Monday, September 12, 2011

Paul Roberts plays Lowland Pipes

Paul Roberts plays 'Malcolm Caird's Come Again' from George Skene's 1717 manuscript from the North Eastern Lowlands; currently the oldest known notated Scottish bagpipe music.

The border pipes are a type of bagpipe related to the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe. It is perhaps confusable with the Scottish smallpipe, although it is a quite different and much older instrument. Although most modern Border pipes are closely modelled on similar historic instruments, the modern Scottish smallpipes are a modern reinvention, inspired by historic instruments but largely based on Northumbrian smallpipes in their construction.

The name, which is modern, comes from Scotland's border country, where the instrument was once common, so much so that many towns there used to maintain a piper. The instrument was found much more widely than this, however; it was noted as far north as Aberdeenshire, south of the Border in Northumberland and elsewhere in the north of England. Other names have been used for the instrument: Lowland pipes and reel pipes in Scotland, and in Northumberland. However, the term reel pipes historically refers to instruments similar to Highland pipes, intended for indoor use. The term half-long pipes is now used to refer particularly to surviving examples from the 1920s when there was a partially successful attempt to revive the instrument.

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