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Some Reminiscences and the Bagpipe
By Alexander Duncan Fraser


PREFACE

This little work is the outcome of a series of lectures given by me at intervals during the last twelve years to different Highland Societies. It is also an expression of the indignation which so much false criticism of the Great War Pipe of the Highlands, repeated in my hearing year after year, has aroused within me.

I take this opportunity of apologising for the style and diction of the book—it is difficult for one so unused to the pen as I am, to change the spoken into the written word.

The few sentences in Gaelic are spelt for the most part phonetically.

My best thanks are due to all who have helped me in any way, and especially to those kind friends who have put themselves to much trouble and expense in their endeavour to add to my collection of Bagpipes.

In two or three instances, I have spoken in depreciation of other peoples’ writings, but the reputation of these writers stands too high to be affected by the criticisms of a single and unknown individual like myself.

The motives which have impelled me to write have nothing personal in them.

My whole life has been devoted to the relief of suffering, nor would I hurt for the sake of hurting, but if anything I have said here in defence of the “dear old Bagpipe” should happen to give offence to any man,—“even unto the least of these,”—I here and now heartily apologise.

In conclusion, allow me to state that no one can be more alive to the many imperfections of this work —to its many inaccuracies—than I am ; therefore gentle reader, however severe your criticism otherwise may be,

“ . . . Accuse me not
Of arrogance ...”

A. D. F.

CONTENTS

Chapter I — Introductory
Chapter II — Introductory
Chapter III — Introductory
Chapter IV — A Well-Abused Instrument
Chapter V — The Critics and the Bagpipe
Chapter VI — A Royal Instrument
Chapter VII — The Why and the Wherefore
Chapter VIII — Wanted: A Book on the Bagpipe
Chapter IX — Old New Year: A Reminiscence
Chapter X — An Interesting Byway
Chapter XI — The Delicately-Attuned Ear and the Bagpipe
Chapter XII — The Musician and the Bagpipe
Chapter XIII — A Highland Instrument
Chapter XIV — The Bagpipe, the National Instrument
Chapter XV — The Scottish Bagpipe
Chapter XVI — Bagpipe Influences at Work
Chapter XVII — Gaelic Song and the Bagpipe
Chapter XVIII — The Glamour of the Highlands
Chapter XIX — No Prehistoric Bagpipe in existence
Chapter XX — Ancient Myth and the Bagpipe
Chapter XXI — Piper Pan
Chapter XXII — Pallas Athene
Chapter XXIII — Theocritus and the Bagpipe
Chapter XXIV — The Classics and the Bagpipe
Chapter XXV — The Nativity and the Bagpipe
Chapter XXVI — An Old Tradition
Chapter XXVII — The Romans and the Bagpipe
Chapter XXVIII — The Spread of the Bagpipe
Chapter XXIX — The Piper
Chapter XXX — The Bagpipe in Scotland
Chapter XXXI — Piping and Dancing dying out in the Highlands
Chapter XXXIa — Skye in 1876
Chapter XXXII — The Chorus
Chapter XXXIII — The Great Highland Bagpipe
Chapter XXXIV — The Great Highland Bagpipe: Its Antiquity
Chapter XXXV — Mr Macbain and the Bagpipe
Chapter XXXVI — A Great War Instrument
Chapter XXXVII — The Pipe at Funeral Rites
Chapter XXXVIII — Bagpipe Music
Chapter XXXIX — Can the Bagpipe Speak?


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