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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 07-17-2020, 03:50 PM   #1
Andrew Lenz
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Default Who invented the bagpipes?

Some interesting insight. Better than a lot of the "bagpipes were invented in Scotland" articles!

Who Really Invented The Bagpipes?
https://lethbridgenewsnow.com/2020/0...-the-bagpipes/

Andrew
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?



Ah, Andrew,

Time to get out the popcorn... and
just sit back...

Should be... an interesting Thread... :)

Many thanks!!

Pip01



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Old 07-17-2020, 11:52 PM   #3
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?

I’m waiting folks who are better historians than me to point out the errors...

Andrew
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?

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Originally Posted by Andrew Lenz View Post
I’m waiting folks who are better historians than me to point out the errors...

Andrew
The only thing accurate about it is the illustration, which clearly is NOT a bagpipe.
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Old 07-18-2020, 12:01 PM   #5
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?

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Originally Posted by Adam Sanderson View Post
The only thing accurate about it is the illustration, which clearly is NOT a bagpipe.
That's a big harsh, Adam. Surely, the "Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo puts on a spectacular performance".

I'm curious about this claim:
"Fortunately, the bagpipe’s iconic 'airbag' was added by the Romans, giving ancient faces a break."

Andrew
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Old 07-18-2020, 02:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Lenz View Post
:I'm curious about this claim:
"Fortunately, the bagpipe’s iconic 'airbag' was added by the Romans, giving ancient faces a break."
Sounds like a paraphrasing of comments made by Francis Collinson in his 'The Bagpipe' pages 44-56.

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Old 07-18-2020, 02:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Lenz View Post
I'm curious about this claim:
"Fortunately, the bagpipe’s iconic 'airbag' was added by the Romans, giving ancient faces a break."

A big ol' [citation needed] on that one, tbh. My understanding is that the earliest absolutely unambiguous definitely-a-bagpipe is the images of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, which are 13th century. There is a reference to a Roman monarch, likely Nero, playing a pipe "by tucking a skin beneath his armpits", which certainly sounds plausible.



But whether the bag was a Roman invention is a trickier question.
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?

Like most other writings on the subject that article makes a basic mistake in that it wanders back and forth between talking about bagpipes and instruments that are not bagpipes.

Clarinets are not bagpipes. Oboes are not bagpipes. The ancient antecedents to clarinets and oboes are not bagpipes.

No mouth-blown instrument, whether reedless (like flutes) or single-reed or double-reed are bagpipes. Only instruments with bags are bagpipes.

So yes in ancient Sumer and Egypt and Greece and Rome mouth-blown reed instruments existed. We have some actual instruments, we have paintings, we have sculptures.

Competition in Aulos-playing was part of the ancient Olympics. Prostitutes played the Aulos (Greek name) and Tibia (Latin name) on the streets to attract customers, leading to ordinances banning the playing of the Aulos in cities.

None of those things were bagpipes. The imagery couldn't be clearer.

AFAIK the first appearance of a bagpipe in the history of the world is a written account of Nero. The writer had no name for the instrument, meaning that it was a novelty. He says that Nero played the Tibia both in the ordinary way with the mouth, and by using a utricularis in his armpit. "Utricularis" is a bladder or animal skin used to store wine, or filled with air as a floatation device, as with Roman military pontoon bridges.

Then there are Roman sculptures showing early pipe-organs which appear to be aired with a bag, though the evolution of the pipe-organ is a separate thing than the evolution of the instrument under discussion. (I think we can agree that bagpipes and pipe organs are different instruments.)

And there's at least one Roman sculpture showing what might be a single drone (no chanter) aired with a bag. If that's what it is, perhaps to accompany singing, it would suggest that the drone pre-dated the chanter. There are European traditions of flute duets, one flute holding a drone note, and vocal duets, one voice singing a drone note. Whether these traditions evolved before or after bagpipes appeared, who can say.

After Rome we have no evidence for bagpipes until they begin appearing in Mediaeval illuminated manuscripts. Note that these initially have a chanter only, no drone, and later a single drone is added. This suggests that the chanter pre-dated the drone.

In any case all the evidence, and the age-area hypothesis, suggest a European origin for the bagpipe.

(An alien race visiting Earth would immediately know that English originated in Britain due to applying the age-area hypothesis: English has a far greater variation in a far smaller area in Britain that it does in North America or Australia.)
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 07-19-2020 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Lenz View Post
Some interesting insight. Better than a lot of the "bagpipes were invented in Scotland" articles!



Who Really Invented The Bagpipes?

https://lethbridgenewsnow.com/2020/0...-the-bagpipes/



Andrew
Has anyone ever written an article claiming that "bagpipes were invented in Scotland"?
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?

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Originally Posted by Armorican View Post
Has anyone ever written an article claiming that "bagpipes were invented in Scotland"?
I've seen some supposed professionals with a tendency for drivel do so.
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