instrument is a commonly seen instrument that
originated as a military instrument in Scotland. Today it plays many folk songs
and has a very distinct sound.
bagpipe: This bagpipe dates to the 17th century. It
is a quiet bagpipe and suited for indoors use.
Hungarian bagpipe is a very beautiful looking instrument. It’s distinctive
appearance is due to the goat-shaped carving on it.
North African bagpipe, with a goatskin bag. It has a “non-return” mouthpiece
so the player needs to put his tongue over the end when not playing to keep the
This is a highly unusual Italian bagpipe. It is unusual in that it has two
chanter pipes, one for each hand.