Scottish Customs and Traditions

The Great Highland Bagpipe (Scottish Gaelic <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Gaelic_language>: a phìob mhòr; often abbreviated GHB in English) is a type of bagpipe

Scottish Customs and Traditions

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almost universally went into decline by the late 19th and early 20th centuries.widely famous for its role in military and civilian pipe bands, the Great Highland Bagpipe is also used for a solo virtuosic style called piobaireachd (aka pibroch <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pibroch>).popular belief sets varying dates for the introduction of bagpipes to Scotland, concrete evidence is limited until approximately the 15th century. The Clan Menzies <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Menzies> still owns a remnant of a set of bagpipes said to have been carried at the Battle of Bannockburn <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bannockburn> in 1314, though the veracity of this claim is debated. There are many ancient legends and stories about bagpipes which were passed down through minstrels and oral tradition, whose origins are now lost. However, textual evidence for Scottish bagpipes is more definite in 1396, when records of the Battle of the North Inch of Perth <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_North_Inch> reference "warpipes" being carried into battle. These references may be considered evidence as to the existence of particularly Scottish bagpipes, but evidence of a form peculiar to the Highlands appears in a poem written in 1598 (and later published in The Complaynt of Scotland <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Complaynt_of_Scotland> which refers to several types of pipe, including the Highland: "On hieland pipes, Scotte and Hybernicke / Let heir be shraichs of deadlie clarions." 1746, after the forces loyal to the Hanoverian government <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Hanover> had defeated the Jacobites <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobitism> in the Battle of Culloden <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Culloden>, King George II <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_II_of_Great_Britain> attempted to assimilate the Highlands <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Highlands> into Great Britain by weakening Gaelic culture <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaels> and the Scottish clan <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_clan> system, though claims that the Act of Proscription 1746 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Proscription_1746> banned the Highland bagpipes are not substantiated by the text itself. It was soon realised that Highlanders made excellent troops and a number of regiments were raised from the Highlands over the second half of the eighteenth century. Although the early history of pipers within these regiments is not well documented, there is evidence that these regiments had pipers at an early stage and there are numerous accounts of pipers playing into battle during the 19th century, practice which continued into World War I <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I> when it was abandoned due to the high casualty rate (though sporadic incidents of pipers playing into battle have occurred regularly since).Great Highland Bagpipe is classified as a woodwind instrument <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodwind_instrument>, like the bassoon <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassoon>, oboe <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oboe>, or clarinet <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarinet>. Although it is classified as a double reed <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_reed> instrument, the reeds are all closed inside the wooden stocks, instead of being played directly by mouth as other woodwinds are. The GHB actually has four reeds; the chanter reed (double), two tenor drone reeds (single), and one bass drone reed (single).modern set has a bag, a chanter, a blowpipe, two tenor drones, and one bass drone. The scale on the chanter is in Mixolydian mode <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixolydian_mode>, which has a flattened 7th or leading tone. It has a range from one whole tone <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_tone> lower than the tonic to one octave above it (in piper's parlance: Low G, Low A, B, C#, D, E, F#, High G, and High A; the C and F could or should be called sharp <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp_%28music%29> but this is often omitted).* Yet the notes played are actually in the key of B♭. Although less so now, depending on the tuning of the player, certain notes are tuned slightly off just intonation <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_intonation>, for example, the D could be tuned slightly sharp for effect. However, today the notes of the chanter are usually tuned in just intonation to the Mixolydian scale. The two tenor drones are an octave <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octave> below the keynote <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keynote> (Low A) of the chanter) and the bass drone two octaves below.developments have included reliable synthetic drone reeds, and synthetic bags that deal with moisture arguably better than hide bags.pipes were originally constructed of locally-available woods such as holly <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holly>, laburnum <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laburnum>, and boxwood <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxwood>. Later, as expanding colonisation and trade expanded access to more exotic woods, tropical hardwoods such as cocuswood <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocuswood> (the Caribbean), ebony <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebony> (West African and South and Southeast Asia) and African blackwood <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_blackwood> (Subsaharran Africa) became the standards in the late 18th and 19th centuries. In the modern day, synthetic materials, particularly Polypenco <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polypenco>, have become quite popular, particularly in pipe bands where uniformity of chanters is desirable.Gaelic word pìobaireachd simply means "pipe music", but it has been adapted into English as piobaireachd <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piobaireachd> or pibroch. In Gaelic, this, the "great music" of the GHB is referred to as ceòl mòr, and "light music" (such as marches and dance tunes) is referred to as ceòl beag.òl mòr consists of a slow "ground" movement (Gaelic ùrlar) which is a simple theme, then a series of increasingly complex variations on this theme, and ends with a return to the ground. Ceòl Beag includes marches (2/4, 4/4, 6/8, 3/4, etc), dance tunes (particularly strathspeys, reels, hornpipes, and jigs), slow airs, and more. The ceòl mòr style was developed by the well-patronized dynasties of bagpipers - MacArthurs, MacGregors <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=MacGregors&action=edit&redlink=1>, Rankins, and especially the MacCrimmons <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacCrimmon_%28piping_family%29> - and seems to have emerged as a distinct form during the 17th century.to many other musical instruments, the GHB is limited by its range (nine notes), lack of dynamics, and the enforced legato <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legato> style, due to the continuous airflow from the bag. The GHB is a closed reed instrument, which means that the four reeds are completely encased within the instrument and the player cannot change the sound of the instrument via mouth position or tonguing. As a result, notes cannot be separated by simply stopping blowing or tonguing so gracenotes and combinations of gracenotes, called embellishments, are used for this purpose. These more complicated ornaments using two or more gracenotes include doublings, taorluaths, throws, grips, birls. There are also a set of ornaments usually used for pìobaireachd, for example the dare, vedare, chedare, darado, taorluath and crunluath. Some of these embellishments have found their way into light music over the course of the 20th century. These embellishments are also used for note emphasis, for example to emphasize the beat note or other phrasing <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_phrasing> patterns. These three single gracenotes (G, D, and E) are the most commonly used and are often played in succession. All gracenotes are performed rapidly, by quick finger movements, giving an effect similar to tonguing <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonguing> or articulation on modern wind instruments. Due to the lack of rests and dynamics, all expression in GHB music comes from the use of embellishments and to a larger degree by varying the duration of notes. Despite the fact that most GHB music is highly rhythmically regimented and structured, proper phrasing of all types of GHB music relies heavily on rubato, the ability of the player to stretch specific notes within a phrase or measure. In particular, the main beats and off-beats of each phrase are structured, however, sub-divisions within each beat are flexible.

"Few attempts have been made hitherto to combine the bagpipes with classical orchestral instruments, due mainly to conflicts of balance and tuning," said composer Graham Waterhouse <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Waterhouse> about his work Chieftains Salute op. 34a for Great Highland Bagpipe and String Orchestra (2001). "A satisfactory balance was achieved in this piece by placing the piper at a distance from the orchestra."[7] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Highland_Bagpipe> Peter Maxwell Davies' Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise (1985) also features a GHB solo towards the end.GHB plays a role as both a solo and ensemble instrument. In ensembles, it is generally played as part of a pipe band. One notable form of solo employment is the position of Piper to the Sovereign <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_to_the_Sovereign>, a piper tasked to perform for the British sovereign, a position dating back to the time of Queen Victoria <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Victoria>.GHB is widely used by both soloists and pipe bands <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipe_band> civilian and

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