Traditional Use

By Jonathan Cattaneo

Bag pipes have been around for a great deal of time and were used by many countries. Traditionally, bagpipes have been used in many different music scenes. Mainly bagpipes were used by peasants and poor people. Due to the time period and a lack of documentation, it makes it difficult to tell exactly what use bagpipes held in their lives. Since a bagpipe is a musical instrument, it can be concluded that it served as a general past-time.

Once the bagpipes started gaining mass popularity, they were used as musical accompinyment for folk dancing, as well as country dances. This quickly evolved into many different applications. Some of them included music for weddings, feasts, ceremonies, festivals, and funerals. The job of “Piper” was even a town position in some places. For example, Queen Victoria even employed an official Piper to play music each Sunday for her family.

Another traditional application was in war. Bagpipers played loudly when they wanted their army to be heard. The music could travel miles away. Bagpiping spread throughout Europe, which caused differently tuned bagpipes, that produced different sounds. Similiar applications are still used today, with a variety of bagpipes.

An example of traditional bagpipes can be listened to here

Today bagpipes can still be heard and depicted through movies based in older times. A popular movie that included traditional use is Mel Gibsons "Braveheart".

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