Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bulgarian bagpipes

Bulgarian Bagpiper, entering Nessebar



A great deal of uncertainty, conflict and controversy surrounds the questions of the origins, evolution and distribution of bagpipes. At risk of throwing gasoline on the fire, the following opinions and speculations (with stress on those words) are offered here.
from: Hotpipes: Some notes on the history of the Bagpipe


Because he's a romantic, and possibly very old, soul, and because there's some tartan in the genes, my father has always had a thing for bagpipes.

Perhaps many do.

(I've seen bag-piping men amidst small-town-America parades, awkwardly abroad in kilts and knee-socks.)

With our hereditary link and gross-cultural-assumptions, we'd never questioned that a bagpipe was a Scottish thing. We imagined, I suppose, that the highland shepherds must have muddled into the making of the first with a stretch of hours, a goatskin, some pipes.

R entered our lives and set us straight.

Apparently, Bulgaria's charted a parallel claim - it's own very rich folk/traditional music heritage filled full of bagpipes.


Which would make some sense as their land supports a similar cast of shepherds, pastoral farmers and gypsies amongst whom (it's said) the instrument is much favored.

Dad remains a sceptic so for him, and the rest of the Scott-attributors, I post these photos as evidence.

C (adding fuel)

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