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

    More nonsense about bagpipe histrory

    It's disappointing and annoying to see the same groundless myths repeated about the bagpipes over and over.

    By the mere repeating of them, these myths gain an undeserved aura of truth, which dissipates like fog hit by sunshine when a person takes the trouble to look at the evidence.

    Just now I went on the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games site, and the first sentence on their Piping & Drumming page begins:

    Just as the invading Roman legions brought bagpipes to Scotland...

    To put it into perspective, there's exactly the same amount of evidence that bagpipes were introduced into Scotland by aliens from Mars.

    There were musicians in the Legions and we have clear depictions of them, in both painting and sculpture. Roman soldiers played the cornu, a long trumpet with the tubing curved into a big circle.

    There's only one piece of evidence for a Roman bagpipe, the verbal description of Nero playing one. The contraption was so novel that the writer had no name for it, and had to describe it: an aulos (shawm) played by means of a wine-skin in the armpit.

    If bagpipes had been known in the Roman world a Roman writer would have seen them and had a name for them.

    After the Nero account, which is the first evidence for a bagpipe in the history of the world, there's silence until a bagpipe appears in a 9th century illuminated manuscript, 800 years after Nero played his novel instrument.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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