There is the long-held belief that Bagpipes were classified as an instrument of war and were banned in the Act of Prosription of 1746. This stems from the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising 1745. It is believed that bagpipes and their playing, were banned. Unfortunately history is always complicated.
On June 6, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a new rule governing the import, export, and sale of African Elephant ivory across state lines. This new rule strengthens and clarifies issues with the sale, ownership, and travel of ivory. Included in the rule are areas of interest to all musicians, which particularly affect bagpipe owners.
The Victoria Cross is the highest military award for members of the armed forces of the Commonwealth countries. This award is given for valor in the face of the enemy of the “most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valor or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.” We are going to look at three bagpipers who have won this award.
Competing at a highland games, or other venues, can be a nerve-wracking experience. There are so many things you have to think about. Do you have everything you need? Do you remember how the tune goes? Are your reeds going to behave? Do you know where the judges are going to be? There are all sorts of things going through your mind. These sorts of things can effect your performance almost as much as how you play. Having a set “Games Day” routine can help you manage these things and let you focus on your performance.
Hearing is the most important tool we have as bagpipers. Being able to tell if your bagpipes are in tune, to hear if you are playing in time with the rest of the band, even to hear the judge compliment your playing (hopefully.) Part 1 of this article discussed the mechanics of hearing and how damage occurs. Part 2 discussed how sound interacts with the ear and how best to protect it. In Part 3 we review a few different types of available ear plugs for musicians.
When selecting hearing protecting it is important to understand how humans hear sounds. Part 1 of this series discussed a the mechanics of hearing and how damage can occur. In Part 2 we will look at what we hear and the best way to protect it.
There are always peaks, plateaus, and valleys when trying to improve your playing. When you hit a plateau or slide into a valley, sometimes its hard get motivated. Sometimes at the end of a competition season it’s hard to keep the momentum going for the next season. This happened to me recently. It’s hard, but there are ways to get out of it.