Bagpipes are not unique to Scotland as from the dawn
of time bagpipes were common to many cultures. When Emperor Nero was
said to have been playing a fiddle whilst Rome burned, he could equally
as well have been playing the pipes. Nero was both a fiddler and piper.
Even the English King Henry VIII had five sets of bagpipes. Many pipes
are traditionally bellows-driven but in Scotland the Great Highland
Bagpipe is mouth blown and it was in the Highlands that the pipes came
into their own. The pipes played a vital part in Highland life, in peace
and war, and pipers developed the classical side of the pipes - Pibroch.
Piping colleges such as the Skye base of the MacCrimmons were vital to
the development of the Scottish piping tradition.
bands came about through service in the British army and the sound of
the pipes was carried to all parts of the globe. Piping out-with the
military is a enjoying a great revival, which was evident in the public
support to last week's Glasgow-based Piping Live festival which
culminated in Saturday's (13 August) 2005 World Pipe Band Championship
on a sunlit Glasgow Green.
More than 200 bands and
8,000 pipers and drummers from across the world - Europe, Australia,
Canada, USA, Pakistan and New Zealand - contested the various grades in
front of a 50,000 crowd. However a Scottish band bore the gree as The
House of Edgar Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band took the top prize in Grade
One. Second place went to Irish band The Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe
Band and The Simon Fraser University Band from Canada took third place.
Congratulations to Shotts and Dykehead on their splendid victory.
The weekend competition and other attractions, including Highland games,
Highland dancing, craft fair and special events commemorating the 700th
anniversary of the death of Sir William Wallace, marked the 75th
anniversary of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA), which
organises the World Championship.
have the opportunity to catch another great gathering of pipers this
Sunday (21 August 2005) in Edinburgh when Pipefest 2005 aims to have the
largest-ever gathering of pipers and drummers rally in aid of the Marie
Curie Care Cancer charity. The massive pipe band will be led for the
third time by Scottish Rugby legend Gavin Hastings. He captained
Scotland's rugby team 20 times and won the coveted Grand Slam. Visit
www.pipefest.com for full details
of an exciting day out for all the family.
Piping and whisky gang thegither and this week's
recipe is whisky based - Loch Almond.