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History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

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Old 10-24-2012, 12:27 PM   #21
K Sanger
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

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Originally Posted by John Dally View Post
There were Lowland regiments at Culloden on both sides, for example, none of whom had pipers, afaik.
Err,
James Reid, Peter Robertson, John Sinclair, Nicholas Kerr (or Carr), and William Webster were all Lowland pipers in the 'Lowland' Jacobite Regiments.

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Old 10-24-2012, 02:29 PM   #22
John Dally
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

You are the master of such details, Keith, but did they play in battle? I don't pretend to be the scholar you are, but I haven't come across a reference of Lowland pipers performing the same function as Highland pipers in battle, and in particular at Culloden. It would be very enlightening to find a reference, especially if there is description of how they were used.
I do recall Pawky Adam Glen piped in a battle while in his 90s, but I don't recall which one, and I don't think he was attached to a particular regiment. I have assumed he was a Lowland piper from the area adjacent to Aberdeen, but the only sketch I have of him shows him playing very fine Highland pipes. By "fine" I mean small, as if they were what we would call Lowland pipes, but with drones in individual stocks. This image was one of the first to make me wonder if there was as much difference between Lowland and Highland pipes then as there is now.
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Last edited by John Dally; 10-24-2012 at 02:36 PM. Reason: call me pawky
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:39 PM   #23
paul roberts
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

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I agree with Paul above. It's not certain the pipers in the "Mole" painting are wearing Highland dress, although any certainty is impossible.
The pipers are helping the soldiers with their labor, not playing in battle, so it is speculation that this particular unit, Scottish Lowland or English, would have used pipers in battle, and so might not be listed in their records. Music has long been used to aid in the process of labor, especially work that is made more efficient by having many people work in rhythm with each other, like reaping, shoveling, lifting, passing things fire brigade style.
Yes, it seems perfectly feasible to me that they could have rustled up a few pipers out of the English and Lowland ranks to accompany this major engineering project. Indeed, they’d only need to find two pipers for Chinese whispering and artistic license to give us four. Tangiers was essentially a military city with a considerable garrison, and the bagpipe was still a popular instrument in 1683. I’m sure a similar garrison in 1783 could have rustled up a few fiddlers, and in 2003 could have rustled up a few guitar players.

There is certainly evidence for pipers in both Lowland and English military units in the 17th century. Keith I know has written on the subject as regards the Lowlands. As regards England, there’s not a lot of evidence in the public domain (I suspect for want of looking), yet it’s interesting that three of the four Restoration diarists so beloved of social historians (Evelyn, Pepys, Rereseby and Blundell) mention bagpipes several times, and of these two mention them in a military context.

In the English Army such men don’t seem to have been part of the official establishment in the modern manner. AFAIK all music except the drummers was paid for by the officers, or simply supplied by ordinary soldiers who happened to play an instrument. Thus musicians are either unlisted in the records or listed as “drummers”. I’ve an idea in Scotland the situation was already more formal? (Keith will know).
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:55 PM   #24
John Dally
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

Highland tactics are distinguished by three things, in what I've read: a horrible yell before the charge, a fierce near naked charge, and the sound of bagpipes. Each seems to be particularly Highland, or Gaelic, since Irish forces used the same tactics in fighting English Tudor armies. If Lowland regiments used bagpipes in the same way it reasons that the sound of bagpipes wouldn't have been such a shock as to be remarked upon, and it wouldn't have demoralized Lowland regiments.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:03 AM   #25
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

While probably not the painting of the discussion, there is an image in the book, Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850 (Google eBook), by Linda Colley, 2004, on page 39 entitled: "9. Demolishing Tangier's mole in 1684 byby Dirck Stoop" http://books.google.com/books?id=G3p...ole%22&f=false

Unfortunately the image on my computer is black and white (or grey scale) and I cannot get enough resolution on my screen to see if there are pipers in the image. Lookst to be a good image and one might get more detail in the real book.


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Old 10-25-2012, 08:23 AM   #26
K Sanger
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

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Originally Posted by paul roberts View Post
In the English Army such men don’t seem to have been part of the official establishment in the modern manner. AFAIK all music except the drummers was paid for by the officers, or simply supplied by ordinary soldiers who happened to play an instrument. Thus musicians are either unlisted in the records or listed as “drummers”. I’ve an idea in Scotland the situation was already more formal? (Keith will know).
There is a mountain of mythology which surounds the whole topic but the situation in Scotland, as mentioned by me in one of the previous posts was that from 1640ish to 1707, the Scottish Parliament provided for both pipers and drummers to be paid in the 'regular' regiments. That did not mean though that a regiment had to have a piper or drummer, nor given scribal lazyness that they were always designated as pipers rather than drummers in the muster rolls. (real rolls too as they were written on vellum).

Other musicians only seemed to appear around the start of those Scottish regiments raised for the Napolionic wars and they were also the first to be 'additions'. The way it seemed to work with the records I have seen was that the Colonel raising the regiment provided a sum of money to cover the 'band of musicians'.

In the case of one regiment raised in 1793, after the cost of engaging the band leader and buying the instruments had been covered there was little money left in the kitty, so the adjutant sent round a memo to the officers suggesting that rather than going back to the colonel for more money, as the musicians had been spread around with one in each company to provide a basic privates pay, that the extra pay they were due on was contributed by each companies own officers.

The memo went down like a lead balloon, so the poor adjutant had to go and explain to the colonel why the money had gone, may also explain why when that regiment was asked to help with the harvest the Colonel's wife volunteered the entire 'band of music'.

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Old 10-25-2012, 08:35 AM   #27
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

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Highland tactics are distinguished by three things, in what I've read: a horrible yell before the charge, a fierce near naked charge, and the sound of bagpipes. Each seems to be particularly Highland, or Gaelic, since Irish forces used the same tactics in fighting English Tudor armies. If Lowland regiments used bagpipes in the same way it reasons that the sound of bagpipes wouldn't have been such a shock as to be remarked upon, and it wouldn't have demoralized Lowland regiments.
The 'highland charge' as a tactic was said to have evolved with Alasdair MacColla in the first half of the 17th C. By the time of Culloden tactics had changed considerably and more modern work suggests a quite different picture at Culloden. (see for example Culloden, The History and Archaelogy of the last Clan Battle' ed. Tony Pollard, 2009).

Returning to the earlier period even then the general belief is that the piper inspired the men and worked them up before the battle commenced, but once the action got underway handed his pipes to his gillie and went in to fight with the rest.

I see little reason to doubt it, at some of the battle grounds the distance covered by the preferably down the slope charge was considerable and the piper if still playing would have been well behind and out of earshot.

Ever tried playing your pipes on the run?

Keith
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:31 PM   #28
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

Keith, thanks for the book recommendation. I will definitely look it up.
Yes, I know MacColla is credited with inventing the Highland charge, but IIRC many of his troops were actually Irish, although the distinction between Highland and Irish then was not nearly as clear as it is today. The same tactics are described as being used by the Irish Kearns and Galloglas fighting English Tudor armies, a century before MacColla, who spent a great deal of time in Ireland.
I didn't suggest that the pipers played while charging, just that bagpiping was one of the aspects characteristic of Highland tactics that devastated their Lowland foes at battles like Killiecrankie.
This raises the question, if Lowland regiments militarized bagpipes in the same way as Highland units then why were the Lowlanders reported to be demoralized by them?

As an aside, although I have not played my pipes at the run (always wondered about the Gurkhas who play while quick marching), I have been charged by a horse and rider while playing the pipes. It happened because I played at a wedding where the groom wanted to ride up on a horse. So, at the rehearsal the owner of the horse charged me several times to make sure the horse wouldn't spook at the sound of bagpipes. At first he circled me slowly, then got right next to me, and then charged at me a few times. It was caught on film here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17YqczWI2R8
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Last edited by John Dally; 10-25-2012 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:40 PM   #29
Texas Gael
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

John, great story and video about the charging horse. Horses (and cattle, too) love the Highland bagpipe. The woman who owns the property behind us has horses (and a donkey, too) who come up to the fence and stand there listening whenever I'm outside practicing my bagpipe. I've also found that deer like the bagpipe, too.

BTW your comments about Alasdair MacColla reminded me of another book questioning 'Highland' culture - http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/75988/...th-century-and

The discussion about illustrations of 18th century bagpipers always being portrayed as playing under the right arm got me thinking about the illustration of the bagpiper in John Prebble's book Mutiny, and I was able to find it online: http://www.prydein.com/pipes/etchings5/grose.html
Interesting that the bagpipe portrayed resembles a smallpipe more than the big pipe and appears to be two-drone.

Cheers -

Wes
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:04 PM   #30
John Dally
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Default Re: Painting of the "Mole at Tangiers"

Thanks for the link to the thesis, Texas Gael. Here are couple of other links that might be of interest to people following this thread:

The Invention of Tradition, ed. Eric Hobsbawm
http://www.powells.com/biblio/2-9780521437738-0

The Invention of Scotland, Hugh Trevor Roper
http://www.powells.com/biblio/65-9780300158298-0

The Early History of Piping in Ireland, Sean Donnelly, NPU/RSPBA(NI)
This last is OP
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