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Old 11-27-2012, 08:25 AM   #3
Helvetica
Forum Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Continental Europe
Posts: 279
Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CampbelGal View Post
Does anyone know of a book or somewhere to get info on solo bagpiper etiquette and traditions? (Protocol for saluting, funerals, weddings, dinners, hats, etc.) Something that would be a go-to handbook for pipers...
No idea about a book, but for funerals and other solemn ceremonies (e.g. remembrance day), I tend to try and dress and act appropriate to the occasion, so a uniform that's in top condition, a bagpipe that's been triple checked for any issues, and spare reeds and drone corks in the pocket just in case. (Pockets are better than sporrans for spare bits, it's much easier to search for them without drawing attention.) I stand at strict attention with feet at 10 and 2, and don't twitch, wiggle or adjust bits and bobs unless it seems like there's a pause to do so and it's necessary. In general, on very formal occasions I try to behave like those Buckingham palace guards. There is often a lot of standing around and waiting.

(I guess we'd say that, contrary to the norm, a good piper should be heard but not seen?)

Also, get as much information as you can in advance regarding what you're expected to do so you don't need to hassle the organizers at the last minute, or totally screw up partway through.

I used to fill out the ranks of a military pipe band as a civilan member (=highland regiment with not enough pipers) and was actually told that I was not expected to salute at any point in time. But others might have different ideas.

Weddings and dinners are generally a lot more relaxed. I've never had a clear idea in advance what to do, just make sure it's clear you have a person to communicate with, often hand signals are necessary, and simply a good idea of when to start and stop, even if you need to play the tune twice more than expected.

Anyway, that's my system.

H.
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