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  1. #1
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Orange County California
    12 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)

    silly Piper figurine pose

    I admit this is a bit arcane, but part of depicting musicians is understanding how they hold their instruments both when the instruments are being played, and when they're not being played.

    There was a nice interview I read a while back with an actor who had to portray a musician in a film (as I recall a clarinet player). She spent some time observing musicians, paying particular attention to how they held their instruments when not playing them.

    It's brilliant from her because that's something that actors playing musicians on film nearly always get wrong.

    I'm a piper and I've spent a large chunk of my life playing in pipe bands therefore hanging out with other pipers. Pipers have certain ways of holding their pipes when not playing them.

    This is the military "pipes down" position, used when a piper is standing or marching and not playing.

    And this is typical for pipers in informal settings, having the pipes cradled in the arm

    So I had to laugh when I saw this figurine depicting a Napoleonic Wars Highland piper with sword in hand apparently about to rush into a fight, but with his pipes still in playing position on his shoulder! I can't imagine doing that. If you went into a fight you would put the pipes down somewhere, anywhere. Or at least you'd be holding them in your other hand, possibly held tight to the body in the usual military "pipes down" position. I know that military pipers in some periods had canvas bags to put their pipes in when they weren't playing them, I don't know if these existed in that period. But the pipes don't stay magically inflated and in place on your shoulder when you're running around like that.

    Yes the military has a "pipes up" position, which is used when the pipe band is about to start playing or if the pipe band is only taking short breaks between bouts of playing. I don't know if "pipes up" existed in 1809.

    But you wouldn't keep your pipes there when playing isn't what you're about to do.

    Also the figurine's drones have no ribbons or cords so they wouldn't stay on the shoulder anyway.

    Here's the figurine

    Last edited by OC Richard; 22nd May 18 at 05:36 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte


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