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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, 06:02 AM   #1
CampbelGal
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Default Etiquette and Traditions...

Does anyone know of a book or somewhere to get info on solo bagpiper etiquette and traditions? (Protocol for saluting, funerals, weddings, dinners, hats, etc.) Something that would be a go-to handbook for pipers...
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

I cannot specifically answer your question at this time, however I have quite a few friends on Facebook who are current or former British military pipers. I have posted your question to them and will get back with you as I hear something.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

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Originally Posted by CampbelGal View Post
Does anyone know of a book or somewhere to get info on solo bagpiper etiquette and traditions? (Protocol for saluting, funerals, weddings, dinners, hats, etc.) Something that would be a go-to handbook for pipers...
No idea about a book, but for funerals and other solemn ceremonies (e.g. remembrance day), I tend to try and dress and act appropriate to the occasion, so a uniform that's in top condition, a bagpipe that's been triple checked for any issues, and spare reeds and drone corks in the pocket just in case. (Pockets are better than sporrans for spare bits, it's much easier to search for them without drawing attention.) I stand at strict attention with feet at 10 and 2, and don't twitch, wiggle or adjust bits and bobs unless it seems like there's a pause to do so and it's necessary. In general, on very formal occasions I try to behave like those Buckingham palace guards. There is often a lot of standing around and waiting.

(I guess we'd say that, contrary to the norm, a good piper should be heard but not seen?)

Also, get as much information as you can in advance regarding what you're expected to do so you don't need to hassle the organizers at the last minute, or totally screw up partway through.

I used to fill out the ranks of a military pipe band as a civilan member (=highland regiment with not enough pipers) and was actually told that I was not expected to salute at any point in time. But others might have different ideas.

Weddings and dinners are generally a lot more relaxed. I've never had a clear idea in advance what to do, just make sure it's clear you have a person to communicate with, often hand signals are necessary, and simply a good idea of when to start and stop, even if you need to play the tune twice more than expected.

Anyway, that's my system.

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Old 11-27-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

I've got two manuals in .pdf format that may give you some of the info you're looking for. The "Manual of Elementary Drill 1935" and the "Regimental Drum Majors Assoc. Drill Manual for Pipes & Drums 2005."

If you'll PM your email address, I'll send them right out.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

Well one part is simple to answer....civilians dont salute.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
Steve Anderson
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

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Well one part is simple to answer....civilians dont salute.
But Boy Scouts aren't military and they salute....
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:13 PM   #7
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But Boy Scouts aren't military and they salute....
Except that isn't a proper salute
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

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Except that isn't a proper salute
With all the different versions of salutes it could easily be considered a salute, especially if you consider the intent more than the action.

From what I've seen, pipers rarely do salute though. The only instance I can think of is when the Pipe-Major salutes, and the rest of the band has done an "eyes right" when marching past the colours (try and keep marching straight for that). I've only seen that a couple of times, when the band isn't playing.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

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But Boy Scouts aren't military and they salute....
Other examples include, Shriners, Masons, St John Ambulance, Police officers, Fire-fighters, I've seen them all salute too, none are military.

I'm actually really interested in finding out the "proper" way of doing this too.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Etiquette and Traditions...

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!
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