Offensive Bagpipes?

Austin Popper

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There's content and then there's volume. I like piper music, but when a visiting friend demonstrated her piping to us, (outdoors, and we were quickly worried about "What will the neighbors think of us?") I was astounded by the loudness. I enjoyed her skill (content), but it was earsplitting in our side yard (volume). The official London regulations are a pretty great idea, but harsh and judgmental in their descriptions. Couldn't they simply say "Not so loud, and please take note where you are playing."?
And don't get me started on being an involuntary listener. I think busking is a horrible idea, I think music in restaurants and stores is a horrible idea, I think having a powerful sound system in your slow-moving car blasting rap is a horrible idea. People who want to listen to music have lots of ways to hear it. People who want their ears to hear just birds, or rustling leaves, or children playing are unfairly hijacked by buskers and bassers and such.
One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes (or at least it's attributed to him, there is a lot of funny business done there):

All sane people detest noise.
 

Austin Popper

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I think I've mentioned it here before, but I seem to have a genetic trait that causes me an almost irresistible urge to get the hell away from the sound of bagpipes, at least when I hear them in person. It's even worse for me than those crappy old cars with rap playing at absurd volume and causing the rusted body panels to make awful noises as they resonate with the one-note wonder subwoofers. Urk!
 

Yithian

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Not a drop of Scottish blood in me (that I know), but I've found the sound of bagpipes to be deeply moving in military commemorations.

If you woke me on a Saturday morning with them, however, there'd be violence.

Context is everything.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Not a drop of Scottish blood in me (that I know), but I've found the sound of bagpipes to be deeply moving in military commemorations.

[...]

Context is everything.
That's precisely how I feel.

Didn't intend to post again on the previous topic heading, however, this is different, having astutely been isolated and of interest.

Whilst not particularly prone re listening to bagpipes, there's something about your context which I also find especially moving.

I've never been sure why, not a Scottish thing... it just... dunno really...

It might have its origins in watching the annual Edinburgh military tattoo, on TV when a youngster.

The lone piper at the end, playing a lament for the fallen, was emotional, even that long ago.

A brief video of last year's be OK?

It's maybe another side to the bagpipes, many are unaware of.

Can't think of any other musical instrument, that could convey those heartfelt sentiments more...

... would, 'expressively' be the word...?

 

Comfortably Numb

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you know... this may be a myth!

does anyone know?
Perhaps not just us both who were unsure.

Definitely had to find the answer and the switch from trumpets to bagpipes is perhaps much earlier than we may have thought.

The Piob Mhor, or the Great Highland Bagpipes


As a musical instrument of war, the first mention of the bagpipes appears to date from 1549 at the Battle of Pinkie, when the pipes replaced trumpets to help inspire the Highlanders into battle. It is said that the shrill and penetrating sound worked well in the roar of battle and that the pipes could be heard at distances of up to 10 miles away.

https://www.historic-uk.com/History...The-Piob-Mhor-or-the-Great-Highland-Bagpipes/
 

Comfortably Numb

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Came across the following article and wondered if maybe of interest (hopefully still on topic).

Have to confess, almost ashamed being entirely oblivious to any of this.

In the article's comments section, there's a response from Ian Moran, author of a book, 'The Lone Piper: The Story of Bill Millin, Lord Lovat’s D-Day Piper'.

Scottish Piper War Heroes
by Ben Johnson

[...]

The bloodcurdling sound and swirl of the pipes boosted morale amongst the troops and intimidated the enemy. However, unarmed and drawing attention to themselves with their playing, pipers were always an easy target for the enemy, no more so than during World War One when they would lead the men ‘over the top’ of the trenches and into battle. The death rate amongst pipers was extremely high: it is estimated that around 1000 pipers died in World War One.

[...]

During World War II, pipers were used by the 51st Highland Division at the start of the Second Battle of El Alamein on 23 October 1943. As they attacked, each company was led by a piper playing tunes that would identify their regiment in the darkness, usually their company march. Although the attack was successful, losses among the pipers were high and the use of bagpipes was banned from the frontline.

[...]

Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, was commander of 1st Special Service Brigade for the Normandy landings on D-Day 6th June 1944, and brought with him his 21-year-old personal piper, Bill Millin. As the troops landed on Sword Beach Lovat ignored the orders restricting the playing of bagpipes in action, and ordered Millin to play. When Private Millin quoted the regulations, Lord Lovat is said to have replied: “Ah, but that’s the English War Office. You and I are both Scottish, and that doesn’t apply.”

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofScotland/Scottish-Piper-War-Heroes/
 

Frideswide

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When Private Millin quoted the regulations, Lord Lovat is said to have replied: “Ah, but that’s the English War Office. You and I are both Scottish, and that doesn’t apply.”
did Millin survive the episode?
 

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titch

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It is said that the shrill and penetrating sound worked well in the roar of battle and that the pipes could be heard at distances of up to 10 miles away.
I remember reading years ago an account from a ww1 veteran, he said there was a heavy bombardment coming from both sides, the men had their gas hoods on but the bagpipes could still be heard above all the other noise.

Years ago I was at a Napoleonic re-enactment, I was standing by the frenchies, there was very little wind and all the musket and cannon fire smoke lay in a thick blanket, unseen on the other side, was the British, I could hear the bagpiper, blowing his cheeks off, then a highland Regiment came through the smoke, bayonets fixed, I dunno what the bagpipes do to the enemy, but they scare the shit clean out of me.
 

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There is a Billy Connolly story, so probably not true unfortunately- about a Scottish regiment in WW1. They go over the top with pipes playing and as they advance more and more men are cut down by enemy fire. When there are only the piper and very few men left one of the few remaining is heard to shout to the piper: “Could you no play something they like?”
 

Shady

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I think a lone piper can be incredibly moving.
Yesterday there was one in the middle of our town i was there half hour and he played sod all and nearly got his stuff ran over by a person of disability on one of those scooters

Any noise can be annoying if it is repetitive
 

James_H

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Comfortably numb, glad you decided to stick around.

I know a guy who runs a homeless charity in Hong Kong and he credits Macdonald's as the single greatest benefactor of the homeless here - the 24 hour outlets let the homeless sleep at their tables unmolested. Shame they don't have the same approach in the USA.
 

hunck

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I like a drone instrument but much prefer the Irish version, the Ullean Pipe over Scottish bagpipe. Slightly different in as much as you don't blow the bag up but pump with your elbow. It has a mellower, less abrasive tone. I didn't realise but you can play chords on it as well as this shows.

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I like a drone instrument but much prefer the Irish version, the Ullean Pipe over Scottish bagpipe. Slightly different in as much as you don't blow the bag up but pump with your elbow. It has a mellower, less abrasive tone. I didn't realise but you can play chords on it as well as this shows.
They're like the Northumbrian pipes. Bit of theory then a demo -




And who could forget this?

 

gordonrutter

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I think that referred to any soldier in a kilt (if the story is true)
A former colleague of mine at the Botanic Gardens turned up to an evening function in a kilt with the most impressive sporran ever. When I questioned him about it it turned out it was his grandfathers uniform from the First World War. Looked amazing.
 

Squail

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And don't get me started on being an involuntary listener. I think busking is a horrible idea, I think music in restaurants and stores is a horrible idea, I think having a powerful sound system in your slow-moving car blasting rap is a horrible idea. People who want to listen to music have lots of ways to hear it. People who want their ears to hear just birds, or rustling leaves, or children playing are unfairly hijacked by buskers and bassers and such.
Coming in somewhat late -- I very heartily concur here. Not everyone wants background music as a component, automatically, of every aspect of their lives: if only the inflictors of it would realise this; but this whole thing seems to make ever more conquests. I found the other day that the local branch of my bank had seemingly introduced background mild-pop-type music, heaven help us. There used to be -- I don't know if it is still going -- an admirable outfit called "Pipedown", which did its best to campaign against ubiquitous, enforced background music.

And busking -- the worst abomination in that line, in my opinion: buskers who do their stuff on public transport, whereby getting-away virtually impossible. If I were in charge, this would be a capital offence.
 

AnonyJoolz

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Having a nice cup of tea and a sit-down.
I would like to regale you with my tale of bagpipe(?) bag-pipe(?) bag pipes-related oddness.

I'd recommend a comfy chair and a cup of tea, settled in?

*cue wavy video effects and harp music*

Let me take you back to 1989, to Newcastle Upon Tyne and to a certain nightclub called 'Rock 'n' Doris' which was at that time one of the few gay-friendly venues in the city. The establishment was holding a fund raising evening for charity (I can't remember which cause) and various acts and activities were taking place: a raffle, a comedian, a drag artist, a quiz etc., All jolly good fun and several groups of us students went along to sip lager and support the evening.

If I remember correctly it was just before Christmas and I won the raffle! A big glass jar (remember them?) of Rose's chocolates. The prize also included a request-serenade by a mystery musician. So we awaited the final performer and decided on a tune - Blue Moon.

If there is any other forum member who's been serenaded by a rather strapping lass with a crew cut and DM boots playing the Scots pipes to the tune of 'Blue Moon' in a dimly lit club whilst eating chocolate I'd rather like to meet up to compare notes.

It was a distinctly surreal but rather pleasant experience!
 
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