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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 03-14-2019, 02:29 PM   #1
Joseph Diodato
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Default Piping Books or Scottish culture books

Lately I've found myself reading more books on piping and Scottish culture in general. I just started A People's History of Scotland by Chris Bambery, and I'm also reading Francis Collinson's The Bagpipe: The History of a Musical Instrument

What piping or Scottish culture books have you read lately? Would love to know what the good folks of the forum are reading. Always looking for a good excuse to buy more books!

Cheers,
Joe
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My Piping Blog- A student's musings on learning the Great Highland Bagpipe.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:38 PM   #2
BaggyMcPipes
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Default Re: Piping Books

I really enjoyed, "Wayfaring Strangers," by Ritchie & Orr.

It's not bagpipe-specific, but it's a great read, treating, (basically,) the transatlantic journey of music from the British isles to the American continent.

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Old 03-14-2019, 03:28 PM   #3
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: Piping Books

Last books read:

Jacobites by Jaqueline Riding

Land of the Free by James Hunter

Currently on:

The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society by William Donaldson.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:10 PM   #4
Joseph Diodato
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Default Re: Piping Books

Thank you both for the recommendations! Will certainly add those titles to my list.
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My Piping Blog- A student's musings on learning the Great Highland Bagpipe.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:46 AM   #5
Pppiper
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Default Re: Piping Books

Along these lines, highly recommend:
  • Preposterous - Bill Livingstone, autobiography/memoirs
  • A Professional Piper in Peace and War - John Wilson, autobiography/memoirs
  • --- The above, not to be confused with Dr. C. A. Malcolm's "The Piper in Peace and War"

Livingstone's is more current (obviously), and I'm sure any piper would be quite captivated/enthralled by his writing & accounts. He was taught by Wilson, and thus references those memoirs frequently. This prompted me to search around and grab a copy of Wilson's. I'm glad that I did—if for no other reason than the fact that Wilson's is now starting to become hard to come by (more on this in a moment).

Both are exceptionally well-written, with many memorable accounts and stories. Lots of very cool insights into the world of piping, now and "then." I feel like any avid reader would really enjoy these books, but for anyone even remotely interested in piping, they're pretty much impossible to put down once you start.

Wilson's writing style is a bit drier, whereas Livingstone's style is (I find to be) quite rich and full of flavor. That said, Wilson's style doesn't take away from the writing, mind you—it's just different. In fact, when Wilson describes some of the more-amusing incidents (especially the account of what happened to his hand ... poignant at times, but overall it's actually a pretty funny story), they're made more hysterical being presented in Wilson's somewhat-reserved tone.

Livingstone's book came out a couple of years ago, and should be readily available. -- https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...n=new&qid=&sr=

As for Wilson's though, it seems to oscillate between gettable and impossible (without spending obscene amounts of cash). I just did a quick search (https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...=used&qid=&sr=), and it seems some copies have recently surfaced for around the $50 mark. I HIGHLY suggest grabbing one of these, and grabbing it NOW. A mere few months ago, I recommended this book to a friend, and he was a bit let down to find that a copy couldn't be had for less than about $150.

Anyway, I feel that both of these memoirs would be right up your alley. Hope you agree, grab them, and enjoy them as much as I have.

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:32 AM   #6
phinson
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Default Re: Piping Books

Joshua Dickson's "When Piping Was Strong" (piping in South Uist).


Any of Bridget MacKenzie's "Piping Traditions" series (North of Scotland, Argyll, Outer Hebrides, Inner Hebrides, and Skye).


Paul Hinson
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:03 PM   #7
will103
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Default Re: Piping Books

Hi, can I add "Set adrift upon the world: the Sutherland clearances" by James Hunter. Ta Will
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:06 PM   #8
will103
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Default Re: Piping Books

Oh forgot to add - "Dance to the Piper: The Highland Bagpipe in Nova Scotia" by Barry Shears.

Will
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:07 PM   #9
Mac an t-Sealgair
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Default Re: Piping Books

Quote:
Originally Posted by will103 View Post
Hi, can I add "Set adrift upon the world: the Sutherland clearances" by James Hunter. Ta Will
Absolutely fantastic book.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:10 PM   #10
Joseph Diodato
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Default Re: Piping Books

Thank you all for the excellent suggestions! Please see a compiled list below (sorted alphabetically by author last name), and I hope to add several titles of my own personal library soon!
  • A People's History of Scotland by Chris Bambery
  • The Bagpipe: The History of a Musical Instrument by Francis Collinson
  • When Piping was Strong: Tradition, Change, and the Bagpipe in Southern Ulst by Joshua Dickinson
  • The Highland Pipe and Scottish Society by William Donaldson
  • Land of the Free
  • by James Hunter
  • Set Adrift Upon the World: The Sutherland Clearences by James Hunter
  • Preposterous by Bill Livingstone (autobiography/memoir)
  • Any entry from the Piping Traditions series by Bridget MacKenzie (North of Scotland, Argyll, Outer Hebrides, Inner Hebrides, and Skye)
  • Jacobites by Jaqueline Riding
  • Wayfaring Strangers by Ritchie and Orr
  • A Professional Piper in Peace and War by John Wilson (not to be confused with Dr. C. A. Malcolm's The Piper in Peace and War)
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