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Teacher's Lounge Pedagogy - the art or profession of teaching

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Old 02-14-2020, 05:54 PM   #11
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: WV to the OC
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Default Re: Shakespeare pipe lesson

Yes they were called the Union pipes.

Much controversy over just what that was supposed to mean.

Was union a corruption of uilleann or the other way round? Who can say.
proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: Shakespeare pipe lesson

Wikipedia has a pretty good summary of the timeline of the evidence - I don't think there's any major holes in it so far as I know:

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Old 02-17-2020, 03:55 AM   #13
Seán Donnelly
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Default Re: Shakespeare pipe lesson

If I remember correctly, Flood picked up what was ultimately a casual suggestion made in the 18th century by General Charles Vallancey, who was a notorious speculator in antiquarian and linguistic matters. The suggestion that union originated as uillinn was gaining momentum already in the 1880s, but it was Flood who seems to have really propagated it. It caught on in the heady atmosphere of the Gaelic Revival, but even as late as the 1930s and 40s, players still spoke of 'union pipes'. There's an excellent lecture on the terminology by Nicholas Carolan online at ITMA.ie., the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

As regards the original quotation from Shakespeare, I remember seeing a letter from an English official in Edinburgh who reported that a particular court-faction was playing James VI like a bagpipe. (A later English official who was returning to London wrote that there was a mob waiting for the opportunity to wreck his chapel, but that the organ would probably be spared because they would see it as a type of bagpipe!).
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