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  1. #1
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    Proper Pipe Band Decorum

    I was at the Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering this weekend and some mates talked me into filling out the ranks by joining in with the massed bands. I am not a band member, but knew the tunes and they needed some bodies to fill out the corps. My question is: what is the proper etiquette for the national anthems and the invocation. I was at respectful attention, my pipes on my left shoulder and during both, I removed my cover. It seemed most all of the rest of the pipers and drummers did not. I realized I didn't know the proper thing to do in the situation, but I wasn't part of a band and was obviously wearing a more civilian look for my traditional Highland wear--tweed jacket and waistcoat, brown brogues and a glengarry. You Xmarkers with band experience out there: what is the right thing to do? Thanks in advance.

    JMB

  2. #2
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    Hi, JMB. My advice would be that, even if you are not personally in a band, you are a member of the massed band. As such, band protocol would be to not remove covers.
    Did you enjoy being in the massed bands?
    "Touch not the cat bot a glove."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macman View Post
    Hi, JMB. My advice would be that, even if you are not personally in a band, you are a member of the massed band. As such, band protocol would be to not remove covers.
    Did you enjoy being in the massed bands?
    Macman:

    It was an experience. Playing in an ensemble is such a different set of skills from solo piping. Staying on the beat, the correct foot and trusting your fingers when you don't really hear yourself play is quite a change. My little bit of marching skills from high school marching band (sousaphone) are WAY out of date and this was jumping in the deep end hoping to remember how to swim. A howling bass drone was no help either. Oh, well, we learn by doing.

    JMB

  4. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Blupiper For This Useful Post:


  5. #4
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    I've been in a zillion Massed Bands over the years and have never seen bandsmen remove their bonnets. The Drum Majors should bring the Massed Bands to attention; sometimes they forget!

    BTW Glengarries, Balmorals, and Feather Bonnets are all referred to as "bonnets", also in the British Army as "headdress".

    American pipe band people often call their Glengarries "hats".

    When you see a band heading to the final tuning area, or heading from there to The Line, you'll hear the Pipe Major yelling "hats!"

    If he didn't do so, somebody would invariably forget their Glengarry!
    Last edited by OC Richard; 19th August 15 at 06:52 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  6. #5
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    I second OCRichard's comment. I, too, have never seen bandsmen in a massed band remove their bonnets for the playing of a national anthem. In fact, the only time I have ever known bandsmen to remove them on the field is when throwing them in the air to celebrate a win!

  7. #6
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    OK. My thanks to all. This was my first experience in a corps and I was trying to stay in the ensemble. It's definitely a set of skills that I could use some work on, but an interesting experience.

    JMB

  8. #7
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    I don't know if it helps or not but standard practice in the military here (RAF specifically, I'm not sure about the other two but Its similar) is for Officers to salute during the National anthem and NCO's and Enlisted Men stand at attention.

    Pipe bands would do the same with the Pipe/ Drum major out in front taking the salute if anyone is going to do it.
    The hielan' man he wears the kilt, even when it's snowin';
    He kens na where the wind comes frae,
    But he kens fine where its goin'.

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan View Post

    Pipe bands would do the same with the Pipe/ Drum major out in front taking the salute if anyone is going to do it.
    Yes exactly, the Drum Majors will salute, the bandsmen in the ranks just stand at attention, in pipe bands anyhow.

    In a civilian pipe band where there is no Drum Major, the Pipe Major will salute.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Yes exactly, the Drum Majors will salute, the bandsmen in the ranks just stand at attention, in pipe bands anyhow.

    In a civilian pipe band where there is no Drum Major, the Pipe Major will salute.
    Purely out of interest, OCR. Does a Drum/Pipe Major of an American civilian pipe band give an American style salute or a British army style salute? Or, is up to the individual?
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 23rd August 15 at 05:12 AM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  13. #10
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    Salutes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Purely out of interest, OCR. Does a Drum/Pipe Major of an American civilian pipe band give an American style salute or a British army style salute? Or, is up to the individual?
    Jock: As an aside to your question of OCR, in Canada the salute has evolved to something which is neither British or American and is used by most pipe/drum majors, both civilian and military. The one notable exception is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who use the "longest way up shortest way down" British method on all occasions.
    "All the great things are simple and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honour, duty, mercy, hope." Winston Churchill

  14. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Ordway For This Useful Post:


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