Jump to content
Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

OT: Bagpipes in NYC on St. Paddy's Day


Eric Iverson

Recommended Posts

I was out and about today and saw a bunch of Irish bagpipers ready for the parade.

 

It sounded like a bunch of cats in heat, even after they tried to tune them with an electronic tuner!

 

However, I decided not to tell them so, because:

 

1) They didn't ask me for my opinion.

and, more importantly:

2) There were a lot more of THEM than one of me!

 

But I am telling you guys! So there!

Eric the Instigator

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 27
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I think you know who's up next...

 

 

http://www.salvationarmysouth.org/sessions/5152/Intercessors%205152%20%20Accordians.jpg

 

 

:D

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uillean pipes are nice, though, IMHO! At least they're not so freakin' out of tune!

 

But a have a bagpiper friend I see in the subway and I always chat with him. I told him that the pipes were out of tune and he explained to me that in fact they were BETTER in tune that most instruments because of the drone - couldn't prove it by me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They do serve a respectful purpose, though, at funerals and certain occasions. Don't know whether any of you have attended NAMM's annual memorial services at 5 PM on the first night of the winter session, but a bagpipe "orchestra" plays while marching from parts unknown into the front lobby, pictures or video cuts are projected of those who passed during the previous year, and then the bagpipers play again and march off into silence. Fingernails on a chalkboard make me cry, too, but not in the same emotional way as this. I highly recommend the event for anyone who can make it. It's a good release if you've lost anyone you cared for.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jeff Klopmeyer:

Wait... I thought bagpipes were Scottish.

I'm thinking the Irish pipers that were seen were actually playing Uillean pipes .

 

Bagpipes are definitely not uniquely nor exclusively a Scottish instrument. From the Wikipedia entry on bagpipes :

 

The Dark Ages have left us practically nothing regarding bagpipes or their position in societies. Prior to the 12th century, only a few Pictish and Irish stone carvings record the continued existence of bagpipes during this time.

 

When they were first introduced to the British Isles is debatable. Findings of statuettes of bagpipers in Roman era archeological digs in England could indicate a diffusion of the bag technology from that vector. Ireland has references going back at least to the Middle Ages, as well as the stone carvings previously mentioned which date back to the 8th century. An explosion of popularity seems to have occurred from around the 12th century; the tune used by Robert Burns for "Scots Wha Hae", "Hey Tutti Taiti", is traditionally said to have been the tune played as Robert the Bruce's troops marched to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. During the 12th century, Europe underwent a flourishing of art and culture as her horizons were being expanded with the crusades. The bagpipes were no exception, and many of Europe's unique bagpipes began to develop around this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. They are, though, primarily associated with Scotland these days, right?

 

I (being in the minority, as usual), really like bagpipes. I think they make powerful timbres that are nearly impossible to properly emulate with electronic instruments.

 

Anyone kow of any bagpipe sample libraries? :D

 

- Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the popular (or unpopular, depending on the listener ;) ) impression is that they're Scottish; that's the most-often heard incarnation:

 

http://europeforvisitors.com/europe/images/plan_scotland_bagpiper_v.jpg

 

It's a shame, really, because (as someone previously mentioned) Irish pipes are truly gorgeous sounding instruments. :thu:

 

If you ever have an opportunity, try to attend a traditional Irish "session" (basically an informal jam). Button Box, Bodhran (hand drum), guitar, mandolin, etc. When done well, it's a great way to spend an afternoon. A pint of Guinness, good music, good friends... :thu:

 

Sorry, no leads on a sample library, though. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The club I worked last night hired an Irish pipe player too add a little color. He'd go about 10 minutes in between my sets... I was a one-man-band last night. The reaction was mixed. They were expecting to sing along to "My Wild Irish Rose" and "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling". That's not what he did. It was sure loud!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jeff Klopmeyer:

I (being in the minority, as usual), really like bagpipes. I think they make powerful timbres that are nearly impossible to properly emulate with electronic instruments.

 

Anyone kow of any bagpipe sample libraries? :D

I know of none that are exclusively bagpipes. However, bagpipes are often included in collections. For example, both Quantum Leap Ra and Colossus include bagpipes; and my recollection is that MOTU plans to include bagpipes as part of their Ethno instrument when it's released in the next month or so.

 

Perhaps you might like what Nick Phoenix, producer of Quantum Leap Ra, has to say about bagpipe ensembles:

 

Nick Phoenix quote :

Another cool aspect of this virtual instrument is the fact that we recorded ethnic ensembles. This was done with African drums, bagpipes, gamelan and a Middle Eastern string section. The sound of these ensembles cannot be realistically simulated by layering solo instruments.

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I read an old article in Keyboard about sampling bagpipes, where the author stated, "the tuning is pretty out" and that it sounded like "brazen noise". There is a REASON it's hard to sample!

 

But it probably be hard to sample Delta blues, too, which I love... or even some Coltrane and Ravi Shankar things, but here we're getting into blasphemy..

 

Seriously, computers are wonderful tools, but there are certain things they just don't GET, since after all, they have no feelings. This has nothing to do with whether you like bagpipe music or Delta blues or any other!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Researchers at Johns Hopkins are very close, I understand, to locating the errant gene responsible which predisposes some to take up that instrument.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lol..... despite the potential ridicule I am about to face, the bagpipe is the instrument that I wanted to learn to play but never did.

seriously...somethign about hte instrument touches me.

my undergrad school in riverside, california had some scottish roots for whatever reason. And every friday a bagpiper (is there such a word), would play.. I personally loved it...however the drone I could do without.....and you keep hoping the drone will move off the tonic.....

worse if you are playing in a key that the drone is NOT in...

rsp

richard sven

sound sculptist

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to be the tuning nazi. If andybody was out of tune, I made it known. Sometimes it resulted in better tuning and a better sound. Often it just annoyed folks. These days I'm more likely to quaff a pint of tuning fluid and keep my mouth shut. Few are more skilled at using tuning fluid, and nothing but, than bagpipe players. I think they're played at funerals to make everybody envious of the dead guy.
--wmp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think we need to be tuning Nazis, so to speak... but with tuners these days, we guitarists and others can get in tune with 440 very easily and quickly, and I fail to understand those who can't be bothered to at least do THAT!

 

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that the instrument has good intonation, and sometimes a player with a good ear will make certain adjustments to temper the whole instrument, but it's certainly a start!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Eric Iverson:

I don't think we need to be tuning Nazis, so to speak... but with tuners these days, we guitarists and others can get in tune with 440 very easily and quickly, and I fail to understand those who can't be bothered to at least do THAT!

It's not a string pulled to a constant tension. The intonation of bagpipes is a factor of pressure on the bag, which is compressed by the player's arm. I could see how this might be difficult to maintain constantly. If you don't like the drift, run it through Auto-Cher.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by zvenx:

lol..... despite the potential ridicule I am about to face, the bagpipe is the instrument that I wanted to learn to play but never did.

seriously...somethign about hte instrument touches me.

my undergrad school in riverside, california had some scottish roots for whatever reason. And every friday a bagpiper (is there such a word), would play.. I personally loved it...however the drone I could do without.....and you keep hoping the drone will move off the tonic.....

worse if you are playing in a key that the drone is NOT in...

rsp

I'd never ridicule you for your personal taste.

 

The bagpipes are designed for modal music, not music that goes through different key centers. I seem to remember a guy named Rufus Harley who played jazz on bagpipes. I wonder how it would be possible to play, say, "All The Things You Are" on that instrument, with that drone going on all the time!

 

I also seem to remember Richard Thompson doing some cool bagpipe derived ideas on guitar, come to think of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.roughedge.com/cdreviews/i/images/inextremosunder.jpg

 

In Extremo's "Sunder one Zugel" (which translates, I've read, to "Unbridled Sinner) is another collection of majestic heavy metal tunes adorned with non-typical heavy metal instruments from the creative German band. In this case, once again, the bagpipe is the most notable.

 

What's perhaps most fascinating about these purveyors of "German folk metal" is how well they pull it off. You wouldn't think that bagpipes, glockenspiels and what sounds like a power saw (in track 6, "Vollmond") would play well next to a chunky electric guitar, but they do. In Extremo's arrangement and unique style of songwriting make every instrument not only fit, but seem necessary. It gives the band's sound a unique atmosphere and, again, majesty that makes everything bigger than life.

 

"For instance" is not proof.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A person that plays the bagpipes is commonly referred to as a piper, but bagpiper is also correct. :)

 

As for heavy metal/hard rock, AC/DC showcased'em on It's A Long Way To The Top. When Classic Albums Live did the Back In Black album here in Toronto, we had a pair of pipers join the band on stage (we did that tune as an encore). For those interested, the pipers were Rob and Sandy Campbell from The Mudmen . :thu:

 

http://www.classicalbumslive.com/media/calphotos/CALScrapbook/damianandrobcampbell.jpg

 

For the record, the boys were dead on in terms of pitch. :D The crowd absolutely loved it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While on the subject of pipers....

 

Years ago CBC radio played a pipe version of Vna Halen's "Eruption". It's been years, but I thought it was cool. In the meantime I've had no success finding an mp3 or any reference to that online.

 

Anyone????? Anyone?????? Beuler???????

Peace,

 

Paul

 

----------------------

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in the drum section of a pipe band for a few years as a teenager. Pipes were never intended to be played with other instruments, and sound "out of tune" when we compare them to the tempered scale in our heads. The chanter is capable of playing only nine pitches. Each of the notes is "tuned" to create a certain overtone effect relative to the three drones. If you stand in the middle of 12 or 15 pipes playing together, you hear a second melody of overtones similar in effect (but MUCH louder) to those guys that can sing two or three notes at once. This sound bypasses the intellect and speaks right to the soul, particularly for those of us with Celtic blood in our veins. You CAN pull pipes into tune with other instruments by taping around the holes - does anyone remember "Scotch On The Rocks" and "Amazing Grace" being on the radio in the 70's? - but tuning them like that kills the overtones and immasculates the sound. My point is it makes no more sense to say the pipes are out of tune than it does to say the sitar is out of tune. The instrument is simply part of another musical tradition.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Sven Golly:

For the record, the boys were dead on in terms of pitch.

I can believe that. As with any instrument, there are good players and instruments, and not so good. The folks doing the parades aren't in the same league as those guys.

 

I heard pipers from both New York and Boston this year. The Boston guys were much worse.

--wmp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jeff Klopmeyer:

Interesting. They are, though, primarily associated with Scotland these days, right?

 

I (being in the minority, as usual), really like bagpipes. I think they make powerful timbres that are nearly impossible to properly emulate with electronic instruments.

 

Anyone kow of any bagpipe sample libraries? :D

 

- Jeff

Sample Libraries, no. Not everything can and should be sampled.

 

DASH Signature has the Knagalis which does bagpipes among other things.

 

Example

 

The Yamaha VL1 has a nice Highlands patch which goes way out of tune when you let up on the breath pressure. Left hand for the drone and right hand melody, proper scale and all.

 

Bagpipes are a beautiful sound, IMHO. Distorted guitar on the other hand, is an aquired taste.

 

Busch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by wmp:

I think they're played at funerals to make everybody envious of the dead guy.

LOL

 

I also thought bagpipes were a Scottish thing. Oh, the things I learn

here!

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...