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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > General Discussion > History, Tradition, Heritage
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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:09 PM   #11
wysper
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
Well one part is simple to answer....civilians dont salute.
I am with you on this one Steve. I am soon to enter my first competition.
I watched one last week and saw a couple of pipers salute the judge.
To me it just looked odd, and I would only do so if forced to by competition rules. And even then I might not. I would feel very uncomfortable saluting as I am a civilian.

I think I would prefer to just nod politely.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:21 PM   #12
EagleJCS
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

As a solo civilian piper in the US, if saluting the US flag is necessary I would suggest using the civilian salute (right hand over heart).

Otherwise, I think most of the common guidelines for etiquette apply.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:44 PM   #13
MacGiollaEoin
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

When I started competing 15+ years ago in the Pacific Northwest of the US I was taught to salute the judge. Nearly every piper did.

When I moved to the East Coast of the US 6+ years ago and began competing here I was told nobody salutes here. Rarely have I see any piper salute a judge here.

I've been back to the Pacific Northwest a couple of times since to compete and alot fewer pipers are saluting there now than I remember before.

Still, having been taught to do so when I began I still feel that I should, and sometimes I just salute the judge reflexively.

The judges from Scotland seem to appreciate it. The US judges, not so much.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:06 PM   #14
CampbelGal
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

Hi all! What a response!

First off, to set everyone at ease, I don't fidget around or "break faith" when I'm on duty as a piper. Though I never served in the military, I was brought up with the understanding that orders are given to be followed and you follow the last order given until told differently. Very thankful to my parents for teaching me that! Makes everything else in life a lot easier.

Helvetica, Thanks for all the tips! Most of these have been gone over with my instructor, but I'm still learning. I understand the part about never knowing till you get there... Just have to "be a piper". (My instructor tells me that all the time...)

Out of time right now, but I'll get back on the rest tomorrow! Thanks to all!!!
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
CampbelGal
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

Ended up getting a few more minutes to reply tonight...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
There's no one "correct" way of doing these things, including saluting[1]. Be smart, be on time, ask questions.

[1] - Though there is very definitely a wrong!
So true! I've found out that it's better to ask questions sooner rather than later... Like being contacted to play "Amazing Grace" for a Relay 4 Life. Not 2 verses, but a 1/4 mile of solid piping and who knows how many verses of the tune!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleJCS View Post
As a solo civilian piper in the US, if saluting the US flag is necessary I would suggest using the civilian salute (right hand over heart).

Otherwise, I think most of the common guidelines for etiquette apply.
Exactly what my instructor told me... The main question about saluting was when rather than how.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helvetica View Post
(I guess we'd say that, contrary to the norm, a good piper should be heard but not seen?)
So, do we stand at the back of the funeral gathering? If so, how do we get the signal from the officiating clergy?

Again, thanks to all!!!
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:39 PM   #16
McThistle
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

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Originally Posted by Steve Anderson View Post
But Boy Scouts aren't military and they salute....
Boy Scouts of America members only salute the US flag - Never people.

During WWII many of my father's scouts went into the military.
One wrote back that, during basic training, out of habit, he saluted
with the scout salute instead of the proper military salute.

His DI roared at him, "Soldier, you're not in the Boy Scouts anymore!"

His reply was, "I wish I were - SIR."
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:31 PM   #17
David
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

Interesting--here in Israel piping is a 100% civilian affair. No military association, or even paramilitary. For the most serious pipers, discipline is that of a music group, not a military outfit. Even though, we are close to 100% veterans, with active reserve duty. Maybe because marching, drill and spit-and-polish are not part of our tradition, it never made its way into piping. Even our one military brass band is minimal with marching skills--the drum major once clunked herself on the head in Red Square during an international parade. After boot camp, we hardly ever salute anyway.

I'd say that if a piper is not serving military, or in a civilian outfit with a paramilitary structure, and not a vet at a military commemoration or ceremony, stick to civilian custom because the people and the context is in fact civilian. In a military situation, give full due and respect to that tradition, but don't pull it into the civilian world. My experience, working with US Marine embassy guards, and lots of our won vets, is that soldiers don't expect, or even like, quasi-military behaviour from civilians, and civilians don't expect uniformed military to act civilian. Two different worlds.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:48 AM   #18
CampbelGal
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by McThistle View Post
Boy Scouts of America members only salute the US flag - Never people.

During WWII many of my father's scouts went into the military.
One wrote back that, during basic training, out of habit, he saluted
with the scout salute instead of the proper military salute.

His DI roared at him, "Soldier, you're not in the Boy Scouts anymore!"

His reply was, "I wish I were - SIR."
What a hoot! Being friends with a 6'4" WWII US Marine DI, I understand full well what went on... A DI sure can get their point across!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Interesting--here in Israel piping is a 100% civilian affair. No military association, or even paramilitary. For the most serious pipers, discipline is that of a music group, not a military outfit. Even though, we are close to 100% veterans, with active reserve duty. Maybe because marching, drill and spit-and-polish are not part of our tradition, it never made its way into piping. Even our one military brass band is minimal with marching skills--the drum major once clunked herself on the head in Red Square during an international parade. After boot camp, we hardly ever salute anyway.

I'd say that if a piper is not serving military, or in a civilian outfit with a paramilitary structure, and not a vet at a military commemoration or ceremony, stick to civilian custom because the people and the context is in fact civilian. In a military situation, give full due and respect to that tradition, but don't pull it into the civilian world. My experience, working with US Marine embassy guards, and lots of our won vets, is that soldiers don't expect, or even like, quasi-military behaviour from civilians, and civilians don't expect uniformed military to act civilian. Two different worlds.
Around here, even though pipers are civilian and not military, we are still expected to follow a good bit of the drill, etc. I have been attached to an Honor Guard and the Sgt. was quite clear that he wanted nothing but the best drill and deportment from me. I guess I passed the test for that one, because he said they'd have me back again in 2013 for their memorial. I'm not one to try and act 'military' when I am not, but I do try to render respect as expected. I only want to make sure I don't cross that fine line between respect and disrespect. Most folks in my area expect a military like 'stiffness' out of pipers. I'm really quite laid back, but I can be 'stiff' if that's what's expected of me. I am just curious if it is proper to follow drill for 'general public' performances, or if I'd be considered as disrespecting our servicemen and women by doing so. I hope I don't come across as if I am trying to argue, as that is not how I mean this at all! I am only, quite passionately, curious and want to do my best in everything. If it comes across in any other way, I am quite sorry as that is not what is intended!
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:52 AM   #19
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

Good discussion--especially as I have a base culture that isn't exactly western, and one that is very keen on leaving military culture out in the battlefield and camps, and not bringing it into civilian life.

I am aware from my time in the states that Americans have a European spit & polish tradition, and also that soldiers are all volunteers. Small town in Oregon, where I went to university, loves military and paramilitary in parades and on public holidays. In that culture, a pipe band would be in good tradition to remain at least paramilitary in outward decorum.

All I would ever say to anyone is, what you do, do it well, and do what suits your culture and nationality and custom.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:05 AM   #20
Spitfirepiper
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

True.

You do something right one way, you're doing wrong somewhere else.

Reminds me of a habit Americans have of saluting without a hat.

(Does Roger remember that?)
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