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Story of the Bagpipe 

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THE STORY OF ORATORIO. By Annie Patteuson, 

B.A., Mus. Doc. With Illustrations. 

Wii.i.iAMS, M.A., Mus. Bac. \Vith Illustrations. 

Williams, M.A., Mus. Bac. With Illustrations. 

KiLuuKN, Mus. Bac. With Illustrations. 

With Illustrations. 

Flood, Mus. Doc. With Illustrations. 

Williams, M.A., Mus. Bac. With Illustrations. 


Duncan. With Illustrations. 

Lucas. With Illustrations. 
THE STORY OF OPERA. By E. Maukham Lre, 

M.A., Mus. Doc. With Illustrations. 
THK STORY OF THE CAROL. Bv Edmondstoune 

Duncan. With Illustrations. 

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z:«i _--:- ■ •Jix.%::- 


g Story of the Bagpipe 


Wm. H. Grattan Flood 

Mus. Doc, National Universitv of i r-'lant ; Cy^ 

Author of " History of Iki'^h Music,' f v 

Story of the Harp, etc. 


The Walter Scott Publishing Co.. Ltd. S# 
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 



(the padkaig), 

the descendant of the 

kings ok ossory, 
a votary and patron of 



To most persons the liag"pipe is associated willi the 
strident skirl of an instrument inseparably bound up 
with memories of " bonnie Scotland." But when it is 
remembered that the genesis of the pipes goes back to 
the remotest antiquity, and that the instrument can 
rightly be claimed as the precursor of the organ, the 
raison d'etre of a work like the present stands in need of 
no apology. Yet, strange to say (as was also the case 
of The Story of the Harp), no handy volume has hitherto 
been accessible dealing with the history of the bagpipe, 
though, of course, various phases of the instrument 
have from time to time been treated by foreign and 
British authors. 

Mr. J. F. Rowbotham would have us believe that the 
dnan is the oldest of all instruments; but I see no 
reason in life why the pipe cannot claim a similar 
antiquity. The primitive form of reed blown by the 
mouth must date back to a very early period in the 
world's history, and Mr. St. Chad Boscawen assures 
us rnat there are Chaldean sculptures of about B.C. 4000 
with a representation of the pipes. Egypt and Persia 
gave the lead to Greece and Rome, and, as a matter 
of fact, beating reeds have been discovered within the 
pipes found in Egyptian mummy cases. The Pandean 


Story of the Bagpipe 

pipe was merely a development of the simple reed-pipe, 
and it is now ascertained that the ancient Eg'vptians 
employed the bag"pipe drone. 

Coming" down to modern times, the bagpipe was the 
fashionable instrument at the French court under 
Louis XIV. It will probably surprise some Philistines 
of our day (who scoff at the bagpipe) to hear that the 
titled dames of France at the close of the seventeenth 
century proudly carried round their pipes in white silk 
cases with pale pink ribbons, and played on the imisette. 

And surely those who have read the histories of the 
Highland regiments will admit that the martial ardour 
inspired by the pioh 7nor contributed not a little to the 
many victories on record. The Highland pipes were in 
evidence at Assaye, Ciudad Rodrigo, Vittoria, Vimiera, 
Quatre-Bras, Waterloo, and other engagements. 
Similarly, the Irish pipes were effectively heard at 

In the following pages I have endeavoured to tell 
the story of the bagpipe, and to weave the known 
facts of its history into a connected narrative. 

For much kind help in preparing this volume I must 
express my indebtedness to Lord Castletown, Mr. 
W. J. Lawrence, the Rt. Hon. Dr. M. F. Cox, the late 
Dr. Watson, Mr. Henry Egan Kenny, Mr. Bruce 
Armstrong, Mr. F. J. Bigger, and Mr. J. J. Buckley. 



Octob'r, 191 1. 





The Book of Genesis — Nel)uchadnezzar's band — Chaldean 
sculptures — The Pandean pipe — The simple reed— Origin of 
the flute — The pipe with the bag — Primitive organ at Aries — 
The hydraulua or water organ — Various names for the 
bagpipe i 



Ancient Egypt — The Arghool— Artificial reeds — Persian bagpipes 
— Sculptures in Assyria and Nineveh — Terra-cotta repre- 
sentations at Tarsus — Bruce's discovery of a reed-pipe at 
Thel)es— Chinese traditions — The bagpipes of Northern and 
Southern India — The chorus — Biblical references — Clement 
of Alexandria — St. Jerome on the bagpipe — First Christmas 
legend 7 



Ancient Greece — Dion Chrysostomos — Martial describes the 
askaulos — Virgil's reference to it — Nero's vow to be a liag- 
piper — Contorniate representations — Greek sculpture in 
Rome — Sculptured bronze at Richborough — Aulus Gellius — 
Aristides Quintilianus — Procopius's testimony — The Capis- 
trum -...------- 14 

Story of the Bagpipe 




I're-Chrislian Ireland — The Brehon Laws —A Saga of the seventh 
century— The iinne or cclharcoirc — Gcrbert's ilkistration — 
The I)agpi]ie in church— Keeners with pipers in the tenth 
century — The Dord I-'iaitsa — Cuan O'Lochain — Pedal point 
— Giraldus Cambrensis — Geoftrey the piper — William the 
piper — Irish pipers in Gascony and Flanders — The Irish war- 
]iipes at Calais— Battle of Falkirk — The pioh iiior at Crecy — • 
Statute of Kilkenny — Pipers admitted to the Dublin 
franchise ..-..-.... iq 



Iribh colonists in Wales — Testimony of Kuno Meyer — Iri>h origin 
of the Eisteddfod — Bardic system borrowed from Ireland — 
Ikiwell the GocmI — Battle of Carno — Eisteddfod at Caerwys 
— Prince Howell the poet — Brompton, Abbot of Jervauix 
— Gerald Barry — Morris's Welsh collection - - - - 



Celts in England — Roman remains— Anglo-Saxon pipes — The 
Anglo-Normans — Lilt pipes and corn pipes — The pipe 
in church— Minstrels' Gallery at Exeter — Ralph the i)iper — 
Janino Chevretter — Strutt's illustration of early English 
bagpipes— The King's Band of Music in 1327 — Barbor and 
Morlan — Chaucer's Miller — Richard II. patronizes pipers — 
William of Wykeham — Morris dances — May games — John 
Gate ... 




1 AL,E 

Scotland (jets the bagpipes from Ireland — Fergus MacErc — 
(iiraldus Cambrensis — Battle of Bannockburn — David II. 
employs bagpipers — Oldest dated bagpipe — Battle of liarlaw 
— lames I. patronizes the bagpipe — Battle of Inverlochy — 
.Angelic piper in Rf)sslyn Chapel — Sculpture in Melrose 
Abbey — The hog bagpiper — The bagpipe in religious pro- 
cessions — Edinburgh Corporation Band — The complaint of 
Scotland — James IV. and the bagpipes - - - - 43 



Extravagant claims — " Scots wha hae " — "The Battle of Ilarlaw " 
— "The Battle of Flodden Field'" — "The PMowers of the 
Forest"— "The Souters of Selkirk'' — "The Bunny E^rl of 
Moray" — "John .■\nderson my Jo" — " The Cockelbie Sow '' 
"Macintosh's Lament" — "Tiic McKae's March" — "Adew 
Dundee" — " Ginkertowne " — Scotch tunes printed at Paris 
in 1554 — Braille cfEscosse -----.- 



I'ipers at the Scottish Court — George Buchanan — John Ilastie — 
Scotch war-pipes in 1549— The bagpi]ie in a religious jiro- 
cession — St. Andrew's pipers — The pipers of Stirling — 
James \T. and the bagpipes — Battle of Balrinnes — Highland 
pipes — Lindsay of rittscoltie— Highland warlare — Burgh 
pipers — Clan pipers 62 

Story of the Bagpip< 




Town pijiers of Vienna — Let^end of the Pied Piper of Ilamelin — 
Guild of Minstrels — I'ipers in Paris — Pipers in Spain — 
Boccaccio's reference to the bagpipes — Calabrian pijiefD — 
Virdung describes the baijpipe — Schalmey and Sackpliefe — 
Denis Roce — Aibrecht Diirer — Luscinius's AJtisiogia — 
Martin Agricola — Statue of piper at ^Juremberg— Ba^'pipe 
in church — Bulgarian and Servian bagpipes — The Volynka 
— Hungarian pipes — Olaus Magnus — Dance of Death - 69 



Inglis j.yparis" at the Scottish Court — Pudsey the piper — 
Elizabeth of York — Henry VHI. a patron of the pipes — 
Richard Woodward — May games — Morris dances — (^ueen 
Elizabeth's Band of Music^Drayton's PoIyolb,oii — Lincoln- 
shire pipers — Shakespeare's bagpipe allusions — Worcester 
anil Lancashire pipers — Nottingham pipers — The Coventry 
Mysteries .--....--. Si 



Diirer's Irish piper — The siege of Boulogne — The piob mor — 
Slanihurst's description — William Good, S.J- — State 
jiardoiis to pipers— Camden's account — Vinccnzo "Galilei — 
Derrick's limine of Ireland — Shakespeare's "woollen " ];ipes 
—Battle of the Yellow Ford— Dermot MacGrath— Battle of 
the _ Curlews — Rinnce fada — The sword dance — F) nes 
Morison -.-....... ^9 


nxc.LisH HAcrirES under ttik stuarts. 


Ren Jonson — King James's proclamation — Morris Dances — 
BriUuu'ia s Pastorals— London minstrels — An English bag- 
piper of 1637 — The King's Band of Music — Ilowitt the 
piper — Lancashire bagpipers — Yorkshire pipers — Playford's 
Dancing Master — The Restoration epoch — Butler's IlnJihras 
— Thomas Oynion — Northumberland pipers — The Koyal 
Voyage — Gradual ilisappearance of English pipers — Hogarth's 
" Southwark Fair "--.--..-gg 



Drone bass — Pedal point — Faux Bourdon and Gymel — Progres- 
sions of thirds and sixths — Irish influence in Northunibria — 
Guide's Micrologits — Fitzwilliam Virginal Book — Mr. Byrd's 
Battle — Byrd's Galliard — "The Woods so Wild" — Lanca- 
shire hornpipes — Handel's Pastoral Symphony — Irish Cronan 
— " Ballinderry" — Bach's Loure — Spohr's "Piftero" - 



State pardons — Ben Jonson's Irish Masque — War-pipes — The 
Cunfederale period — " Lament for Owen Roe " — '• Battle of 
Knijcknanoss " — " MacAlistrum's March" — Irish pipers in 
the I'.ubadocs — Pipers of the King's Company — Ihe wolf 
and the piper — Siege of Dcrry — Persecution of pipers under 
King William — Battle of Cremona - - - - - 114 

Story of the Bagpipe 




Praetorius and Mersenne — Cornemese — Musette — Destouches, the 
royal piper — The Band of the Grand Ecurie — Borgon's Traite 
de la Musette — French ladies play the bagpipe— John Francis 
O'Farrell — ^Jean IJapiisle Lully — David's " Musette Player" 
— The Prince de Conde patronizes the bagpipe — Ilotteterre's 
Rleihode pour la Mitseitc — Henri Baton — Phiiipj^e Chede- 
ville — Jean Fery Rebel — French regimental pipers - - 121 



Playing on the " great pipe" in 1623 — Highland pipers in 162S 
— Aberdeen rejects the town pipers — The clan pipers — 
MacLeod of Dunvegan — The MacCrimmons — "Lament for 
MacLeod" — Regimental pipers — Popularity of the kill — 
"Battle of Inverlochy" — "I got a kiss of the king's 
hand" — "Lord Breadalbane's March" — Needham's satire — 
Sir Archibold Johnstone — The piper of Kilbarchan — Thomas 
Kirke — Introduction of the great drone — Skye College of 
Pipers — The MacArthurs - - - - - - - 12S 



Legend of the Clach a fhiohair — Battle of Killiecrankie — The 
Act of Abjuration — Union of the two Crowns — " .Sherifi- 
niuir March" — "Up and warn "em a', \\'illie" — "The 
Campbells are coming" — Seizure of Leith — Archer's 
meeting — Death of Rol) Roy — " Rob Roy's Lament " — 
" Wi' a hundred pipers an' a' an' a'" — James Reid — Prince 
Charlie's bagpipes— James MacGrcgor — Dispcrral of the 
clans — The Karl of Marischal in 1772 —Early bagpipe 
makers- -The village piper of Eaglesham - - - -1.37 





Improvements in the Uilleann pipes — Larry Grogan — " Ally 
Croker" — Pipers at social j^atherings — Matthew Hardy — 
The piob mor at Fontenoy — Wind band replaces the pipes — 
Handel admires pipe music — " Der arme Irische junge'"— 
Rev. Dr. Campbell — The Bishop of Kilmore as a piper — 
Parson Stirling — Dr. Burney's appreciation of the Uilleann 
pipes — The Irish bagpipe in 1751 — Piper Jackson — 
Jackson's "Morning Brush" — Piper MacDonnell — Moore- 
head and his pupils — Uilleann pipes in Dublin Museum — 
O'Farrell's tutor — "Maggie Pickins" — Rev. John Dempsey 
— Rev. Charles Macklin I46 



Founding of the Highland Society — The first meeting in 1781 — 
Glasgow gives support — Edinburgh follows suit — ^Com- 
petition of 17S4 — Adam Smith present — Graphic descrip- 
tion by de St. Fond — Successful meeting of 17S5 — " Failte 
a Phrionsa" — Want of variety in the competitions — First 
triennial meeting — Mendelssohn and Neukomm present — 
Sword dance — Collapse of the meetings in 1S44 — Revival 
at Inverness in 1S59 — A second society formed in 1S75 — The 
Highland Mod 157 



Fraser's regiment — MacLeod's Highlanders — Battle of Assaye — 
Concert by the band of the 5Sth Regiment — The Seatotth 
Highlanders — Siege of Lucknow — John MacLachlan at 
Ciuilad Rodrigo — The pipes in the Peninsular campaign — 
Battle of Vimiera — George Clark — Kenneth MacKay — 


Story of the Bagpipe 


Scotch pipers at Waterloo — Anfjus MacKay — The Black 
Watch pipers — The Cameron Highlanders — '• .March of the 
Cameron i\Ten " — William Ross — Disbanding ol the Argyll- 
shire pipers — The Scots Guards disbanded — Tipe bands in 
the British Army — Govan police band .... 163 



The Lowland pipes — Dr. Leyden's opinion — Similarity to 
the Uilleann pipes — George Mackie — Falkirk a pipe centre 

— Lowland regimental pipers — Border pipers — Dalyell's 
criticism — Northumbrian pipes — James Allan's eulogistic 
verses — Modern Northumbrian pipes— The Northumbrian 
Small Pipes Society — ^'ersatility of Lowland pipers - - 174 



Jean Baptiste Lully — Bach's English suites — Handel's Grand 
Concertos — Shield's " Rosina " — "The Poor Soldier" — 
" Oscar and Malvina " — Francis Adrien Boieldieu — " Dame 
Blanche " — Meyerbeer's " Dinorah " — Schubert's " Rosa- 
munde " — Schubert's " Winterreise" — "Die Tanzmusik" 

— Beethoven's " Hirtengesang" — Modern pedal point — 
Haydn's L' Otirs iSi 



Vogue of the Uilleann pipes — Courtenay, Crampton, and Crump- 
Jeremiah Murphy — William Talliot — Edmund K. Hyland 
—"The Fox Chase "—Filzpatrick plays for George i\'. — 



Thomas O'Hannigan— Paddy O'SulIivan— James Gandsey 
— Paddy Coneely — Daniel O'Leary— Michael Whelan— A 
group of pipers — Amateur performers — Revival of the war 
pipes — Decline of the Uilleann Pipes ----- i88 



Future of Uilleann Pipes — Inauguration of an annual Irish 
Festival — Establishment of a Pipers' Club in Dublin — Irish 
National Music — Irish War-pipes. 198 

Appendix A. — Chronological List of Eminent Pipers - - 205 

B. — Glossary of Terms, and Pipe Mechanism - - 208 

C. — Composers who have employed Pipe Music - 210 

D. — Bibliography of the Bagpipe - - - - 212 

E, — Pipe Bands in the British Army - - - 214 

F. — O'Farrell's Treatise on the Irish Bagpipe (pub- 
lished in iSoi) - • - - - - 2X6 

Index 227 


List of Illustrations 

























- 36 

- 45 

- 47 

- 49 


• 74 

- 76 

• 77 

- So 

- 94 

- 103 

- 1-5 

• 154 

Story of the Bagpipe 











Story of the Bagpipe. 



The Book of Genesis — Nebuchadnezzar's band — Chaldean sculptures — 
The Pandean pipe — The simple reed — Origin of the flute — The 
pipe with the bag — Primitive organ at Aries — The bydraulus or 
water organ — \'ariou5 names for the bagpipe. 

In the Lutheran version of the fourth chapter of the 

Book of Genesis (21st verse) we read that Jubal " was 

the father of fiddlers and pipers.'''' This 

rude renderinsf, thou£fh undoubtedly intelli- . \ . 
... .... , - , in Genesis 

gible enough \\\ the sixteenth century, has 

been superseded by the revised translation of "such 

as handle the harp and org-an." At the same time it 

is necessary to point out that the term "pipe" is a 

more satisfactory translation of the Hebrew uirab than 

"organ," inasmuch as ugab really means a pipe or 

bagpipe, or wind instrument in general, for which the 


Story of the Bagpipe 

German equivalent is "pfeife." Thus, in the very 

commencement of the world's history, we find allusion 

to the ancient instrument which forms the subject of 

the present work. 

Again, in the third book of Daniel there is a reference 

to the band of Nebuchadnezzar, though the Hebrew 

word siimphonia is erroneously translated 

Nefcuchad- ,< dulcimer" in the English Bible. Biblical 

„ , scholars are now agreed that sumpnonia 

Band . „ . 

means "bagpipe, not "dulcmier, and, as 

a matter of fact, the name of the musical form known 

as "symphony" is an echo of the old word which in 

the Middle Ages meant pipe music, and subsequently 

vocal music accompanied by instruments. It may be 

as well to add that psandherin is the Hebrew word for 

dulcimer, and the \'ulgate translates it as psalteriiun — 

Chaucer's Saiitrie. 

In a previous volume of this series^ I adduced 

arguments to prove that the harp was the evolution 

of the hunter's bow of primitive man, and I 

„ , pointed out that Mr. St. Chad Boscawen 

bculptures ■ a n\ \ \ i <- 

had exammed Chaldean sculptures repre- 
senting the harp and the pipes associated with the 
memory of Jubal. Therefore we are safe in assigning 
as ancient an origin to the pipes as to the harp, and 
the first beginnings of the two instruments must have 
been from about the same date. 

Far back in the distant past somebody found out 
that the simple reed-pipe when blown with the mouth 

^ Story of the Harp. 


Shepherd's Pipe 

produced a musical sound. Most readers are familiar 
with the Pandean pipe (fabled to have been invented 
by the g-od Pan), which was the develop- 
ment of the shepherd's pipe, or chanter, , ^ J^"" 
, ^ . ., , , . . dean Fipc 

whilst the Egyptians attributed the invention 

of the flute to the god Osiris. Another name for the 
Pandean pipe is the syrinx. 

The very first form of wind instrument must be 
sought in the simple reed, and its origin may, with 
much probability, be attributed to a pre- 
historic shepherd, who, when tending his 
sheep along the bank of a river, first dis- Reed 

covered the musical capabilities of a bored- 
reed. Naturally, the name "shepherd's pipe" has 
clung to this primitive attempt at a wind instrument. 

Even if it be disputed as to the origin of the pipe, 

a not unlikely explanation has been offered to the effect 

that the wind among the reeds produced musical sounds 

akin to the /Eolian harp, and so opened up the field 

of discovery for some wandering minstrel-shepherd. 

Surely the existence of reeds or bamboos must needs 

have suggested the latent possibilities of the reed 

pipe. And, naturallv, from the simple 

, . , , ' 1,1 , Origin ot 

reed-pipe, blown at one end bv the mouth, , „, 
, / , , , , ' , , . the Fluie 

tlie nute was also evolved : thus, the reed is 

the parent of the pipe and the flute. In the course of 

years, whether by accident or design, the advantage of 

two holes in the reed was discovered, and then the 

transition from two holes to four holes was obviously 

due to the disposition of the two fingers of either hand. 

Story of the Bagpipe 

The four-holed reed or pipe was further developed by 

two additional holes, played on with the three fingers 

of either hand, and this six-holed reed with a long" reed 

without holes to which it was attached, formed a 

flute with a drone pipe, known to the Egyptians as 

the arghool. 

As centuries rolled by, the simple reed pipe was 

improved by the addition of a bladder, and was termed 

chorus. Subsequently the skin of an animal, 
Pipe with ... 1 J J • 

. -r, generally a pig, was employed, and a pipe, 

or two pipes, introduced, with a mouthpiece, 
by the medium of which it was blown. From this 
instrument the askimlos or bagpipe resulted. 

That the primitive organ was really a form of bag- 
pipe can best be proved by a reference to the accom- 
panying illustration, wherein it is seen that 

J^ the wind is evidently supplied by the lune 

Organ at - , , , , , , 

.^. power ot the two blowers, who alternately 

supplied the required pressure of blowing 
vigorously. Indeed, it is a fair deduction that the 
inconvenience arising from the difficulty of keeping up 
the wind supply by the two attendant " blowers" — real 
live blowers — resulted in the invention of the hydraulus, 
or water organ, water power replacing lung power. 

Those acquainted with the early history of 

^ ^^. " " the organ do not need to be told that to the 
or water , . , . ^ „ ... . . , , . 

^ mechanical genius or Ltesibius or Alexandria, 

Organ ^ . . ' 

about the year B.C. 260, is due the inven- 
tion of the hydraulus, the water forcing the wind 
through an inverted hollow base, on the top of which 


The Hydraulus 

was a pipe or trumpet. Mr. C. F. Abdy Williams^ 
says that the liydraulus was "the earliest known wind 
instrument not blown by the human lung's," and he 


adds that " the modern pneum.atic organ is in reality a 
hug^e combination of the primitive Pan-pipe and Bag- 
pipe." Of course, the development of the pipe in the 

^ S.'o/j of the Organ, 


Story of the Bagpipe 

direction of the Syrinx does not concern us here, but it 

is remarkable that the " King of instruments" should 

trace its origin to the same source as that of the 

bagpipe — namely, the shepherd's reed. 

The substitution of a bellows, or wind-bag, blown by 

the arm for the simple pipe blown by the mouth, gave 

rise to the cor>if»iuse, musetlc^ sackpfcifc, 

Various aumpogna, sumponia^ and the Irish Uilleann 

pipes, as will be seen in the following pages, 
tor the r r > ^ & r & 

D . Other names for the bagpipe are siirdelina. 

Bagpipe . . . .->t r ' 

bignou (biniou), loiire, coniarmisa, chevre, 
chevretie, saccotmise, piva, gheevita^ and ciaramella. 



Ancient E^ypt — The Arfjhool — Artificial reeds — Persian bagpipes — 
Sculpture in Assyria and Nineveh — Terra-cotta representations at 
Tarsus — Bruce's discovery of a reed-pipe at Thebes — Chinese 
traditions — The bagpipes of Northern and Southern India — The 
chorus — Biblical references — Clement of Alexandria — St. Jerome 
on the bagpipe — First Christmas legend. 

Ancient Egypt, the home of the arts, which is gradually 
yielding up Its secrets to the explorers, seems to have 
had quite a number of wind instruments, 
including the bagpipe. Miss Kathleen _ 

Schlesinger, in a paper on "The Origin 
of the Organs of the Ancients," brings forward ample 
evidence to prove that the ancient Egyptians employed 
the bagpipe drone. ^ This conclusion is based on the 
discovery of the straws or beating reeds belonging to 
the pipes, and which were foimd in the mummy cases. 
One of these is now to be seen in the British Museum. 
In fact, many of the double pipes may fairly be regarded 
as a reed and a drone, especially in the cases of pipes 
of unequal length. There are several sculptured figures 

' Prof. Garslang discovered a Ilittite slab on which is sculptured 
a bagpipe player. Tliis figure he dates as B.C. looo. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

pipe (chanter) and a drone. 




of Egyptian players on two unequal pipes — a short 

The annexed figure ot" the 
Arghool w'xW at once bear out 
the view that man}' 
of the double flutes 
were in reality a short reed 
of six holes, to which is 
joined a long- pipe without 
holes — or drone pipe. 

As a proof of the advanced 
state of pipe music among; 
the ancient Eg-yptians, Dr. 
T. Lea Southgate tells us 
that one of the 
Eg-yptian pipes 
found at Panopolis 
dating from B.C. 1500 had 
an artificial reed as a head- 
piece, or beak, giving- a 
scale almost similar to the 
chromatic scale at present 
used. This ancient head- 
piece (according to Mons. 
Maspero), who fixes the 
date as about B.C. 1500, was 
undoubtedly a bored reed, treated artificially so as to 
form a bulb. This form of reed proves the Egyptians 
to have been an extremely cultured people.^ 

^ The modern Egyptian zii»i»ia>-ah has a goatskin ba?, into which 
the two pij'cs are inserted. 


THE arghool: with ITS DRONE AND 

Assyria and Nineveh 

Tlie Persians, too, were acquainted with the Ixagpipe. 

Towartls the top of the bas-relief on the arch at 

Kermanshah there is represented a stace, on 

, . , ,- .... Persian 

which are nertormers on various instru- „ 

II- . ■ r ,- I Bagpipes 

ments, including' a bagpipe: tour ot the 

musicians — evidently females — are seen playing re- 
spectively on a flute, a pandean pipe, a kinnor, and a 

Assyria had its form of bagpipe, as is evident from a 
still remaining sculpture on a monument, and so also 
had Nineveh. Nebuchadnezzar, who founded 

a great library at Babylon, emploved a band ^" ^ ^^^ 

c . . • 1 J- • ',1 in Assyria 

of musicians, including pipers. 1 have pre- , 

viously pointed out that the so-called Nineveh 

" dulcimer," mentioned in the third book 

of Daniel as one of the instruments in Nebuchadnezzar's 

band, was in reality a bagpipe. 

At Tarsus, in Cilicia, there is a very fine terra-cotta, 
dating from B.C. 250, on which is repre- Terra-cotta 
sented a piper playing the bagpipes. Represcnta- 
Tarsus, as Bible students are aware, was tions at 

the birthplace of St. Paul, and was the Tarsus 

home of philosophy and the arts, including music. 

Bruce, the traveller, made a most important discovery 

in a tomb near Thebes, as he found ancient fresco 

panels, in one of which bagpipes were 

depicted — genuine reed pipes of the drone ^S . 

at 1 hebes 
type. I have in a former volume alluded to 

the beautiful harps discovered by Bruce, but the " find" 

of the two bagpipe paintings is of interest as accen- 


Story of the Bagpipe 

tuatingf the widespread acquaintance with this martial 

instrument in the East at a very early period. 

If we are to believe the traditions of China, the 

bagpipe is the oldest instrument in the celestial empire. 

The Chinese legend is as follows: — Law and 

_. ,. . politics had been fixed on a firm basis bv the 

Iraditions ,, ' 

Lmperor Hoang--ty about the year B.C. 2585, 

and he then determined to regulate the music of the 
Chinese empire. Accordingly he deputed his Prime 
Minister, Lyng'-lien, to arrange the whole musical 
system. Lyng-lien, having successfully bored a bamboo 
reed between two of the knots, blew through it, and 
discovered to his astonishment that it emitted a musical 
sound. Just at this psychological moment the rhyth- 
mical sound of the river Hoang-ho as it flowed by 
coalesced in unison with the sound produced from the 
bamboo. This sound Lyng-lien made the keynote of 
the Chinese scale. Two celestial birds then came on 
the scene and sang alternately the remaining notes of 
tlie scale of twelve pipes. 

Double pipes are found in India, on sculptures of 

wood and stone. The MosJmg of Northern India is a 

form of bagpipe, whilst in Southern India 

Bagpipes of are found two instruments closely re- 

lern sembling the chorus — namely, tlie S'ruti- 

o , itpa:w'n and the Bhnzanr-s'riiti, illustrations 

Southern . . . 

T„f. of which will be found m Dav's Music (Uid 

Musical Instrtiments of Southc?'u India and 

tJie Dcccan. Engel tells us that the Hindoos were 

undoubtedly acquainted with the bagpipe, to wliich 


Biblical References 


they gave the name of poongi\ also called toiinirie and 

A peculiar form of bagpipe is the chorus, which may 
popularly be described as a reed pipe or flute inserted 
in an air bag- or bladder. Gerbert gives two 
illustrations of it taken from a manuscript 
of the ninth century at St. Blaise. Apparently there 
were only four 
holes in the 
chanter of the 
chorus, and ^r-" 
i t s c o m p a s s 
must h a v e ■ 

been limited. Wala- 
fridus Strabo, O.S.B., 
in the ninth century, de- 
scribes the chorus as "a 
single skin with two 
pipes. "^ 

In addition to the previous 

references to the bagpipe to 

be found in the 

•,■,■, r r- ■ Bibhcal 

Book ot Genesis „ ^ 

, , T-, I r References 
and the book or 

Daniel, there are three other 

texts in the Old Testament 

that are admitted by the 

best authorities as alluding 

to this instrument. These three Biblical allusions are 

1 Comm. in cap., XV. Exod. Paris, 1624. 

I I 


Story of the Bagpipe 

to be found in the first book of Samuel (x. 5), in 
Isaiah (v. 12), and in Jeremiah (xlviii. 36). 

It would appear from a passage in the writings ot 
Clement of Alexandria, as quoted by Dr. Burney,^ 

that the bagpipe, or pipe, was used as an 

Clement of • ^ r 1 r^t • ^* 1 • 

., , . accompanmient tor early Lhristian worship. 

Alexandria ji-n 1 ' 1 i • 

He says: — ' though we no longer worship 

God with the clamour of military instruments, such as 

the trumpet, drum, and pipc^ but with peaceful words, 

this is our most delightful festivity." 

Some writers tell us that St. Augustine of Hippo 
alludes to the bagpipe, but this is not 

♦ Jerome ^^^ ^^ ^j^^ instrument he writes about 

„ can only be the organ. However, the 

Bagpipe ' ° 

great St. Jerome makes a reference to the 

bagpipe, proving the popularity of the instrument in 

his day. 

This chapter may well conclude with a brief summary 

of the legend of the first Christmas, immortalized by 

the well-known drawing of the Nativity from 

-Z"^. the master brush of Albrecht Diirer. The 

Christmas , , , . , 

J J legend has it that on the never-to-be- 

forgotten first Christmas the shepherds who 
tended their flocks and saw the wondrous light herald- 
ing tidings of great joy played their bagpipes in the 
cave at Bethlehem to express their jubilation on the 
birth of the Infant Saviour.'-' Probably Handel was 

1 Burney's History of Mitsic^ vol. ii. p. 26. 

- I'^or Ihe best account of Christmas and other carols see 7'/ie Sloiy 
of the Carol, by E. Duncan. 


First Christmas Legend 

influenced by this tradition when he composed the 
Pastoral Symphony to introduce the scene "Shepherds 
abiding- in the field," as he marked it " Pita," or 
bag-pipe melody, indicating that it was played by 



Ancient Greece — Dion Chrysostomos — Martial describes the askatilos — 
Virgil's reference to it — Nero's vow to be a baj^piper — Contorniate 
representatiuns — Greek sculpture in Rome — Sculptured bronEe at 
]\ichborough — Aulus Gellius — Aristides (^uintilianus — Procopius's 
testimony — The Capistruni. 

The very name askaiilos indicates that the skin-pipe, 
or bag-pipe, was of great antiquity among the Greeks. 

No doubt it was from Egypt that the 

Ancient • i i^ <.- /■ • i 

^ musical culture ot Greece was mauily 

Lrreecc . . 

derived. The earhest double flutes and 

reed pipes used by these people were of Egyptian 

origin, as were also those of Etruria. Naturally the 

monaulos was the simple pipe, whilst the di-aulos was 

the double pipe, having a beating reed. Regarding 

the advanced state of Greek music, Mr. C. F. Abdy 

Williams refers to a chorus from the Orestes of 

Euripides B.C. 400, and he is of opinion that the 

performer extemporised a symphony or interlude at the 

close of each verse. The Greeks employed the 

alphabetic notations, one for vocal music and the 

other for instrumental, the former being written over 


Martial's Askaulos 

the text, whilst the latter was written under. In fact, 

the earliest existing work on music was by Aristoxenus, 

about B.C. 300, being a resume of his lectures at 


But although numerous references to pipes and 

double pipes are to be met with, the first authority 

to definitely mention the bagpipe is Dion 

Chrvsostomos, a Greek writer, about the _, 

T-u r 11 • ^ .• • Chrysos- 

year a.d. 100, Ihe lollowmg quotation is 
"^ . . r> -1 tomos 

convincing: — "And they say that he is 

skilled to write, to work as an artist, and to play the 

pipe, with his mouth on the bag placed under his 

armpits." There is no mistaking the Greek words 

anleo and askos, and it has previously been explained 

that askaulos or sumphouia is the bagpipe, as we now 

understand it. 

As far as can be now ascertained, the first to mention 

the askaulos, or bag-pipe, is the poet Martial, in his 

Epigrams (Book X. iii.), about the year 105. 

The word askaulos is invariably equated as Martial 

libia utriciilaris. and is described as a pipe escnoes 

. the 

blown by the mouth with a drone pipe and . , - 

a bag. The writer of the Epistle to 

Dardanus tells us that one of the pipes was for the 

purpose of blowing through, or the mouthpiece, and 

the other was the chanter. Seneca also alludes to it 

(Lib. x. epist. Ixxvii.) as employed in the theatre. 

^ Dr. Burney gives a drawing of an ancient gem, in which Apollo is 
represented as walking with a lyre in his hand and a bagpipe slung 
•jver his shoulders. 

It C 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Inasmuch as the Romans also employed the bagpipe, 

which they named tibia ulricularis^ it is not 

„ ^^^ ^ surprising that many of their writers refer 
ivctcrcQCC . . 

^ .^ to It. \'irofil tells us, at least such is 

to It . . . 

the interpretation given by Montfaucon on 

the bagpipe,^ that it was a favourite Instrument at 


Suetonius states (cap. liv.) that Nero, the Roman 

Emperor (a.d. 37-68), had registered a vow 

,, , before his death, that in case he escaped 

Vow to be ^ . . 

Bfrom his enemies he would fii>ure at the 
agpipcr . ^ 

public games as a pertormer on thehydraulus, 

the charaulos, and the bagpipe {niricularis).^ 

Several writers would have us believe that the 

contorniates of Nero, one of which is 
Contorniate • ,, „ ... , y., *. u 

■D ui the British Museum, represent a bag- 

Keprcsen- . , , . ^ . ,, , 

tations P'P^, but the uistrument is really the 


Bianchlnl tells us that there is an ancient Greek 

sculpture in bas-relief In Rome (casa dl Prlncipt^ di 

Santa Cever) representing a Celt playing 

c, , ^ on the Irish warplpes, or piob mor. Some 

Sculpture . ,, , • , , 

n writers call the instrument a -bythaulus, 

which IS almost the same as askaulos. 

There is also a white marble statue of a bagpiper 

in Cortona, regarding which a learned dissertation 

was published by Signor Maccari, who declares the 

^ Montfaucon, torn. iii. p. 1S8. 

' Suetonius, ca]). liv. 

^ C. F. Al)(.iy Williams, Sfoiy of the Organ. 


Roman Pipers 

instrument to be a " tibia Otricidarc^ or Fagotto o Fiva, 
or Coniemiisc.''' 

Apparently, judg-ingf by the sculptured bronze found 
at Richboroug"!! Castle, in Kent, the Romans intro- 
duced the bag"pipe into Britain. Pennant, 
in his Tour^ in Scotland, describes this Sculptured 

41 r J >) J ii 4- 4.U • • Bronze at 

"find, and says that the piper is repre- _. 

_ 1 1- • r II ■!• Kich- 

sented as a Roman soldier in rull military , , 

marching- order, implying, of course, that 

the Romans marched to the sound of the bagpipe. 

It is not a little remarkable that the Lacedemonians, 

according' to Aulus Gellius, employed the bagpipe to 

rouse the army when on the march, 

borrowing the idea, no doubt, from the _, ,,. 

_ . „,, -^ . , Lrellius 

Egyptians. 1 he Romans, in turn, bor- 
rowed the idea of the bagpipe as a martial instrument 
from the Greeks. 

Some Scotch writers quote Aristides Ouintilianus 
as an authority for the early use of 

the bagpipe in the Highlands, but the ^ , ,,. 

^^ ^ Quintihanus 

reference can only apply to the Celts of 

Ireland. As will be seen in the seventh chapter, 
Scotland got the bagpipes from Ireland. 

As we approach the fifth century we are on firmer 
historical ground, and we learn from Procopius, a 
Greek writer who flourished at the com- 
mencement of the sixth centurv, that the L .^'"^ ^ 
„ r 1 ,• 1 , , ■; . lestimony 

Roman foot soldiers had the bagpipe as 

their "band of music," whilst the Roman horse 
soldiers had the trumpet. 

Story of the Bagpipe 

The Romans were accustomed to have bagpipe 
contests, and lung- power counted for a good deal. 
, On that account the players on the pipes — 

as also the competitors on the flute — almost 
hivariably wore a phorbia or capisti'iini. This capistriuyi 
was a leathern headstock, or bandage, encircling the 
cheeks, as a safeguard lest the player should over- 
strain himself in blowing. Doubtless, as before stated, 
this precaution gave birth to the idea of the bellows or 




Pre-Christian Ireland — The Brehon Laws — A Saga of the seventh 
century — The tiiDie or cciharcoirc — Gerberl's illustration — The 
bagpipe in church — Keeners with pipers in the tenth century 
— The Dord Fiansa — Cuan O'Lochain — Pedal point — Giraldus 
Cambrensis — Geoffrey the piper — William the piper — Irish pipers 
in Gascony and Flanders — The Irish war-pipes at Calais — Battle 
of Falkiik — The piob r>/or a.1 Crecy — Statute of Kilkenny — Pipers 
admitted to the Dublin franchise. 

It has frequently been asserted that the ancient Irish 
only borrowed the use of the bagpipe from the Romans, 
but the fact is the other way about. 

Archaeologists are now agreed that much . 

c ., T, • •!• *-• J i ^1 Christian 

or the Koinan civilization was due to the r , 

^ . , , . , , r , , Ireland 
Celts, and there is not a shadow of doubt 

but that the bagpipe was used in pre-Christian Ireland, 

whence it was brought to Wales and Scotland. 

No better proof of the antiquity of the bagpipe in 

Ireland need be adduced than the references to it in the 

Brehon Laws of the fifth century. In this 

most ancient corpus special legislation is ^^ °" 

enacted as regards the bagpipe, or enisle. 

The word euslc in old Irish — of which the modern form 

is enisle — means the pulsing of the artery in the wrist, 


Story of the Bagpipe 

but primarily the vein, a blood-vessel, hence a pipe. 
At the ijreat Feis (Assembly, or Parliament) of Tara 
the pipers occupied a prominent position, as we read 
that the cuisleaiinach, or pipes, were among- the 
favourite instruments heard in the banqueting hall 
{leach viiodhchuartci).^ This Feis was held from pre- 
Christian days until the year 560, when King Dermot 
MacFerg-us presided over the last Feis, after which date 
" Tara's Halls " were for ever deserted. 

In one of the ancient Irish historical tales, dating- 

from the seventh century, and which describes the 

Bniidhaen da Dcrga, a palace of Da Derg, 

Saga of the ^^,. 77o///^/r na Bruiohne (Bohernabrcena), 

Seventh ^ *^ t-> 1 r .1 " • • 4. 

^ County Uubun, there is given an account 

of the persons who came to pay homage to 
King Conaire the Great, B.C. 35. Among others were 
"nine pipers from the fairy hills of Bregia" (County 
Meath). These pipers are described as "the best pipe- 
players in the whole world," and their names are given 
as Bind, Robind, Riarbind, Sihe, Dibe, Deichrind, 
Umal, Cumal, and Clallglind. 

In this old saga- the bagpipes, or " set of pipes," is 

called tiniie, whilst the band of pipers is designated 

cetharcoire, or the four-tuned. Whitley 

^ , . Stokes is of opinion that cet/iarcoire has 

Cetharcoirc . , . ^ , , , 

reference to the tuning of the chanter, the 

long drone, and the two reed-drones; but I rather 

^ Petrie's AntiqiiHies of t lie Hill of Tara. 

- In the Fair of Car/Han, d.ilinj; (rom ihe seventh century, allusion 
is made to pipers and fiddlers. 


Portative Organ 

incline to the view that it means four pipes, inasmuch 

as the old Irish pioh tnor had only two drones. It is to 

be observed that the still-used term "a set of pipes" is 

analogous to the now obsolete " pair of organs." Also 

it is remarkable that as early as the seventh century 

pipers were accustomed to play in bands. 

Many writers assert that the chonis, as described by 

Gerbert, an illustration of which he gives from a 

manuscript of the ninth century at St. 

Blaise, is the old Irish or Highland pipe. ,,, 

. . . ^ Illustration 

However, even a cursory examination ot the 

illustration is sufficient to prove that it cannot be 

equated with the pi'nb mor. The bag doubtless acted as 

a sort of reservoir for the wind, but it is a crux as to 

how it was utilized. At the same time, it is well to 

note that Giraldus Cambrensis alludes to the chorus as 

if it were the Irish bagpipe, but probably the confusion 

of the same name for different instruments is the cause 

of all the trouble, just as in the case of the crii'th. 

In the early Christian Church in Ireland the bagpipe 

was occasionally used either as a solo instrvunent or to 

sustain the sacred chant. ^ And, as before 

stated, the small organs used in the Irish , „. , 
,,.,.,, . ,. ni Church 

churches m the eighth century were in reality 

but glorified bagpipes. In fact, the portative organ 

was little more than an enlarged bagpipe. Mr. C. F. 

Abdy Williams describes it as follows: — " It was hung 

^ In one of the panels of the Ili.^h Cross of Clonmacnois, dating 
trom cina 910, ihere is a sculptured tigurc uf a man playing the bagpipe, 
stamling on two cats. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

round the player's neek, who worked the bellows with 
one hand and played on the keys with the fing-ers of the 

other. . . . In some 

[■ ; ■ ' , manuscripts the 

'.;.'; portative has the 

'. " form of a little 

organ with a series 
of pipes, concluding" 
with tivo or more 
considerably longer 
than the rest, en- 
closed in a little 
tower with a cross 
at the top, like a 
church tower: 
these were prob- 
ably drones giving 
a perpetual bass 
note, as in the bag- 

That the bagpipe 
was used in re- 
ligious processions 
there is ample 
Kecncrs evidence, and we have dozens of refer- 
with Pipers ences to the bands of pipers playing at 
funerals. Keeners (persons who sang the 
caoine, or lament for the dead) are alluded 
to in the oldest Irish writings, and there 
is a very interesting Irish poem describing the nine 


AUU. .MSS. 18,192, F. ig.) 

in the 

Battle of Allen 

professional keeners {c?'ossa7is) who assisted at the 
interment of Donnchadh, King- of Ossory,^ father 
of Sadhbh (after written Isolde, or Izod), Queen of 
Ireland in the year 975. In this ancient poem we 
read that the nine keeners- sung- a lamentation to 
the accompaniment of "cymbals and pipes played 

In connection with the death of Donnbo at the battle 
of Allen in 722, as found in an Irish manuscript of the 
eleventh century, we read that Donnbo was 
"the best minstrel in Ireland at pipes and _. 

trumpets and harps, etc. Un the night or 
the battle it is related that " the head of Donnbo raised 
the Dord Fidiisa (a strange strain), the sweetest strain 
of music ever heard, so that all the assembly wept 
through plaintive beauty of the song." 

In an Irish poem on Tara by Cuan O'Lochain, 
written about the year 1015, there is reference to 
"the pipers and jugglers" who were privi- 
leged to enter the King's house and to drink " " 
.. „ ^ . O Lochain 
his beer. Ihis Cuan U Locham was not 

only Chief Poet, but was practically Head King of 
Ireland from 1022 till his death in 1024. 

The Irish may claim the invention of the musical 
form known as "pedal point," or "drone bass" — that 

^ This Donnchadh is the direct ancestor of Lord Castletown of 
Upper Ossory. 

- In the old Irish "Pot of Avarice •*' we read tliat while the poem 
was being sunj:; the nine Icadiiii^ musicians of the company played 
muaic round the pot. 


tory of the Bagpipe 

is, the sustaining- of the key-note, or tonic, as an 
accompaniment to the melody. Guido gives 

p , a specimen of this primitive form of harmony 

in his Alicrologus^^ and the bagpipe drone 

may be regarded as the substratum of the modern 

harmonic scale. 

From the tenth century the bagpipe was gradually 

displaced by the harp in the favour of the upper and 

middle classes, and hence when Giraldus 

^ , , Cambrensis visited Ireland he only makes 
Lambrensis . , . r i , i • 

special mention or the harp and timpan, 

or fidil. At the same time, we are indebted to the 
Bishop-elect of St. David's for a very graphic descrip- 
tion of the Irish dress of the twelfth century, which 
makes it clear that the "Highland" costume of to- 
day is really only a modification of the ancient Irish 

As early as the year 1206, among the deeds of the 

Priory of the Holy Trinity (Christ Church Cathedral), 

Dublin, there is mention of Geoffrey the 

' Ti. Piper. Fifty years later, in the same valu- 

the Piper , , . ^ •' , . ' , 

able muniments, there is calendared a grant 

of land to William the Piper and Alice, his wife, in the 

parish of St. Werburgh's, Dublin, at a rent of six 

shillings a year. We can fairly conclude 

^, „. that the ba<rpipe, thouofh rele^-ated to the 

the Piper , , , , ' ^ ... . , ^- 

humbler classes, still tound favour with 

cultured amateurs — even as it does at present in 


1 Sec Chapter XIV. 

Irish Pipers in France 

Whilst King Edward I. was in Gascony during' the 

years 12S6-S9 he sent for some Irish troops, 

and, as a matter of course, pipers, being Irish 

"the musicians of the kerne," followed in ipers in 

the train of the native and Ansflo-Irish , 

. and 

soldiers to enliven them to deeds of darin^f.^ t,, , 

*. r landers 

In 1297 Irish kerne were again availed of in 

the Flanders campaign, and again did the strains of 

the Irish war-pipes make the welkin ring. 

One of the earliest drawings of the Irish bagpipes 
is in a manuscript copy of the Dinnscanchus — an 
Irish topographical history— in the British 
Museum, dated 1300, describing the Irish ^^'^h ^ ^^ 
kerne who accompanied King Edward to c \ ' 

Calais in 1297. In this manuscript there is 
an illuminated initial letter with the quaint device of a 
pig playing with all-becoming gravity on a set of bag- 
pipes. The royal proclamation ordering "all the 
King's lieges in Ireland to supply arms and horses and 
to go with them in company of the King in the present 
war with the King of France" is dated May 4th, 1297, 
and was sent to Sir John Wogan, Viceroy of Ireland. 
The truce with France was proclaimed in Ireland in 
the following October, as appears from the State 

It is remarkable that the Irish and their brethren of 
Scotic Minor should be found in opposite camps at 

' Previously, in 1243, King Henry III. had a large body of 
[rish troops in France, wlio, no doubt, had iheir war pipers with 



Story of the Bagpipe 

Falkirk on July 22nd, 1298, and probably the martial 
effect of the Irish pipes sug'g'csted to the Scotch.* 

the employment of the pioh vior in battle, 

Battle of T-. ii ^ -i. T • I • ™ 

p. ., . Be that as it may, Irish pipers accom' 

panled the troops levied from Ireland inlO' 

the Scottish campaign of the years 1 297-1303. 

Thus from the thirteenth century we can trace the|lii 

Irish pioh mor as the military music of Ireland, the, 

national outcome of the "bands of pipers" 

PioD Mor ^ 1 J 1 ii • -11 

„ at sacred and secular q-atherinafs, especially] 

at funerals. And be it understood that these||tel 
brave Irish pipers marched always in the van of thej III 
army. At the famous Battle of Crecy on August 26th, 
1346, there were 6000 soldiers from Ireland, "with; 
their pipers," whose prowess contributed not a little tO( sji 
the success of the English King.^ 

The first blow struck at the popularity of the bagpipd 
in Ireland was the Sfatule of Kilkenny, enacted at a 

Parliament held in Kilkenny before Lionel, 

^^.,, Duke of Clarence, Vicerov of Ireland, in 

Kilkenny ,, , ^^ , , ' ,- 1 • 

March 1366. Among the enactments 01 this 

infamous statute was oiije which made it penal to receive 
or entertain "pipers, story-tellers, rhymers, etc.," od 
the plea that they acted as " Irish agents or spies on 
the English, whereby great evils have often resulted.' 
Henceforth anybody violating this statute was liable to 
be attainted and imprisoned — "that is, both the Irish 
agents and the English who receive or give them any- 
thing, and after that they shall make fine at the King's 

^ Irish pipers were albu at llarfleur in 141S, and al Ruuen in 1419. ' 


Statute of Kilkenny 

vill, and the instriunents of their agency shall forfeit to 

'ur lord the King.'' That this statute was not allowed 

o be a dead letter is evident from an entry in the 

'atent Rolls, dated October 25th, 1375, licensing- Donal 

D'Mog'han, an Irish bagpiper, to dwell within the 

English pale, " for that he not alone was faithful to 

he King-, but was also the cause of inflicting many evils 

)n the Irish enemies." 

From the Calendar of Ajicierit Records of Dubliuy 

idited by Gilbert, we learn that pipers were 

leld in esteem in the capital of the Pale in "ipers 

he middle of the fifteenth century. Thus , r^ ,■,. 

,„.,,„ . . the Dublin 

n 1460 Richard Bennet, -biper. was admitted t? , ■ 

o franchise "by special grace." In the 

;ame year John Talbot, " pyper," was admitted "on 

laving served apprenticeship." 




Irish colonists in Wales — Testimony of Kuno Meyer — Irish origin of 
the Eisteddfod — Bardic system borrowed from Ireland — Howell 
the Good — Battle of Carno — The Eisteddfod at Caerwys — Prince 
Howell the poet — Bronipton, Abbot of Jervaulx — Gerald Barry — 
Morris's Welsh collection. 

All Celticists are now agreed that Irish colonists 

practically made their own of Wales between the third 

and the tenth century, and there was constant 

T ' K 

, intercourse between the two countries. The 

Colonists T-u- • tu Ui-iu- -^1 

. „, . Irish immig-rants brouq-ht their minstrelsy 

in Wales . 

with them, and hence Wales g"ot permeated 

with the music of ancient Ireland. Those of my readers 

who may be sceptical as to the early obsession of Irish 

traditions among- Cymric people can consult with profit 

the result of the most recent research on this once 

vexed question. I shall content myself with the 

following short quotation from Professor Kuno 

Meyer : — 

"The truth was that all the various settlements of 

Gaels in Wales, as elsewhere in Britain, took place 

in the third and fourth centuries of the Christian era 

frovi Ireland. They were the result of those very raids 


Irish Origin of the Eisteddfod 

and conquests of which the Roman historians of that 

ag^e had so much to tell them, when the Scots or 

Irish and Picts descended upon the coast of 

Britain. He believed no Gael ever set foot ^'^^h-sor 

on British soil save from a vessel that had _„ 

put out from Ireland, and that the Gael 

arrived in Ireland, not via Britain, but from the 
continent, probably from Gaul. The previous inhabit- 
ants were subjui^ated by the Gaels and made to speak 
the lang"uai;"e of the conqueror, on which it might be 
supposed that they left the impression of their own 

There is not a shadow of a doubt in regard to the 
derivation of the Welsh bardic system from 
Ireland. No serious historian now dreams -tJardic 

of claiming a pre-Patrician origin for the _, ^^ ^"\ 
TIT I 1 'r^i • T 1 1 11 1 Borrowed 

Welsh. Iheir whole system was modelled , 

•' irom 

on that of the Irish. And, as we have Ireland 

said, similarly with the musical system, 
which, however, was not developed for several 
hundred years later. 

For long the Eisteddfod was regarded as a purely 
Welsh institution, going back into the mists of 
antiquity. Recent research is conclusive 
as pointing to the I^ei's of Tara as the real , Irish 

origin of the Eisteddfod. We have seen '^ ^ 

that the Feis of Tara was celebrated g. . , ,, < 

triennially by the head kings of Ireland 

even before the Christian era, and that the last great 

assembly held in •' Tara's Halls "took place a.d. 560. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Welsh critical writers cannot assig-n an earlier date 
for an Eisteddfod than the middle of the seventh 
century, or a.d. 650, nearly a hundred years after the 
last Feis of Tara. These triennial assemblies were 
held variously at Aberfraw, at Dynevor, and at 
Mathranael (Merionethshire). St. Brecan, an Irish 
chieftain, gave his name to Brecknockshire, and 
founded close on sixty oratories or churches in Wales. 
His son, St. Cynogf, founded the parish of Merthyr- 
Cynog-, whilst his daughter, St, Keyna, or Ceyn-wyryf, 
gave her name to the parish of Keynsham (Somerset) 
and Slangeven, near Abergavenny. 

Passing over two or three hundred years of debatable 

ground, the musical side of the Eisteddfodau 
Howell the ^^^^ being gradually developed at the close 

of the ninth century, and we have tolerable 
evidence that it received considerable attention during 
the reign of Howell the Good (915-948).^ 

In 1060, whilst the King and Queen of North Wales 
were in Ireland as fugitives, a son and heir, Griffith 

ap Cynan, was born to them, who was 
Battle of fostered by Dermot, Head King of Ireland. 

When Prince Griffith came to man's estate 
he returned to Wales to claim his patrimony, then 
usurped by Traherne, and in 1080 he fought the decisive 
battle of Carno, which placed him on the throne of 
North Wales. 

King Griffith held an Eisteddfod at Caerwys in 
1 100, and, as he had been particularly enamoured of 
* Crowest's Sto>y of British Music. 


Brompton oil Welsh Music 

the martial tones of the Irish war-pipes, he gave 
special prominence to pipe performances. The 

bairpipe competition, as we read in the „ ... . 

Ai- 1 1 I I, 1 • • ^ Eisteddfod 

W elsli annals, resulted \\\ an easv victory _, 

c r ■ r u ■ 4 f ' T- ' ** Caerwys 

for an Ins'itnaii, who received from Kmg- 

Griffith a silver pipe as a reward for his skill. Welsh 

minstrelsy was now regulated, and a musical code 

was drawn up by an Irishman called Malachy, assisted 

by three Welshmen, which was ratified at a Feis 

held at Glendalough, County Wicklow, by Murtough 

O'Brien, king of Ireland, about the year 1105. 

Quite a striking affinity to Irish poetry may be traced 

in the verses of Prince Howell, son of 

Owen, king of North Wales, in 116^. He ,^ .1^^^^ 
1 1 r r ^ X u \ Kowell the 

ruled irom nog to 1171, when he went over p 

to Ireland to his mother's people. Harpers 

and pipers were in his train, but the times were not 

propitious for musical art. 

John Brompton, Abbot of Jervaulx (Yorkshire), thus 

writes in 1170: — "The Welsh make use of 

three instruments, namelv, the crwth, the ^.., ! 
J *u u • ' .. u u Abbot of 

trumpet, and the bairpipes. However, he , , 

or r Jervaulx 

gives the palm for music to the Irish. 

One might expect that Gerald Barry, better known 

as Giraldus Cambrensis, would have much to say on 

Welsh music, but he is unusually brief in 

his account, aoparentlv having exhausted ^ 

\ ■ ,c • iri't-ii IT Barry 

himself in eulogy of the Irish harpers. He 

writes as follows, in 1185 : — " It is to be observed that 

Scotland and Wales — the latter, in order to discriminate 

31 D 

Story of the Bagpipe 

the. art ; the former, in consequence of intercourse and 
affinity — strive with rival skill to emulate Ireland in 
music . . . Wales employs and delig'hts in three instru- 
ments — the harp, the pipes, and the crwth." 

In Morris's Welsh Collection, now in the British 

Museum (Add. MSS. 14905), are several Irish airs, 

including the " Caniad Pibau Morwydd," or 

Morris's ,, j^^^ ^^^^ ^^ Morwydd's Pipes," a'bagpipe 

^ ,, ^. melodv. This collection is said to date from 

the twelfth century (!), but it was not tran- 
scribed till 1630, and a good part of it was written a 
century later. ^ 

From the death of Llewellyn the Great in 1240 to the 
annexation of Wales to England in 1283 there is very 
little to chronicle of Welsh music, and it is only to our 
purpose to add that the popularity of the bagpipe 
practically disappeared at the opening of the fourteenth 
century, the pi'od vior being replaced by the harp. The 
only outlet for the bagpipe was for outdoor amuse- 
ments, country dances, May-day games, etc. A rival 
instrument of the same genus — namely, the pibcorn^ 
was also coming into favour at this epoch, and 
continued in use till the close of the eighteenth 

^ Miss Glyn'b Evolution of Musical Form. 



Celts in England — Roman remains— Anglo-Saxon pipes — The x\nglo- 
Normans — Lilt-pipes and corn-pipes — The pipe in church^ 
Minstrels' Gallery at Exeter — Ralph the piper — ^Janino Chevretter 
— Strutl's illustration of early English bagpipes — The King's Band 
of Music in 1327 — Barlon and Morlan — Chaucer's Miller — 
Richard II. patronizes pipers — William of Wykeham — Morris 
dance — May games — ^John Gate. 

Long before Julius Caesar's landing- in England the 

Celts were the masters, and left their impress in no 

uncertain wav, as may be evidenced from 

the place names, and from such words as ^ ^ *" 

bard, druid, breeches, bog, kilt, reel, tartan, 

clan, basket, coat, flannel, gown, cart, etc. It was not 

until A.D. 78-S5 that the obsession of the Romans 

became definite, and that the old Celtic civilization 

came under the spell of Roman art. 

I have previously alluded to the sculptured bronze 
found at Richborough Castle, in Kent, depicting a 
Roman piper playing on the bag-pipe, but it 

must be borne in mind that the Celts in ^oman 


Britain had the bagpipe a full century before 

the tiine of Caisar, and therefore the Romans merely 

popularized this m.artial instrument. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Between the years 450 and 580 the Ang-lo-Saxons 

made a conquest of England, but the Irish Celts were 

the founders of Lindisfarne, Ripon, Durham, 

Anglo- Lichfield, Tilbury, Dunwich, Burgcastle, 

r>- Bosham, Malmesburv, Glastonbury, etc. 

Pipes ' ' ' . -^ ' 

vVe are consequently not surprised to find 
the bag-pipes popular among the Anglo-Saxons, and 
the instrument continued in vogue all through the wars 
of the eighth to the eleventh century. As is well 
known, the generic term "minstrels" included bag- 
pipers as well as harpers, though, as has previously 
been stated, the harp was the more "aristocratic" 

The bagpipe was keenly taken up by the Anglo- 
Normans during the twelfth century. Many of the 
writers of the pre-Chaucerian period allude 

^r to tlie pipes, and apparently no festive 

Normans , . ^ ^ , . , , . 

gathermg was complete without the m- 

spiring tones of the bagpipe. In a manuscript in the 

Royal Library (14 E. iii.) there is a drawing of a girl 

dancing on the shoulders of a bagpipe-player, who at 

the same time is evidently performing on the pipes and 

striding forward. This illustration is reproduced by 

Strutt in his Spores and Pastimes of the People of 

England, which gives it as dating from the thirteenth 

century, and to be found in a " History of the Holy 


The mediaeval "lilt-pipe" was a form of shepherd's 

pipe — in fact, little more than a simple reed — and is 

thus alluded to by Chaucer in his House of Fame: — ■ 



Misereres in English Churches 

" Many a flute and liltiug-horne. 
And pipes made of greene come." 

The old name of lilt-pipe now only survives in 

the term "lilt," which is merely sing^ing- the syllables 

la, la, la to a given tune. "Lilting" is 

also known as "jigging"," and is still quite ' -pipes 

common in country districts in Ireland. ^ 

. ,, 1 , • , Corn-pipes 

"Corn-pipe, as alluded to m the above 

couplet by Chaucer, is another form of the simple 

reed, a shepherd's pipe, but the name onl}' survives in 

a dance known as a hornpipe. A similar instrument 

was known as a pibcorn, and was played in Wales as 

late as the year 1790. It is interesting to add that just 

as the hornpipe dance comes from the corn-pipe, or 

pibcorn, so also the jig dance is derived from \\\e geige, 

or fiddle. 

Whether the idea of the bagpipe in church was 

borrowed from Ireland or from the continent, certain it 

is that in medicEval England the pipes were 

emploved in connection with church services, , 

.' • J 4.J Church 

especially at processions and outdoor re- 
ligious ceremonies. At Ripon and Beverley there are 
representations of bagpipes, whilst at Westminster 
Abbey a bear is depicted playing the pipes; and at St. 
John's Church, Cirencester, a monkey is represented 
performing on the bagpipes. In Boston parish church 
there are sixty-four misereres, dating- from circa 1425, 
and among the designs are: — A bear playing on an 
organ, with another bear as organ-blower: supporters, 
a bear playing a bagpipe and a bear be:iting a drum. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Apart from these g-rotesque carvings, not uncommon 
on monastic stalls, there was formerly a pauited whidow 



in St. James's Church, Norwich, with a representation 
pf a piper playing on a one-drone bagpipe. There is n 


Chevrette and Chorus 

fine Illustration of a monk playing- a bagpipe with 
one drone in the Gorleston Psalter, dating from circa 


In the Minstrels' Gallery at Exeter Cathedi-al, dating 

from the early portion of the fourteenth ,, 

,, ^ , . , u c Minstrels' 

century, there are twelve niches, each ot „ ,, 

, . , . • c I Gallery at 

which contains a representation ot an angel Exeter 

playing on some Instrument of music. The 

second figure of the series is blowing a bagpipe, as 

will be seen in the annexed illustration. 

In the first years of the fourteenth century flourished 

a famous Derbyshire piper named Ralph; and under 

date of October i6th, 1307, there is an entry 

on the Patent Rolls recording a pardon to . -.. 

the Piper 
Elias Hurre, of Horsley, for the death of 

Ralph the Piper, of Breadsall, "as he had killed him 

through misadventure." 

Under Edward II., in 1307, there is a record of two 

payments to a bagpiper called Janino Chevretter,^ the 

name ChevTctte meaning a bagpipe with a 

deerskin bag. This Tanino was paid for _,, 

, . , ^"^ , T.. - „, , Chevretter 

playing before the King. We are the more 

certain that a chevretter was identical with bagpipe, 

for St. Nicholas of Lyra, O.F. M. (d. 1340), in his 

commentary on the Bible, says that the chorus 

was "an instrument of two wooden pipes, through 

one of which it is blown, and the other emitted the 


Dauney was the first to point out that the chorus, 

^ Ue is also called Le Tregeltour, or the jocuiator (juggler), 


Story of the Bagpipe 

chevrette, and hag-pipe were identical, and he quotes 
Strutt's Manners a?id Ciistoyns of the English in proof 
thereof. In Strutt's oldest series, taken 
b^rutt s from a manuscript in the British Museum 

Illustration .t--, • \ -i ^ i • 

, ^ , liber, c. VI.), there are two drawinofs 

oi Early \ ' . " _, .,, . =^ 

P J. V or a bagpipe. I he illustrations are not 

Bagpipes ^^^y clear; but, fortunately, like Mark 

Twain's drawing of a cow, there is an 

explanatory note stating what was intended by the 

painter. Underneath both drawings are the words : 

" Corns est pellis simplex cum duabus cicutis," or 

"The chorus is a simple skin (bag) with two pipes," 

bearing out the dehnition of chorus as given in the 

Epistle to Dardamus: "At the Synagogue in ancient 

times there was also a simple species of bagpipe, being 

a skin (leather bag) with two pipes, through one of which 

the bag was inflated, the other emitting the sound." 

No greater testimony to the popularity of the bagpipe 

in the first half of the fourteenth century 

^^ ^, . need be quoted than the fact that in 1327 it 

Band of .,,,. , .r- ■, r, jr^r- 

■n„ . . was included in tne King s band or iMusic 

Music in ^ 

j-^y under Edward III. In fact, five pipers 

were requisitioned, is quoted in Sir John 

Hawkins' Hi'sfory of Music . 

Froni the Patent Rolls of Edward III. it appears that 

in 1334 a licence was granted to Barbor, the bagpiper, 

" to visit the schools for minstrels in parts 

Earbor and , j ^l n u • • ^i r 

-. , bevond the sea, he receiving the sum or 

Morlan , : , .,,. , ,- • • 1- 

thirty shillings by way of viaticum, rour 

years later — namely, in 1338, a similar licence was 

Richard II. patronizes Pipers 

granted to Morlaii, the bag-piper; but he must have 
been in greater favour, for the sum of forty shillings 
was allowed him for expenses. In a Roll of Accounts 
for 1360-61 five pipers are included in the Royal 
Band of Edward III. — namely, Hankin FitzLibekin, 
Hernekin, Oyle, William Harding, and Gerard. Strutt 
gives a drawing of a rustic dance, seemingly five 
mummers, to the accompaniment of the regals and 
the bagpipe. This illustration is taken from a manu- 
script in the Bodleian Library, "written and illumin- 
ated in the reign of Edward III., and completed in 
1344" (No. 964). 

Geoffrey Chaucer (132S-1400), ever with an eye on the 
social customs of the age, describes his Miller as a 
performer on the pipes: — 

, , , , , , , Chaucer's 

"A bagpipe well could he blow ana sound, M'lT 

And therewithal he brought us out of town." 

And it was to the sound of the bagpipe that the pilgrims 
rode to Canterbury, as is seen well illustrated in the 
rude drawings of Caxton's edition of Chaucer. He also 
alludes to " Dutch pipers." 

Even at Court under Richard II, the pipe was still in 
the royal band. Payments are recorded in the Ex- 
chequer Rolls as gratuities to the King's 

t • 1 • .1 T- f I u Richard II, 

basTPipers, and m 1377 the English monarch _ 

, =^\.^ '. . ,. ' . '^ ., • . Patronizes 

had lour pipers in his train, in this reign, -rj. 

11 =^ ' Pipers 

too — namely, in 1380, a court of minstrels 
was established at Tutbur}', and a charter was obtained,^ 
* Warlon's History of En^ii.:}' Poetry, 


Story of the Bagpipe 

in virtue of which a king- of the minstrels was to be 

appointed annually, "with four officers, to preside over 

the institution in Staffordshire, Derby, Nottingham, 

Leicester, and Warwick." 

Not only do the arms of Winchester School display 

an angel playing a bagpipe, but the exquisite crozier 

presented by William of Wykeham to New 
William of ^ ,, r\ c ^ • u ^u r: c 

\ir t- u College, Uxrord, m 1403, has the figure of 

an angel bagpiper. It is natural to con- 
clude that even in the first decade of the fifteenth 
century the bagpipe was supposed to be one of the 
instruments in the celestial orchestra. Certain it is 
that the bagpipe was extremely popular in pre- 
Reformation days. 

The ancient Pyrrhic dance found its development in 

England in the Morris dance, which first appeared 

, about the year 1400, and attained con- 

P^ siderable popularity. A piper was one of 

the invariable characters, and the dance 
was always performed to the accompaniment of the 
bagpipes, or the pipe and tabor. 

But it was at the May-day revels that the bagpiper 
was heard at his best. Right through the fifteenth 

century there are indications of the extra- 
„ ^ ordinary popularity of May games all over 

England. The characters who performed 
in these revels were as a rule : — The Lady of the 
May, a Fool, a Piper, and three dancers. In the case 
of the Robin Hood pageants the piper was also in 
evidence, in the company of the famous outlaws 


Morris Dance 

Friar Tuck, Little John, Maid Marian, the hobby- 
horse, dragon, etc. 

From the Calendar of Patent Rolls it appears that 

John Gate, of Sevenoke, County Kent, 
... -J , A.T u John Gate 

piper, received a pardon on November 

15th, 1472. 




Scotland gets the bagpipe from Ireland — Fergvis MacErc — Giraldus 
Cambrensis — Rattle of Bannockburn — David II. employs bagpipers 
— Oldest dated bagpipe — Battle of Ilarlaw— James I. patronizes 
the bagpipe — Battle of Inverlochy — Angelic pipes in Kosslyn 
Chapel^ — Sculpture in Melrose Abbey — The hog-bagpiper — The 
bagpijie in religious processions— Edinburgh Corporation band — 
The complaint of Scotland — James I. and the bagpipes. 

Much controversy has centred around the origin 

of the bagpipe in Scotland. Some assign it a 
Roman importation, whilst others allege 
that it came from Norway. The truth 
is, that Scotland got the instrument from 
Ireland as the result of two colonizations ; 
the first, under Cairbre Riada, in a.d. 120, 
and the second, under Fergus, Lome, and 

Angus, the sons of Ere, about the year 506. 

All authorities, following St. Bede, agree that 
Caledonia was peopled from Ireland, and 
we are on perfectly safe ground in stating 
that the Irish colonists who went over 

under Fergus MacErc, in 506, brought the bagpipe as 

gets the 


Giraldus Cambrcnsis 

well as the harp with them.^ O'Donovan says :— 
"The present lang-uage of the Hig-hlands passed from 
Ireland into the Highlands about a.d. 504 ; and a 
reg"ular intercourse has ever since been kept up between 
both countries, the literature and music of the one having 
been ever since those of the other.''' 

From the eleventh to the fourteenth century the 
bagpipe in Scotland, we can assume, was equally 
popular as in Ireland — Scotia Major. I 

have previouslv alluded to the mention of ^ , 

; \ . , ^. , , r- Cambrensis 

the chorus or bagpipe by uiraldus Cam- 
brensis, in 1195. Dauney proves conclusively that 
chorus meant bagpipe in the passage cited, and he adds 
that the carving of the instrument in Melrose Abbey 
*' is confirmatory of the fact." Bagpipes accompanied 
the Anglo-Irish troops who went from Ireland to 
Scotland to aid Edward I. of England in his Scottish 
campaign, 129S-1300, and again from 1303-34. Robert 
Bruce himself was in Ireland in the winter of 1306-07. 
St. Nicholas of Lyra, who died in 1340, distinctly equates 
the chorus with the bagpipe : ^'chorus habet duas fistulas 
de ligno, unam per quam inflatur, et aliam per quam 
emittit sonum, et vocatur Gallice chevrette.''' There is 
nothing improbable in the statement that the bag- 
pipes were played at Bannockburn, in 13 14, though 

' Dauney admits that the Irish introduced the harp into Scotland, 
and he sees no reason to oppose the belief that they also introduced 
the ha^pipe. Dr. A. Duncan Fraser, at the Pan Celtic Congress, in 
September 1907, read a paper advocating the Celtic origin of the 
Hijjhland bagpipe. (See also his book on the bagpipe). 


Story of the l>;igpipc 

the histor'aal midoiuo only JT^^"-^'"' <^'' slunv that (he 

music oil tlial ^rcat clay consisted only of 

c ol |,^,,■,l^^_ IV-rhaps (he music o\' (he pipes was 

Bannock- , ,. ,, .- •, ,- ,i i • , , < i 

, beneath the divnilv ot the histonan (i'> take 

burn ' ,' I • 1 

any nolo ol, but, be that as it may, theie is 

indisputable eviilcnce as to the />io/) nior in Scotland 

thirty yeais aftei the Hat tie of Bannockburn. Both 

l\obei t and I'.dwaiil Ihuoe were familiarised 
Davitl II. ^^,j||^ j,j^, martial tones o<i the Irish f^iob nior 
employs , . , . , , , I ^ • 1 1 1 

,, . dnrnu-' thew stav in lielaml. I'avid II., 


son ol Koberl I'liiue, ceitamly cmployetl 

bai;pipeis in Scotland, as appeals lioin the Exchequer 

The late Mr. Cllcn, of I'Alinbui j^h, had in his pos- 
session n. .set of pipes with the tlate i .|()i) .iiid the initi.ds, 
" R. McD." This specimen o{ lliqhland 

' *^'^ b;i!L;pipes has two small drones and chanler, 

„ , but the iiialce .iiul oi ii.imeiilat ion are tle- 

iJ.TppipC .... 11 

cideilly liish. 1 he |omt ol one ol liieiliones 
is moilern, as are also the baj; and blow-pipe. I am 
inclined to think that this valuable iiistruiiR-'nt , notwith- 
.standinj^- the ilate, " MCCLX'IX.," is o{ the fust decade 
o'l the ciy;litecntli lentnry. M:iy not the date be an 
error for MDCCIX., or \']()<-)- The ;mne\ed illusli.ilion 
will i;'ivc an idea of the inslrunienl. 

There is some tloubl as to whether (he baj^pipe was 
pla\ed at the battle o'^ llarlaw, on .St. |;uiies's Mve, 
i.|ii, but, at (hat dale, the ba_i;pipe cer(ainly 

' At (lie J?;\ttlo of (1llcr!)iini, in i,^SS, the iiintti.i! music was 
supplied l)y lioiiis, accoidiug to Fruissarl. 


Oldest dated Scotch l^agpij^e 

popular in Scotland. However, the war-song at the 
commencement of this famous battle was recited by 
MacMhuirich (MacVuirich), tlie hereditary 
bard of Clan Ranald, and the MacMhuirichs 

Battle of 

were descendants of Muircdbach O'Daly, 

of Lissadil, County Sligo, a famous Irish minstrel. 

ANXIENT HICm.ANI) 1111., Villi I H K UA ; li 140^ CAK'.'KD ON THE STOCK. 
I.N IHU, fUbbh-Sf.lOS OF MKbSKS. j. AND K. OLEN. 

This O'D.dy had lived .so long in .Scotland that he 
was known as alhanach^ or the Scotchman, but there 
is no doubt that he became the ancestor of the 


Story of the Bagpipe 

MacVuirichs (descendants of IMuiredbach), bards to 

the MacDonalds of Clanranald. Scotch writers tell 

us that the composer of the war-song- at Harlaw also 

wrote a severe satire on the bagpipes, complaining- 

bitterly that the bardic song- was henceforth to be 

replaced by the skirl of the pipes. In this satirical 

poem MacMhuirich vents his disgust on the bagpipe 

and its lineage "in verses more graphic and humorous 

than gentlemanly and elegant," as Donald Campbell 


The musical powers of King I. of Scotland 

(1406-36) may have been exaggerated, but he is 

credited with being, like Nero, no novice 

James I. ^^ ^j^^ bagpipe. We are definitely told that 

^t_ n ■ he played well on the chorus or piob inor, as 
the Bagpipe ^ -^ n 1 

well as on the tabor, organ, flute, harp, 

trumpet, and shepherd's pipe. In Peblis to the Play, a 

poem attributed to the Scottish monarch, there are two 

allusions to the bag-pipe : — 

" The bagpype blow and thai out throw 
Out of the towne's untald." 

And again — 

" Gif I sail dance have done, lat se 
Blaw up the bagpype than." 

There is tolerable evidence to prove that the 
bagpipes were played at the Battle of Inverlochy 

^ A Treatise on the Language., Poetry, and Mmic of the Highland 
Clans." Edinburgh, 1S62. 


Angelic Bagpiper in Rosslyn Chapel 

in 143 1. Not only is there a fine pipe melody 

commemorating the event^ (incorrectly 

ascribed to that period), but the pipes ^ battle of 
... , , . , Inverlochy 

were requisitioned to rouse the martial 

ardour of the Highlanders in that famous battle. 

In the Lady 
Chapel of 
Rosslyn, Mid- 
lothian, there 
is a very fine 
figure of an 
angelic bag- 
piper, which 
has been well 
reproduced in 
Dalyell's Jfus- 
ical Memoirs 
of Scotland. 
It dates from 
about the year 

In regard 
to another 
figure of a 
piper in Ross- 
lyn Chapel, of 
the fifteenth 

century, Dalyell thus writes : — " Of two figures repre- 
sented by the sculpture, one appears recumbent, asleep, 
1 " Pibroch of Donnell Dubh." 

47 E 


Story of the Bagpipe 

or slain. His fellow — if himself not the piper — bears 

off the instrument as a theft or a trophy. The costume 

of both exhibits many peculiarities. A cap or bonnet 

on the recumbent figure is different from every covering 

of the head known to have been used in Scotland. It 

has much resemblance to the Irish bairadJi^ ; nor can 

we presume it to be a metallic helmet. Each wears a 

tunic girt in a short phillabeg below, leaving the limbs 

almost totally bare." 

In Melrose Abbey there was a sculpture of an elderly 

bagpiper. Some have imagined that the figure dates 

from before the middle of the twelfth century, 

^ . * t)ut it is with more probabilit}' of the mid- 
in Melrose ^.^^ , , ™, . ^ ... 

-.- niteenth century. Ihis figure is given m 

Dalyell's Musical Memoirs^ but it has dis- 
appeared since i860. 

There Is also to be seen in Melrose Abbey a gargoyle 
representing a hog performing on the bagpipes. The 

subject was not uncommon during the 

T, , middle ages, and, as we have seen, there 

Bagpiper ^ . , . , . 

is a representation ot a pig playing on the 

bagpipes in an Irish MS. in the British Museum, 

dated 1300. In Ripon Cathedral there is a carving 

on one of the oak stalls in which two pigs are seen 

dancing to the accompaniment of a third on the 


Dalyell tells us that a carving at Beverley Minster 

^ The Irish baircad (bonnet) may be seen on a sculptured figure at 
Old Kilcullen, and it is also found on two angels in St. Peter's Church, 
Drosheda.— \V. II. G. F. 


Sculptured Piper 

',:;['' k' 


Story of the Bagpipe 

represents " a whole group of festive pig-s likewise 

dancing- to the performance of a senior, a musician of 

their own species " ; and he also mentions that " among- 

the numerous carving-s in Westminster Abbey is a 

woodland scene representing- a g-roup of monkeys, 

along with a bear playing- on a bag-pipe, all in hig^h 


There is no doubt as to the part of the bagpipe being 

used in religious processions, and especially at funerals. 

In some of the small churches, where an 

Bagpipe in Qj-g-^^j^ could not be thought of, a bagpipe 

„^ '^ . furnished the music, but it was at outdoor 
Processions ,. ■ ^ .• , . • r , 

religious lunctions that the pipe was or the 

greatest service. As late as the year 1536 the bagpipes 
were employed at a Roman Catholic service in Edin- 
burgh. Not long afterwards the second drone was 
added, so that the effect of the instrument as an 
accompaniment to choral singing must have been very 

Towards the middle of the fifteenth century many of 

the Scottish burghs had town pipers, and these were 

maintained at the expense of the public, 

Hdinburg being lodged by the various householders 

^, " in turn. In i486 Edinburgh reioiced in a 

Pipers . , ^ , . . ^ ^ ,-' 

corporation band consisting 01 three pipers, 

and any householder who declined to billet these 

"city musicians" in rotation was liable to be mulcted 

in a fine of ninepence, or, according to the quaint 

decree of the Town Council, "to ilk pyper iijd at the 



James IV. and the Bagpipes 

In Wedderburn's Complaint of Scotland., originally 

published in 1548, there is allusion to the ^ 

then popular pastoral instruments, includinir: , . " 

• ,, • -AC piaint or 

— " Ane drone bagpipe, " ane pipe maid of g .< ,„ 

ane bleddir and of ane reid," "ane corne 

pipe," and " ane pipe maid of ane gait home," 

Among the household minstrels of King James IV. 

was Nicholas Grav, a player "on the 

1 )) T \\ • i* f James IV. 

drone. In i^o^, there is mention or a ' , 

"^ "^ and 

royal dole to "Jamie that plays on g^^pip^s 

the drone," whilst in 1507 the royal 

pipers received New Year gifts. 




Extravagant claims — " Scots vvha hae " — "The Battle of Ilarlaw" — 
"The Battle of Flodden Field" — "The Flowers of the Forest" 
— "The Souters of Selkirk" — "The Bonny Earl of Moray"— 
"John Anderson my Jo" — "The Cocklebie Sow" — "Macintosh's 
Lament" — "The MacKac's March" — " Adew Dundee'' — 
" Ginkertoune" — Scotch tunes printed at Paris in 1554 — Brattle 

Many indiscreet friends of Scottish music have set up 

exaggerated and extravagant claims for the antiquity 

of some of the airs. It has, indeed, been 

^, , asserted by more than one writer that not a 

Claims - , . , ,. 

few of the pipe melodies go back to the 

twelfth century, whilst others maintain that numerous 

airs may be dated as from the accession of Robert 

Bruce in 1305. I may at once say that these views 

are erroneous, and the most recent Scotch writers do 

not seek to claim a higher antiquity for the oldest 

Scottish airs than the first half of the fifteenth century. 

To suppose for a moment that the tune of " Scots 

vvha hae wi' Wallace bled " goes back to the period of 

Bannockburn is opposed to the very construction of the 

melody. Mr. Dauney, in his valuable Ancient Melodies 




Hey, tutti, tattle*' 

of Scotland, thus writes: — "This tune is believed to 
be the same with that to which ' Scots wha hae wi' 
Wallace bled ' is now sung. An absurd 
popular notion is attached to it, for which , , „ 
there is no foundation — namely, that it 
was Bruce's march at the Battle of Bannockburn." 
The air apparently dates from the sixteenth century, 
but it did not appear in print until 175 1, when Oswald 
published it in his Caledonian Pocket Companion (Book 
III. 13). Burns wrote the song- in 1793, and directed 
it to be sung- to the tune, " Hey, tutli, tattie." This 
tune is also known as " Hey, now the day dawes," to 
which the earliest reference is in Dunbar's poem, To 
the Merchants of Edinburgh, written circa 1500 : — 

" Your common menstrallis hes no tone, 
But Now the day dawis, and Iii/ojone." 

It is also alluded to by Gawin Douglas^ in the prologue 
of the thirteenth book of his translation of \'irgil, 

1 The song quoted by Gawin Douglas, as popular in Scotland in 
1 5 10, commences : — 

" I ley. now the day dawis, 
The jolly cock crawis 
Now shrouds the shauis 
Throu nature anone ; 
The thrissel cok cryis. 
Or lovers wha lyis ; 
Now skaillis the skyis. 
The night is neir gone." 

Ur. Sigerson says that these lines "are identical in rime-arrangement 
with the ancient Irish verses ; and (what should set the origin of their 
structure beyond all cavil) they also present alliteration, according to 
the strict rule of the Gaelic bards." — Bards 0/ ike Gael and Gall, \\ 30 


Stofy of tlie Bagpipe 

printed in 15 13. However, Eng^lish writers seem to 
think that "The dey dawes " is an old English air, 
from the fact that it is included in the Fairfax MS. 
(addit. MSS., British Museum, 5465), yet, the music 
for three voices in this collection is quite different from 
the Scottish melody of the same name. We are on 
more certain ground when we find it quoted in the 
Glide and Godlie Ballads^ in 1567, and it is also to be 
met with in Alexander Montgomery's poems, in 1579. 
Certainly, it is supposed to have been played by Habbie 
Simpson, the famous piper of Kilbarchan, about the 
year 1625, but Mr. J. C. Dick, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, in 
his admirably edited Songs of Robert Burns, takes care 
to mention that the music of " The day dawis," in the 
Straloch MS. (1627), is not at all the same as that of 
"Hey, Tuttie, Tattie," or "Scots vvha hae " ; and he 
adds " that it was played at Bannockburn is most likely 
a pleasing fiction." 

As regards the pipe-melody of " The Battle of 
Harlaw," said to date from the year 141 1, when the 
,, „ , . battle was fought, it is safe to say that it 

"Battle of , ^ , ° ,' r nr i 

TT I „ does not bear the marks of fifteenth-century 
work : indeed, it has all the characteristics 
of a seventeenth-century tune. The late Mr. John 
Glen, a most painstaking Scottish antiquary, says that, 
as a matter of sober, historical fact, the first to mention 
the tune is Drummond of Hawthoniden, in his Po/emo- 
middinia^ written about the year 1650, but it was not 
printed till 1775, when Daniel Dow included it in his 
Ancient Scots Music. Dauney even doubts if the 


-Battle of Floddcn Field" 

ballad commemorating- the battle of Harlaw (July 24th, 

141 1), thoug-h decidedly old, is coeval with the events ; 

and he says that there is no reference in the ballad to 

the bag-pipe, the only instruments named being- trumpets 

and drums. Moreover, it is certain that the tune 

named, " Batel of Harlaw," in the Rowallan MS., a 

tablature lute-book of about the year 1620, does not 

remotely resemble the traditional air.^ 

Some ardent Scotch writers allege that the tune 

of the " Battle of Flodden Field," also known as 

" Flowden Hill," or "The Flowers of the 

Forest," g-oes back to the time of the battle „, ,, 

,0 , , , Flodden 

— namely, on September 9th, 15 13, when p. . , ,, 

King- James IV. was slain. With reluctance 

I must again dissent. Internal evidence is quite against 

the claim, and the earliest musical setting- of " The 

Flowers of the Forest" is in the Skene MS., dating- 

from about the year 1620. Further, the words of the 

ballad cannot be at all of the age supposed, and Ritson 

says that " no copy, printed or manuscript, so old as 

the beginning of the present [eighteenth] century can 

be now produced." Sir Walter Scott goes farther, 

and says that the ballad was written by a lady (Mrs. 

Elliott) of Roxburghshire, " about the middle of the 

last century" — that is about the year 1750. Perhaps it 

is as well to add that the tune now known as " The 

Flowers of the Forest" has no close affinity with 

' The air known as " Black DonaM's March to the Battle of 
Inverlochy" is apparently seventeenth century work, though the battle 
it commemorates is said to have been fought in 1427. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

the melody g-iven in the Skene MS., and its first 
appearance in print was not until the year 1759, 
when Oswald published it in the eleventh book of his 
Caledonian Pocket Coynpanion. 

Dauney was of opinion that the tune of "The 
Souters of Selkirk " was a g;enuine bagpipe-melody 
, coeval with the battle of Flodden Field, but 

S Tf t" ^'^'^ statement was merely borrowed from 
Tytler, who, in his Dissertation^ sougfht to 
prove that the song; was founded on the circumstance 
of the Town Clerk of Selkirk conducting; a band of 
eighty Souters to fight at Flodden. Ritson properly 
scoffs at this statement, and nobody now believes it. 
It is suflficient to add that the tune is not older than the 
first half of the seventeenth century, and it was first 
printed by Playford, in 16S7, as a " Scotch hornpipe." 
As a distinctively Scotch tune under its own title it did 
not appear until 1730, when Adam Craig- published it in 
his Scots tunes. Probably it will surprise some readers 
to learii that the words of "The Souters oi Selkirk" 
are by Robert Burns, and were published in the Scots 
Musical Museum in 1796. 

As to the tune of " The Bonny Earl of Moray" being- 
coeval with the murder of the Earl of Murray by the 
Earl of Huntley in 1592, I fear the tradition 
onny j^ distinctly unsafe. Stenhouse, who had a 

Earl of J ,- 1 ' • r \ r • . t' i 

>_ ,, wonderrul mventive faculty tor ancient Scots 

times, is ominously silent as regards "The 

Bonny Earl of Moray." Possibly it may be of the late 

seventeenth century, but it is beyond doubt that its 


"John Anderson my J 


first appearance in print was not until 1733, in the 

second edition of the Orpheus Calcdoniiis. 

" But surely," some ag-grieved Scot may say, "you 

are not going- to deny the fifteenth century origin of 

"John Anderson my Jo"? Yes! I fear 

my answer must be as before. The melody . , 
.... , . , . 1 . , Anderson 

IS distmctly of the mid-sixteenth centurv, or t „ 

. . . niy Jo 

probably 1560, and its earliest appearance is 

in the Skene MS., circa 1625. Further, it is not a 

Scotch melody at all, but of Irish origin, and is a good 

specimen of an Irish pipe tune. It was known in 

England as " Quodling's Delight," and is found 

"noted" in Elizabeth Rogers's Virginal Book, -aXso in 

the Fiiswilliam Virginal Book, as arranged by Giles 

Farnaby in 1598. A note in a musical manuscript in 

the Advocates' Library (Edinburgh), dated 1704, seems 

to confirm the Irish tradition as to the tune being- 

originally set to an Irish drinking song, " An Cruiscin 

Lan." This note is as follows : — "The tune is to be 

played through once over every time, so the first couple 

has \sic~\ time to take their drink.'" In 17 13 it was 

printed by Pearson, of London, as " Put in all," and 

in 1728 it was utilized by Charles Coff"ey, of Dublin, as 

one of the airs in his Beggar's Wedding. 

Notwithstanding that there is no authentic evidence 

for the antiquity of Scotch pipe melodies beyond the 

middle of the fifteenth century, it is only 

right to state that the Cockelbie So7V, a „ 

Scotch poem which dates from about the 

year 1450, has numerous allusions to songs and dance 


Story of the Bagpipe 

tunes popular at that epoch. However, it has not 

been definitely ascertained as to the identity of any of 

the tunes quoted in this poem, whilst Dauney is forced 

to admit that many of the airs are apparently of English 

origin — e.g.^ *' Lincoln," " Lindsay," etc. 

Three different circumstantial accounts are given of 

the fine pipe-melody called *' Macintosh's Lament." 

,, „ , One authority would have us believe that 

"Macintosh's ^ i • r i ^, • .. ^ 

1 „ it was composed m 1^20, and this state- 

L.amcnt . • , , . " „» t^ • 1 • 

ment is copied by Angus Mackay in his 

Collection of Ancient Piobaircachd or Higliland Pipe 

Music (1838). The Macintosh himself, in 1835, says 

that its composition g^oes back to the year 1550, and 

that it was composed by Maclntyre, the family bard, 

on the death of William, who was murdered by the 

Countess of Huntley in that year. A third account is 

by no means the same in the g^eneral outline, and there 

is even a fourth version, but all are so nebulous as 

not to deserve serious consideration. From internal 

evidence the tune does not appear to be older than the 

„ seventeenth centur}^ The same may be 

-_ , ,, predicated of " The MacRae's March," said 
March" , , , , , . 

to be the oldest known pipe-tune, g'oing' 

back to the year 1477, when the Lord of the Isles 

invaded Ross-shire, burning' the country of the 

MacKenzies." Mr. W. L. Manson, in his chatty book 

on the Hig-hland bagpipe (1901), writes: — -"In each 

case, however, tradition is the only original authority ^ 

and to tradition a hundred years are often as one day, 

and one day as a hundred vears." 


Scotch Tunes Printed at Paris 

Perhaps the most authentic of the old Scots tunes is 

" Adew Dundee," but its earliest source is in the Skene 

MS., datinsf from about the year 162 q, 

. . . . '* Adew 

thouofh the tune itself is of the mid-sixteenth t^ , .. 

.... Dundee 

century. Its first appearance in print is in 

Playford's Dancing Master^ in 1688, and in 17 19 

D'Urfey published the song- and tune in his Pills, 

under the title of " Bonnie Dundee." 

Sir David Lyndsay,^ in his Complaynt addressed to 

his royal patron, King- James V., in 1529, alludes to 

the popular tune of " Ginkertoune " : — 

^ ^ "Ginker- 

" Thau playit I twenty springs perqueir, toune " 

Quhilk was great pleasure for to hier, 
Fra play thou let me never rest." 
But ' Ginkertoun ' thou luffit best." 

Dauney tells us that a very interesting allusion to this 
tune occurs in Constable's MS. Cantiis: — 

" I would go twentie mile, I would go twentie mile, 
I would go twentie mile, on my bairfoot, 
Ginkertoune, Ginkertoune, till hear him, Ginkertoune, 
Play on a lute." 

It is remarkable that the very earliest examples of 

Scotch tunes were printed at Paris in i^>4. 

For this information we are indebted to Dr. '^° ^ 

Burney,- who writes as follows : — " John „ . . 
^,„ , . ,, .... Fans in 

D btree, a periormer on the hautbois, in the ,,„ 

, r • • 1554 

service of Charles IX., published at Pans 

^ Sir David Lyndsay also makes reference to " Platfute," or 
" Ourfute " and " Backfute," two dance tunes in vogue in 1520. 
- Burney, vol. iii, p. 262. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

four books oi Danccrics, first writing down the common 
lively tunes which till then had been probably learned 
by ear and played by memory, about the several 
countries specified in the title." Among the dance 
tunes were Branlcs d'Escosse. Dauney in his Dissertation 
expresses the regret that no copy of this French music 
book was to be found, although evidently Dr. Burney 
had examined it. These Branles cC Escosse must be the 
" licht dances " alluded to in the Coniplaynit of Scotland 
(1548), and apparently some specimens were printed 
by Jean d'Estrec.^ 

But, although the French book is now extremely 
scarce, it is more than probable that the Scotch 
dance tunes are the two included in Thoinet Arbeau's 
Orchesographie, printed at Langres in 15S9 — an ex- 
ceedingly rare book, of which a facsimile was printed 
at Paris in 18S8. The real name of the author of this 
little volume was Jean Tabouret — whose 

,,„ anagram is Thoinet Arbeau — a Canon of 

d nscosse _ . ■ r 

Langres, and m his foreword to the two 

examples of the Branle d'Escosse he says that this 

dance was popular in 156S. As a matter of fact, the 

Due d'Angouleme, who was a noted dancer, is credited 

with having introduced Scotch dances to the French 

Court. I herewith give a copy of the Branle d'Escosse, 

as printed in Arbeau's Orchesographie in 1589 : — 

^ Jean d'Estree published Quartre livres de Daiiseries in 1554. The 
Branle (f Esiosse is also to he found in Susato's Premier tivre de 
danserjes, published by Phalese in 1571. 


Branle d'Escosse" 




^^^F-M^ j^^sa 




Pipers at the Scottish Court — George Buchanan — John Hastie — 
Scotch war-pipes in 1549 — The bagpipes in a religious procession — 
St. Andrew's pipers — The pipers of Stirling — James VI. and the 
bagpipes — Battle of Balrinnes — Highland pipes — Lindsay of 
Pittscottie — Highland warfare — Burgh pipers — Clan pipers. 

It is not a little remarkable that in the Accounts of 
the Lords High Treasurers of Scotland the earliest 

references to pipes should be '* Inglis," not 
Pipers Scotch. Thus, in the years 14S9 and 1491, 

I f payments were respectively made to "the 

„ English piper that came to the Castle and 

played to the King-" (^8 8s.), and to " four 
English pipers" (^^j 4s.). It is not until the year 1503 
that, under the date of October 6th, an entry appears 
recording the payment of twenty-eight shillings to " the 
common pipers of Aberdeen," and a similar amount to 
" the common pipers of Edinburgh." In the following 
vear (February 24th, 1504) payment was made to " ane 
piper and ane fittular," whilst the "two pipers of 
Edinburgh" received gratuities in 1504 and 1505, and 
again in 1507 and 150S. Another entry for the year 


John Hastic 

1506 refers to a payment made to " the Eng'lish piper 

with the drone." 

George Buchanan (1506-S2) gives testimony as to the 

use of the Scotch bagpipe in warfare, and he also states 

that the pipe as a domestic instrument was _ 

being ousted in favour by the harp. In fact _ , 

. . ouchanan 

the disappearance of any payment to pipers 

in the Lords Treasurer's Accounts after the year 1508 

gives an indication that the bagpipe had ceased to be 

popular at Court, and was replaced by lutes, viols, 

fiddles, etc. 

An unsupported tradition is quoted by Leyden in his 
Introduction to the Complaynt of Scotland that John 
Hastie, hereditary town piper of Jedburgh 
— who flourished during the first quarter of ,. 

the sixteenth century — actually animated the 
borderers at the Battle of Flodden Field, in 15 13, with 
the sound of his pipes. Indeed, Leyden fully believed 
that the original bagpipe on which Hastie played was 
still preserved, and he mentions that he himself had 
seen the instrument — a Lowland bagpipe — in the 
possession of Hastie's descendant. Certain it is that 
Hastie's instrument cannot now be traced, and I fear 
that the story is apocryphal — somewhat on a par with 
the evidence claimed for the bagpipe dated " 1409," 
which belonged to the late John Glen. 

As regards the use of the bagpipes in Scotch warfare 
in the second quarter of the sixteenth century there 
is ample testimony. A French military officer,^ in 

' LHistoire ac la Guerre cPEcosse. Paris, 1 556. 

63 F 

Story of the Bagpipe 

1549, describing' the skirmishing carried on near Edin- 

burgfh in that year, mentions "fourteen or 

CO c ^ fifteen thousand Scots, including the savages 

that accompanied the Earl of Arsfvll." These 
in 1549 . ^ ,, ^"^ . 

"wild Scots" or "savages, as he writes, 

'•'' encouraged themselves to arms by the sound of their 

bagpipes J''' 

Continuing chronologically, in John Knox's History 

of the Refor?nation, under date of 1556, there is an 

account of the indisrnity offered to the 
f^f P" statue of St. Giles, patron saint of Edin- 
o ,. . burgh, by the zealots, to mark their dis- 

Procession ^PP^'o^'^^ of Roman Catholic worship. It 

is stated that the statue was cast into the 

North Loch of Edinburgh, in order to prevent it being 

borne in procession at a Catholic festival. However, 

another image of St. Giles was borrowed from the 

P'ranciscan Friars, and we read that "the procession, 

led by the Queen Regent, 7vas attended by bagpipes'^ 

and other instruments. 

From the St. Andrews Kirk-Session Register it 

appears that in the year 1570 "three pipers were 

admonished to keep the Sabbath holy, and 

_,.' to attend sermon on Wednesday ; also to 

ripers , . ^ , . , ^^ 

abstain from playing on the streets alter 

supper or during the night." At a later date this 

monition had to be renewed against the pipers. 

Let it not be imagined, however, that the St. 

Andrews pipers were more wicked than others of 

the fraternity elsewhere in Scotland. Dalyell thus 


Battle of Balrinnes 

writes': — " Playing- the bagpipe and dancing on Sunday 

came so repeatedly under ecclesiastical censure as to 

show very evidently the general preval- 

r , • . 1. TT 1 J . c "ipcrs or 

ence or the nistrument. Under date ot o • <■ 
1.T , 1 • 1 • btirhng 

November loth, 1574, a serious complamt 

was made by a burgess of Stirling- to the Privy Council 

that he was grievously assaulted by a certain Highland 

piper named Edmund Brown, "having been bit even to 

the effusion of blood by the said piper's dog." 

Notwithstanding the decrees against playing the 
bagpipes on the Sabbath, it is on record that, on 
one memorable Sunday, King James VI., 
after attending service at Dalkeith Church, J^™^^ ^^' 
had two pipers playing before him. This, p. 
however, must have been a royal prerogative, 
for, a few years laters, two pipers were in trouble, being 
charged with the offence of "playing on a Sunday." 
From Dalyell we learn that, in 1591 and 1593, George 
Bennet, piper in the water of Leith, and James 
Brakenrig, " engaged to abstain from playing on the 
bagpipe on Sunday." William Aikin, of Braid, also 
promised " never to profane the Sabbath day in playing 
with his pipes," as did also Thomas Cairns in 1595 and 

Under James VI. the bagpipe had become fixed as a 
military instrument. In the Complaynt of Scotlcuid it is 
mentioned by Dr. Leyden that the bagpipes were heard 
at the Battle of Balrinnes, in 1594. A witch, who was 
in the train of Argyll, prophetically alluded to the 
' Yi7>\'^^\V% I\[i(sical Memoirs of Scotland, p. 34. 

Story of the Bagpipe 

bag-pipe as the distinctive music of the Scots in battle. 

But whether we believe this story or not, it is certain 

that after the battle of Balrinnes pipers 

_, , . invariably took part in Scottish warfare. 

Balrinnes „, ■' . ^ '^ ^ a v -^t 

Ihe paucity or documents dealmg with 

Scottish social life in the first half of the sixteenth 
century may explain the scant references to the bag- 
pipes duruig" that period, yet it is an undeniable fact 
that the pipes are mentioned in the time of King 
David II., aon of Robert Bruce, as previously alluded 

to. The term, " Highland pipes," can claim 
p, a respectable antiquity, as it goes back to 

the last quarter of the sixteenth century.^ 
Dr. Leyden quotes from the Banantyne MS. an unedited 
poem written by Alexander Hume, minister of Logic, 
in 1598, on the defeat of the Armada. The lines plainly 
point to the three classes of pipes — namely, the High- 
land, the Lowland, and the Irish pipes : — 

" Cans michtilie the warlie nottes breike 
On Heiland pipes, Scottes, and Ilybernicke." 

In 1573, Lindsay of Pittscottie gives an account of 

the Highlanders, and thus writes : — " The other parts 

of Scotland northern are full of mountains, 

in say o ^^^^ very rude and homely kind of people 

doth inhabit, which is called Redshanks or 

Wild Scots. They be clothed with ane mantle, with ane 

shirt, saffroned after the Irish inanner, going bare-legged 

^ In 1574 allusion is made to Edward Bruwn as '■'ane Hicland 
fyper" (Acts of the Privy Council). 


Burgh Pipers 

to the knee." It is well to note that the tniis, g^enerally 
reg'arded as of Highland origin, was really introduced 
from Ireland, and this view is corroborated by Skene. 
The kilt or phillabcg cu.nnot be traced farther back than 

Moneypennie (who wrote in 161 2) quotes from the 
author of Certain Curious Matters Concerning Scotland 
(1597), as follows, regarding Highland war- 
fare : — " Their armour wherewith thev cover ,„° . 
,.,,... r • • / warfare 

tlieir bodies ni tune or war is an iron bonnet, 

and an ' habbergion,' side almost even to their heels. 

Their weapons against their enemies are bows and 

arrows . . . Some of them fight with broad swords 

and axes : in place of a drum t/wv use a bagpipe.'" 

With reference to the burgh or town pipers,^ whose 

office was, as a general rule, hereditary, Mr. Glen 

writes as follows : — " About springtime and 

harvest the town pipers were wont to make _, ^ 

, . . ,. . Pipers 

a tour through their respective districts. 

Their music and tales paid their entertainments, and 

they were usually gratified with a donation of seed 

corn. They received a livery and small salary from 

the burgh ; and, in some towns, were allotted a small 

piece of land, which was called the piper's croft. The 

office, through some unaccountable decadence of taste, 

was gradually abolished." 

Not only did the various towns of Scotland employ 

burgh pipers, but the clans followed suit, and there are 

^ On December 2nd, 1601, Fergus Neilson was appointed " toune 
pyper '" of the burgh of Kircudbright for one year, 


Story of the Bagpipe 

many references at the close of the sixteenth century 
to the prevailing" custom of a piper being considered an 

indispensable adjunct to the chiefs establish- 
p, ment. These clan pipers, like their brethren 

of the towns, were mostly hereditary, and 
were highly esteemed by their lairds. Unfortunately, 
the information regarding them is very confused until 
the first quarter of the seventeenth century, and one 
must accept with caution the traditional stories as to 
the MacCrimmons and the MacArthurs. The earliest 
documentary evidence I have come across for a clan 
piper is in reference to Robert MacLure, "piper to 
the laird of Buchanan," in 1600, who got into some 
little trouble a few years later, as appears from the 
Stirling Kirk-Session Register, under date of May 
28th, 1604. 




Town pipers of Vienna — Legend of the Pied Piper of Ilamelin — Guild 
of Minstrels — Pipers in Paris — Pipers in Spain — Boccaccio's refer- 
ence to the bagpipes — Calabrian pipers — Virdung describes the 
bagpipe — Schalmey and Sackpfiefe — Denis Roce — Albrecht Dlirer 
— Luscinius's Miisntgia — Martin Agricola — Statue of piper at 
Nuremberg — Bagpipe in church — Bulgarian and Servian bagpipes 
— The Volynka — Hungarian pipes — Olaus Magnus — Dance of 

The Guild of Musicians at Vienna was founded in 
1288, under the title of the " Brotherhood of St. 
Nicholas," and was incorporated the same 
year. From this guild were selected the 


town pipers or waits. No doubt, the popu- Xt 

^ ^ . ■> ir i- Vienna 

larity of the bagpipe was due to the fact 
that by the charter of foundation of the monastery of 
\'ienna (the famous Schottenkloster), in 115S, Henry, 
Duke of Austria, directed that the abbey was to be 
" governed and inhabited solely by Irishmen." As a 
matter of fact, Irish abbots ruled the Schottenkloster 
of \'ienna from 115S to 1418, and it is on record that 
the Irish monks catered for the amusement of the 


Story of the Bagpipe 

people, in which dancing to the bagpipe was one ot 

the features.^ 

It would be unpardonable to omit mention of the 

famous legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. All 

readers are familiar with the story, which 

Legena ot j^ supposed to date from the close of the 

_, , thirteenth century — the /or<^?/<' being Hamelin, 

Piper of . fir' • n • -n 

TT J. provmce ot Hanover, in Prussia. Ihe story 

goes that in June 12S4 the town suffered 

so much from a plague of rats that the inhabitants had 

almost resolved to leave it, when, lo ! a mysterious 

bagpiper, in fantastic costume, entered the town, and 

agreed, for a stated sum, to rid the place of the rodents, 

undertaking to charm them into the river Weser by the 

strains of his piping. His proposition was unanimously 

agreed to, and he, on his part, spirited away the rats. 

However, the townspeople, urging as a reason that the 

piper was demoniacal, or that he had employed sorcery, 

would not pay the stipulated sum, whereupon the piper, on 

June 26th of that same year, took his stand in the principal 

street of Hamelin, and played such a weird strain on 

his pipes that all the children of the town followed him 

to Koppelberg hill. When the procession arrived at 

the side of the hill, an opening appeared through 

which the piper entered still playing his magic melody. 

All the children, save one solitary lame girl, who 

could not keep up with the rest, entered the fissure, 

and immediately it closed up, after which nothing was 

ever more heard of piper or children. Whatever may 

' Hormayr's History of Vienna, p. 139. 

Pipers in Paris 

be thought of the tradition, one fact stands out in 

rehef — namely, that in 1284 the bagpipe was popular 

in Germany. 

During the eleventh and twelfth centuries every 

important town of Europe could boast of its Guild of 

Minstrels. All wandering minstrels went 

under the generic name of fiddlers and ,-. , 

-, ^^ . , . , Minstrels 

pipers. I\o festive gathering was complete 

without the piper, and his presence was welcome at 
tournaments, open-air galas, in the baronial halls, 
and at rural weddings. From the German Guild of 
Minstrels developed the minnesingers, who in the 
fourteenth century gave way to the vieistersingers. 
The minnesingers were of all grades, though as a rule 
of noble birth, whilst the meistersingers were what we 
would now call professional musicians. 

And just as the German minstrels had their guilds, 
the fiddlers and pipers in France — better known as 
the jongleurs — formed themselves into com- 
panies, and this led to the founding of La " „ . 
Confrerie des Mcnctriers at Paris, in 1321, 
incorporated by royal letters patent, in 1331, under the 
patronage of St, Genest and St. Julien, with a king, 
styled Roi des Menetriers. These French 
minstrels got a renewal of their charter in 1 \ 

1407.^ The bagpipe was likewise a popular 
instrument in Spain, and in Don Quixote allusion is 
made to " the bagpipes of Zamora." 

^ In 1572 Jean Girin, of Lyons, issued a TmiW de 'a A/uaeth'. 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Not alone in Germany, France, and Spain, but also in 

Italy, was the bag-pipe a popular instrument. We learn 

from Boccaccio that, in the year 1348, when 

rJoccaccio s piorence was visited with a plague, a bag- 

e cr nee pipef accompanied the fugitives who retired 

o . from the plagfue-stricken city to the country. 

Bagpipe . '. 

The reader will remember that Boccaccio 

introduces Pindaro as attending- with his bag-pipe, 

to the accompaniment of which merry dances were 


In particular, Calabria was celebrated for its bag-- 

pipers. Blunt, in his l^es/i'o-es of Ancient Manners and 

Customs^ tells us that even in the last 

Calabrian . .1 r^ 1 i • • i j 1 

century the Calabrian pipers had preserved 

their old reputation. He adds that, a month 
previous to the g-reat festival of Christmas, the Cal- 
abrian shepherds repaired to the towns, and performed 
folk melodies before a statue of the Blessed Virg-in and 
the Infant Saviour. In a beautifully illustrated manu- 
script, Horae Beatac Meriae Virginus, dating- from 1445, 
there are twelve exquisite miniatures, one of which 
represents the ang-el appearing- to the shepherds, one of 
whom is playing a bagpipe. 

The earliest description of the continental bagpipes, 

with illustrations, is by Sebastian Virdung, 

ir ung j^ j^j^ Musica getnfscht iind auszgezogen, 

. printed at Basel in 151 1. This work, of the 

r> • utmost rarity, is written in dialogue form, 

oagpipe , -^ ^ ' 

and gives an account of all the musical 
instruments then in use. 


German Sackpfeife 


Among- the wind instruments described by Vlrdung- 
are the schahney and the sackpfeife — in other words, 
the shawm (a primitive oboe, 
having- a conical tube witli double 
reeds), and the bag- 
pipe. ^ Many writers Schalmey 
have imagined that the 
schalmey, or shawm, 
is the parent of the clarinet, but 
this is not so: the schalmey had 
a double reed, whereas the chain- 
mean is of the single beating reed 

One of the finest woodcuts of 

the early sixteenth century is the 

title-page of a work ^^^ . ,-. 

ur 1 ^ ^ n • • Denis Roce 
published at Pans m 

1510, edited by Denis Roce. In 

this title-page Roce's device is 

magnificently designed, and one 

of the border panels represents a 


Perhaps the best illustration of 

^ Praetorius, in 1618, gives an account 
of several forms of the German sackpfeife, 
including the grosser beck with its one 
great drone (G), and the small dudey 
with three drones, giving c'p', b^' , and 
^y, and a chanter having a compass up 
to n". 



From Praitorius's Synta^oma (t6iS). 

tsienum crponutui: a ©lon^fio ^ o 
cio ttioia get Ettt c fulj interfignto Diui 
^artim^^nDicofanctiJacolJi* I 

....JiJ^S ^^iS^sa^^M ^--^ 


' yinj c m i»m cH,M-yii -npjf j\! i.i Jimyu-y j-^gajnyCTj^a 




Martin Affricola 


a continental piper of this period is the well-known 
drawing- of a German player on the bag- 
pipes from the master brush of Albrecht ^.. 

. . Durer 

Diirer, dated a.d. 15 14. I subjoni a 

copy of this picture taken from Dalyell's Musical 

Dalyell also gives an illustration of a German shep- 
herd playing on a bagpipe with two drones. He writes 
in reference to it: — "I know not if the subject was 
a favourite, but another bagpiper, a shepherd, who 
appears like Orpheus, attracting animals around him 
by his music, may be found in a scene meant to be laid 
in Germany. The date of this latter picture is given as 


Many writers quote the Miisiirgia of Ottomar 
Luscinius, published in 1536, as a work of the ex- 
tremist rarity, and as second only in 

,,. , , . ... f Luscimus's 

importance to Virdun;:'- s. As a matter or __ 
. T • • , . Musurgia 

iact Luscmius s book was m great part 

merely a Latin translation of Virdung's Miisica 
GetutsclU. Another great work dealing with medi- 
aeval musical instruments is Miisica Instrumcntalis 
deudsch, printed at Wittenberg by George 

Rhaw in 1^20. The author, Martin Agri- , , , 

1 u 1 Q I • I . Agncola 

cola — whose real name was bohr — is best 

known as the inventor of a new tablature for 

the lute. 

' In a representation of Joachim's vision, by Diirer, the bagpipe is 
in evidence. 


Story of the Bagpipe 


German Shepherd 




Story of the Bagpipe 

In the Ebner Gasse at Nuremberg there is a 

beautiful statue of a bagpiper, affording additional 

proof of the popularity of the pipes in 

a ue o Germany, No doubt the pipes were 
Piper at , . r i r n 

.T « used as an accompanunent tor the lolk 
Nuremberg ^ 

songs and hymns that were so much m 

vogue in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. 

It is of interest to add that at Nuremberg were 

printed two early German hymn books in 1529 and 

Nor is it so surprising that the bagpipe should 

be the popular instrument for sustaining the voice 

when it is borne in mind that it was 

. 5.? . effectively used for religious services, 
in Church .,/.,, f 

especially m churches where an organ 

or orchestra was not available. It is on record 

that at a procession in Brussels in 1529 for a 

special feast of the Blessed Virgin "many wild 

beasts danced round a cage containing two apes 

playing on bagpipes " — that is to say, there was a 

"masque of bagpipes." Philip II. was present at 

this procession, and the whole pageant is described 

by Juan Christoval Salvete, which was reprinted by 

Menestrier in 1681.^ 

Niebuhr highly praises the Bulgarian bagpipes, 

which were of exceedins: sweetness. The Servian 

^ In Lacroix's I'l'e Militaire et Re/igieiisc an JMoyen A:^e (1S73) 
there is a sixteenth-century drawing of a procession, in which peasant 
bagpipers performed. 


Hungarian Pipes 

pipes were also of more than local fame, and a 

traveller describes a marriage procession 

in Servia wherein we read that the bride ""i?**"'^" 

was brousfht to the church in a car drawn ^ 


by two buffaloes, headed by two stalwart o, ■ „„ 

. . rSagpipes 

bagpipers. In Bulgaria and Servia the 
distinctive national dances were invariably tripped to 
the music of the pipes. 

Among the Finns and Russians a primitive form of 
bagpipe is used called volyiika, also known as pilai. 
Guthrie, writing in 1795, describes it as v i t, 
consisting of "two tubes and a mouthpiece 
all apart, inserted in a raw, hairy goatskin. Guagninus, 
in his Rerum Polonicorutn^ tells us that when the Emperor 
of Russia degraded the Archbishop of Novogorod in 
1569 he alleged that "he was fitter for a bagpiper 
leading dancing bears than for a prelate." 

Bright, in his Travels in Hungary (181 5), was much 
taken with the dudeisack, or bagpipe, having a chanter 
and two drones of square tubes ; and, just as 
in the case of the volynka^ the windbag was p, 

covered with goat's skin, with a figure of a 
goat terminating the drone. It is also added that the 
dudeisack was invariably employed for the national 
dances of Hungary. 

It was customary for the continental shepherds to 

utilize the bagpipe for the delectation of 

their flocks and herds. Animals are pro- __ 

verbially fond of music, and Olaus Magnus, 

a Swedish ecclesiastical dignitary of the sixteenth 

79 G 

Story of the Bagpipe 


century,^ relates that the shep- 
herds employed a bagpipe with 
two drones, so that their flocks 
mig'ht be induced to come together 
and feed with relish. 

In a celebrated sixteenth-century 
woodcut of the " Dance of Death " 
the devil is represented 
as playing- on the bag- 
pipes. A similar draw- 
ing of the same date is to be found 
at Antwerp. Thus it would appear 
there are "angelic" as well as 
"demoniac" pipers in legendary 

1 His book was published at Rome in 

" Dance of 
Death " 




" Inglis pyparis " at the Scottish Court — Pudsey the piper — Elizabeth 
of York — Henry VIII. a patron of the pipes — Richard Woodward 
— May games — Morris dances — Queen Elizabeth's Band of Music 
— Drayton's Polyolhiou — Lincolnshire pipers — Shakespeare's bag- 
pipe allusions — Worcester and Lancashire pipers — Nottingham 
pipers — The Coventry Mysteries. 

I\ the accounts of the Lords Higfh Treasurer of 

Scotland, under date of July loth, 1489, there is an 

entry of 7^8 8s. as payment to " Ing-lis 

pyparis that came to the Castel [Edinburgh] Inglis 

and playit to the King-," and in Aug^ust 1491 -rypans 

seven unicorns were paid to three Enjjlish „ . , 

, . . •, , r Scottish 

pipers. Agam, on April 14th, 1506, a q^^^^^ 

gratuity was given to "an Inglis pipar 

with the drone." At this date there were four boys 

that played on the "schalmes" whose liveries cost 

;^7 8s. 3d.; and in 1507 payments were made to 

" schawmeris " as well as " piparis " at the Scottish 


Pipers were not unwelcome at the English Court at 


Story of the Bagpipe 

this epoch, although the fashionable world had shown 

a preference for other instruments, like the harp, the 

viol, the lute, the recorder, etc. In 1494 

" ^T there is a record of 6s. 8d. beino- paid to 

the Piper ,, n A • ^u u • " r ^u 

' i'udsey, piper on the bag-pipes, from the 

royal coffers. Five years later a similar sum was paid 

to " a strange taborer." 

Not alone did Henry VII. patronize the bagpipes, 

but his consort, Elizabeth of York, followed suit. In 

the privy purse expenses of Elizabeth of 

.^ff ^. York we find a payment made to " a piper 
of York ^, ^ , ^ . " u f ; 1 

that played upon a drone berore the 

Queen at Richmond.^ 

But a greater patron of music than any of his pre- 
decessors was Henry VIII. — himself a composer and 
performer. Pollard writes as follows: — 
Henry VIII. ,< g^^^ ^^ j^^^^ ^^ York he had a band of 

, p. minstrels apart from those of the King and 

Prince Arthur; and when he was King his 
minstrels formed an indispensable part of his retinue, 
whether he went on progress through his kingdom or 
crossed the seas on errands of peace or war." In the 
King's band of music a bagpiper was included, and we 
read that Henry himself had a suit of armour on which 
the figure of a piper is engraved. Various entries in 
the Rutland MSS. {//z's^. MSS. Com.) testify to the popu- 
larity of the bagpipe — e.g.: — "Oct. 1539: Item, in 

^ In Brandt's Ship of Fools, written in 1494, we read : 
*' Some with their harps, another with his lute, 
Another with his bagpipe, or a foolish flute." 

Richard Woodward 

reward to Maister George Powlet, baggepyppe, VI I Id. ; 
Dec. 1539: Item, in reward, the xxix. day of Deccmbre, 
to a drone bagpiper that plaed and song" before the 
lades, VI Id." From an inventory of the musical in- 
struments in St. James's Palace at the death of Henry 
\'III. we learn that the list included "four bagpipes 
with pipes of ivory," and also '* a baggepipe with pipes 
of ivorie, the bagge covered with purple vellat" (Harl. 
MSS. No. 1419). 

As was to be expected, the boy King, Edward VI., 
continued his father's patronage to pipers, and he 

retained Richard Woodward as the royal 

u • 4- 1 r /- J Richard 

bagpiper at a salary of £12 13s. 4d. a year, ^^^^^^^^ 

equal to about £120 of our present money. ^ 

The King's Band of Music in 1548 consisted of eight 

minstrels, seven viols, four sackbuts, two lutes, a 

harper, a bagpiper^ a drunoslade, a rebeck, a Welsh 

minstrel, a player on the virginals, and a flute-player. 

But it was at the May games that the bagpiper held 

pride of place in accompanying the festive dance. In a 

previous chapter I have alluded to the popu- 

laritv of Mav games in the fourteenth and _. ^ 

' ' . . . . Lrames 

fifteenth centuries, but it was in the sixteenth 

century that these outdoor revelries and pageants 

reached their highest limit in " merrie England." In 

15 16 the King and Queen went a-maying at Shooter's 

Hill, as related in detail by Hall. Herrick tells us 

of the gorgeous decoration of the maypoles, round 

^ Richard Woodward was also royal piper lo (Jueen Mary and (^ueen 
Elizabeth, lie died in June, 1569. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

which the lads and lasses tripped to the sound of the 

" The maypole is up : now give me the cup, 
I'll drink to the garlands around it ; 
But first unto those whose hands did compose 
The glory of flowers that crowned it." 

Sir Ernest Clarke, in his charming article on "The 
Music of the Country-side " in English Music^ says: — 
"The outward and visible sign of the festival was the 
raising of the maypole, of which, curiously enough, we 
get the most complete account from the fierce de- 
nunciation of that early Puritan Philip Stubbes- in his 
Anatomie of Abuses, printed in 1583." 

Whether as a result of Stubbes's book or from an 
incipient puritanical tendency, we find Morris dances on 
Sunday forbidden in 1585. Under date of 
^^^ May 13th, 1585, a circular was issued by the 

Bishop of Winchester forbidding "Church- 
ales, May-games, Morrish dances, and other vain pas- 
times on the Sabbath days " throughout his diocese. 
One of the oldest known tunes for the English Morris 
dance is " Staines Morris," preserved in William 
Ballet's Lute Book, dated 1593, and subsequently (1651) 
printed in the first edition of Playford's Dancing Master. 
Another popular Morris dance of the sixteenth century 
is "The King's Morisco," contained in the Fitzxmlliani 
Virginal Book. But of all the tunes connected with the 
May g-ames the song of "Come, Lasses and Lads" — 

^ English Music ("Music Story" Series). 
^ See also Gosson's School of Abuse. 

" Drone of a Lincolnshire Bagpipe " 

which appears in JVestmiiisier Drollery (1672) under 
the title of " Rural Dance about the Maypole" — is the 
freshest, and is still popular after three hundred years. 

Even during- the long reig^n of Queen Elizabeth the 
bagpipe still maintained its popularity. Elizabeth's 
band of music in 15S7 consisted of sixteen 
trumpets, nine minstrels, eig^ht viols, six '■^ueen 

, , , ., , 4.U • • 1 Elizabeth's 

sackbuts, three players on the virgmals, t, , r 
' , , ^ , , , ^ . Band of 

two rebecks, lutes, harps, and a bagpipe. Music 

There is an illustration of an English 

bagpiper in the title-page of Drayton's Poems, all 

the more interesting as having been engraved by 

William Hole, the printer of " Parthenia." 

What may be described as a rhyming description of 

the instruments popular in the Elizabethan epoch is 

given in Michael Drayton's Polyolbt'on, the 

first part of which was published in 161 t. ^^^"P ^ 

. . . Poly- 
After mentioning the various stringed m- ,, . ,, 
^ . ^ olbion " 
struments he contmues: — 

"So there were some again, in tills their learned strife, 
Loud instruments that loved, the Cornet and the Fife, 
The Hoboy, Sackhut deep, Recorder, and the Flute, 
Even from the shrillest Shawn unto the Cornemute. 
Some blow the Bagpipe up, that plays the country round, 
The Tabor and the Pipe some take delight to sound." 

Lincolnshire pipers must have had an especially good 
reputation in the sixteenth century, as we find them 
alluded to by Shakespeare in Henry IV. (Act i., Sc. 2), 
when Falstaff uses a simile comparing a lover's melan- 
choly to "the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe." In 


Story of the Bagpipe 

this connection it is strange that some of Shakespeare's 

early commentators, including Steevens, imagined "a 

Lincolnshire bagpipe" to mean a jesting 

Lincoln- allusion to frogs croaking in the marshes 

n. of Lincoln, but the acute Irish scholar 


Malone pointed out that the reference was 

to be taken literally, quoting as follows from Robert 

Armin's Nest of Nmnies in 1608: — 

"At a Christmas-time, when great logs furnish the 
hall fire, when brawn is in season, and indeed all 
revelling is regarded, this gallant knight kept open 
house for all comers, where beef, beer, and bread was no 
niggard. Amongst all the pleasures provided, a noise 
of minstrels and a Lincolnshire bagpipe was prepared; 
the ■rninstrels for the great chamber, the bagpipe for the 
hall; the minstrels to serve tip the knight's meat and the 
bagpipe for the common dancing."^ 

Shakespeare's reference in Henry IV. is not the only 
one which the bard of Avon employs apropos of the 
bagpipe ; he also alludes to it in the 
Shake- Merchant of Venice (Act iv., Sc. i) in two 
speare s places. The allusion to a "woollen bag- 
.|- . pipe" is to unlearnt, or Irish domestic 

pipes, of which I shall treat in the next 
Chapter. In All's Well that Ends Well {Act ii., Sc. 2) 
Shakespeare makes the clown say: — "As fit as a 

^ Drayton in his Polyolbion (1613) tells us of the " Lincoln swains 
in shepherds' guy and jjirls in Lincoln p;reen ": — 

" Whilst some the ring of bells and some the bagpipe ply, 
Dance many a merry round and many a hey-day." 


" Worcestershire for Bagpipes " 

pancake for Shrove Tuesday, or a man's for a May- 
day.''' The well-known phrase: "Strike up pipers," 
occurs in Much Ado About Nothing, and there is another 
hackneyed quotation in reference to men who laugh 
" like parrots at a bagpiper.'' 

From old pamphlets of the early seventeenth century 
there are indications of the peculiar prowess of the 
pipers of Worcestershire and Lancashire in 
the Elizabethan epoch. It is worthy of note Worcester 
that as far back as the year 1600 the well- 
known dance of the hornpipe — which derived p' e s 

its name from the instrument of that name, 
also known as the cornpipe — was associated with 
Lancashire. Shakespeare alludes to this dance as 
follows in the Winter's Tale (Act iv., Sc. 2): "But 
one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to 
Hornpipes." Spenser, too, in his Shepherd's Calendar'^ 
(Eclogue V.) thus writes : — 

" I saw a sliole of shepherds outgo 
With sinyiiig, and shouting, and jolly cheer; 
Before them yrode a lusty Taberer 
That to the many a Horn-pipe play'd, 
Whereto they dauncen each one with his maid. 
To see these (oiks make such jouissance 
Made my heart after the pipe to dance." 

A writer in the first few years of the reign of James L, 
under date of 1609, says : — " The Courts of Kings for 

^ It would seem that the English shepherds of this epoch had a 
weakness for the pipes, for Sjienser, in the above poem, asks: "Or 
is thy bagpipe broke that sounds so sweet ? " 


Story of the Bagpipe 

stately measures, the City for lig-ht heels and nimble 
footing ; Western men for g-ambols, Middlesex men 
for tricks above ground, Essex men for the Hey, 
Lancashire for Hornpipes^ Worcestershire for Bagpipes^ 
but Herefordshire for a Morris dance.^'' Perhaps it may 
be necessary to add that the dance of the hornpipe in 
the Elizabethan days was far different from the horn- 
pipe of our time. There is still preserved a hornpipe, 
composed by Hugh Aston [cir. 1525), and the popularity 
of the dance is testified by Barnaby Rich, in 1581. 
These old hornpipes were invariably written in § time, 
and continued so until the middle of the eighteenth 
century, when the rhythm as now danced was changed 

In addition to Worcestershire and Lancashire the 

pipers of Nottingham were also celebrated, but none 

of them excelled Lincolnshire, so lauded 

mg am . Elizabethan writers. From the Rutland 
r'lpers '^ . , , , . ^ 

papers it would seem that pipers irom 

Nottingham were paid gratuities at Belvoir in 1590, 

1594, and 1603. 

The employment of a piper in the early drama is not 

without significance, and as late as the 
n7r°^!'^ f^ year 1584, a bagpiper named Cochrane, 

played at the Coventry Mysteries. 





Diircr's Irish piper — The siege of Boulogne — The piob iiior — Stani- 
hursl's description — Father William Good, S.J. — State pardons 
to pipers — Camden's account — Vincenzo Galilei — Derrick's Intake 
of Ireland — Shakespeare's "woollen" pipes — Battle of the 
Yellow Ford — Dermot MacGrath — Battle of the Curlews — Kiiince 
fada — The sword dance — Fynes Morison. 

One of Albert Diirer's finest drawings is that of an Irish 

bagpiper, dated a.d. 15 14. The original is now at 

Vienna, and much speculation has been ^ 

indulofed in as to the circumstances under , . , ^. 

, . , T^ r , > • , • -Ki, Irish Piper 

which Diirer round his subject. Most 

probably the Irish piper, whose appearance and bag- 
pipes are so delightfully painted by Diirer, was one of 
those who were attached to some Irish kerne in the 
campaign at Tournay in September 15 13, when Henry 
VIII. had the Emperor as an ally. It is interesting to 
compare the "Irish piper" with the " German piper," 
as given in Chapter X. 

Irish pipers figured conspicuously at the siege of 
Boulogne in 1544. From the muster roll of the Irish 
troops despatched to France, it appears that there 


Story of the Bagpipe 

were 800 kerne and 200 " boys," or pages — that is, 
an attendant for every four kerne — and ten Irish war- 
pipers headed the contingent under Lord 
legc o Power. HoHnshed writes that in Mav 1^44 

Boulogne , r • 1 , , ' • 

the Irish troops "passed through the city 

of London, in warlike manner, ivith bagpipes before 

t/iem, having for their weapons darts and handguns, 

and in St. James's Park, beside Westminster, they 

mustered before the king." Incidentally we learn that 

the kerne sent by Lord St, Mullins (Cahir MacArt 

of Polmonty Castle), were commanded by Captain 

Redmond MacCahir, " with Edmund the Piper as 

leader." The Waterford contingent was under 

Captain Sherlock. As is known to all students of 

history, Boulogne fell on September 14th, 1544; and 

peace was made with France in June, 1546. 

The plob nior (or Irish war pipes) was heard in 

Scotland in the campaign of 1542, as Ireland con- 

-.. , „- tributed 2,000 kerne to assist in the Border 
Piob Mor T,r c 1 1-1 

VVars. beven years later — namely, m the 

expedition to Scotland, under Edward VI., in 1549-50, 

a number of Irish kerne with their war-pipers took 

part, under the command of Captain Sherlock. In the 

Rutland MS., under date of July 19th, 1549, there is 

an entry of payment to two Irish minstrels that played 

for the Earl of Rutland at Douglas, the gratuity being 

specified as 3s. 4d. 

Here it will be of interest to quote Stanihurst's 

description of the piob mor, or Irish war-pipes, in 

1575 • 


Irish Piob Mor in 1566 

"The Irish, likewise, instead of the trumpet, make 

use of a wooden pipe of the most ingenious structure, to 

which is joined a leather bag-, very closely 

bound with bands. A pipe is inserted in ^ . , 
1 -J ri- •• 7 T 7-7 7 Description 

the side of this skm, thTOiigh ivhich the 

piper^ with his sicollen neck and puffed up cheeks^ blcnvs 

in the same manner as we do through a tube. The skin, 

being thus filled with air, begins to swell, and the 

player presses against it with his arm ; thus a loud 

and shrill sound is produced through two wooden 

pipes of different lengths. In addition to these, there 

is yet a fourth pipe [the chanter], perforated in differeyit 

places [having five or six holes], which the player so 

regulates by the dexterity of his fingers, in the shutting 

and opening of the holes, that he can cause the upper 

pipes to send forth either a loud or a low sound at 


Even before Stanihurst's time, Father William Good, 
an English Jesuit, who had a school in Limerick, in his 
Description of the Manyiers and C2ist07}is of 
the Wild Irish, written at the request of w/n* 
Camden, in 1566, thus writes of the piob „ 4 ct 
7nor : — "They love music mightily, and of 
all instruments, are particularly taken with the harp. 
. . . They use the bagpipe in their war instead of a 
trumpet J" 

From official records we learn that State pardons 
were granted to the following pipers between the 
years 1550 and 15S5 : — Hugh buidhe and Cormac 
the piper, in 1550; John O'Doran and Morgan the 


Story of the Bagpipe 

piper, in 1570 ; Conly Fannin, Manus the piper, 

Thomas MacShane, and Brian Fitzpatrick, 1571 ; Conor 

MacLoughlin and Owen the piper, in 1577; 

^f Thomas reogh, in 1582; Morgan the piper 

Pardons to j t u d- u u- r • • a • 

p, and John Piers, "chief musician and piper 

to Sir Gerald Fitzgerald of Dromana," in 
15S4; and Donogh O'Casey and Donogh MacCormac, 
in 1585. 

Camden, who published Father Good's account of 

the social life of Ireland, alludes to the proclamations 

against harpers and pipers, and we know 

from the State papers that Irish bagpipers 

were regarded as "most dangerous," as 

they invariably headed all hostile incursions into the 

Pale, and were also used as "intelligencers." 

In Vincenzo Galilei's Dialogue on Ancient and Modern 
Music, published in Florence in 1581, the great Italian 
musical theorist thus writes of the Irish piob 
p ... . mor: — "The bagpipe is much used by the 

Irish. To its sound this unconquered, fierce, 
and warlike people march their armies, and encourage 
each other to deeds of valour. ]Viih it also they accom- 
pany their dead to the grave, snaking such mournful 
sounds [caoines, or funeral marches] as to invite — 
nay, almost force — the bystanders to weep." Thus 
we learn from independent sources that the Irish war 
pipes were not only heard in battle, but were also 
used in processions, at festive gatherings, weddings, 
funerals, etc. 

But in addition to descriptions of Irish war-pipes and 

Derrick's "Image of Ireland" 

pipers, there are two Elizabethan woodcuts which, 
thoug'h more or less caricatures, are of interest. 
The first of these is from John Derrick's 
Image of Ireland, "made and devised sine s 
anno 1578," and dedicated to Sir Philip ■. . , 
Sydney, but not published until 1581. Sub- 
joined is the " habite and apparell " of an Irish war-piper 
at the head of an Irish band of troops. 

Derrick's poetry is little better than his drawings, 
but it may be as well to give his description of a battle, 
in which the piper plays no inconsiderable part: — 

" Now goe the foes to wracke, 
The kerne apace do sweate, 
And bagpipe then instead of trompe 
Doe dulle the backe retreate. 

Who hears the bagpipe now ? 

The pastime is so hotte, 
Our valiant captains will not cease 

Till that the field be gotte. 

But still they forward pierce 

Upon the glibbed route, 
And with their weapons meete for warre, 

These vaunting foes they cloute. 

The bagpipe cease to jilaie, 

The pyper lyes on grounde, 
And here a sort of glibbed thieves 

Devoid of life are found." 

Regarding- this woodcut, Standish O'Grady writes: — 
"In the forefront of the Irish lies a slain figure reflect- 
ing little credit on the artist, but under which Derrick 
writes ' Pyper,' well aware that the fall of the musician 


Story of the Bagpipe 

From Derrick's Image of Ireland, made and devised anno 1578, 
published in 15S1. 


Shakespeare's " Woollen " Pipes 

was an ev^ent of importance second only to that of a 

considerable officer. So in the State papers we often 

read such entries as this: 'Slew Hugh, son of Hugh, 

twenty-five of his men, and two pipers. Slew Art 

O'Connor and his piper.'" 

Here it is as well to remove a misconception as to 

the Irish war-pipes [pioh nior) and the comparatively 

modern Uilleann pipes. Dalyell, in his 

Musical Memoirs, says that " nothing- can be '^" 

less consonant with the loud tumult of war ,,-,vr ti it 

T • , 1 • M » "Woollen" 

than the present Irish bagpipe. A more PitDcs 

recent writer, Mr. W. L. Manson (1901), 
cannot understand " how an instrument like the present 
Irish bagpipe could be of any use in war." The fact is 
that there were two classes of Irish bagpipes — the /»/o6 
mor and the Uilleann pipes, the latter of which came 
into vogue about the year 1588. Readers of Shake- 
speare — in common with commentators — have been 
puzzled over the term " woollen " pipes in the Merchant 
of Venice (Act. iv., Sc. i), but the most natural explana- 
tion is to equate "woollen" with Uilleann, or elbow 
pipes. Curiously enough, the Irish name of the 
domestic Irish pipes has in more recent times been 
corrupted to "union," and thus Vv'e find the name as 
Uilleann, "woollen," and "union." This explanation 
is far more satisfactory than any other I have seen, and 
I think it well to give it here, especially as Dr. E. W. 
Naylor, in his interesting book on Shakespeare and 
Music, dismisses the question by asking, " What is a 
woollen bagpipe?" A second Elizabethan woodcut, 

95 " 

Story of the Bagpipe 

depictlnqf — very rudely it must be confessed — the rout 

of Tyrone and O'Donnell at Ballyshannon in 1595, is in 

tiie Britisli Museum. This picture represents an Irish 

piper in the act of running- away with the rest of the 

kerne, and subsequently lying dead, with his bagpipes 

beside him. 

The piob mor was heard effectively at the great battle 

of the Yellow Ford on August 14th, 159S, when Marshal 

Sir Henry Bagenal, with an army of 4,500, 

, -.r ,, was utterly defeated by the Irish forces 
the Yellow , . 

p, J under the Earl of Tyrone, aided by O'Donnell 

and Maguire. In the account of this battle 
we read that the Irish advanced to the charge to the 
sound of the war-pipes.^ 

One of the most distinguished pipers of this period 
was Dermot MacGrath, but he fell under the ban of the 

law. However, on June 6th, 1597, as is 

,_ _, . recorded in the Fiants of Elizabeth, pardon 
MacGrath , , . ,, , . '/ ^ 

was granted to hun at the suit 01 the Lord 

of Upper Ossory " — namely, Fineen (Florence) Fitz- 

patrick, third Lord Baron, the ancestor of the present 

Lord Castletown. Two years later there is a record of 

a pardon granted to Fineen Fitzjohn, piper, at the suit 

of Edmund, Viscount Mountgarret. 

On August 15th, 1599, was fought the battle of the 

Curlews (County Sligo), in which the Irish pipers again 

did good service. Standish O'Grady, in his vivid pen- 

^ An Anglo-Irish contingent fouglil in France and I'icardy in 1597, 
each company including a piper, who received " twelve pence Irish ' 
per day. 


Rinnce Fada 

picture of this battle, in which fell Sir Conyers Clifford, 

Sir Alexander Ratcliffe, and other Eng-lish officers, 

thus writes: — "They were brave men, these 

pipers. The modern military band retires , , 

^ ^. . . ■'. Ti , of the 

as Its re<rmient sfoes into action, but the ^ . 

° . . , Curlews 

piper went on before his men, and piped them 

into the thick of battle. He advanced, sounding his 

battle-pibroch, and stood in the ranks of war while men 

fell around him. ... So here upon the brown bog Red 

Hugh's pipers stood out beyond their men sounding 

wild and high the battle-pibrochs of the North with 

hearts and hands brave as any in the wild work. . . . 

At last the whole of the Queen's host was reduced to 

chaos, streaming madly away, and the battle of the 

Curlew Mountains was fought and lost and won." 

Readers of Shakespeare will remember the allusion 

to the "fading" — known also as the "fada," or 

"faddy" — in the Winter's Tale (Act iv., 

Sc. 3), but Chappell admits that "it is the 

name of an Irish dance." Beaumont and 

Fletcher also allude to the " fading," which is really an 

Anglicised corruption of Rinnce Fada, or the Long 

Dance, generally tripped to the accompaniment of a 

bagpipe. The Wish Rinnce Fada (Long Dance) became 

popular in England as the Country Dance, as is quite 

evident from the second name given it in Playford's 

Dancing Master in 1651 — namely, ^^ the Long Dance for 

as many as will," of which "Sir Roger de Coverley " 

(admitted as of Irish origin by Dauney) is a good 

example. Under the name of the Faddy, or Furry 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Dance the Rinnce Fada is annually footed on the Sth of 
May at Helston, in Cornwall.^ 

The sword dance was also tripped to the bagfpipe. 
This dance, in the Ehzabethan epoch, was most popular 
in Ireland, and is thus described bv Fynes 
^wora Moryson: — "They dance about a fire, com- 

monly in the midst of a room, holding withes 
in their hands, and by certain strains [of the bagpipe] 
drawing one another into the fire ; and also the Mata- 
chine Dance, with naked swords, which they make to 
meet in divers comely postures. And this I have seen 
them after dance before the Lord Deputy in the houses 
of Irish lords; and it seemed to me a dangerous sport 
to see so many naked swords so near the Lord Deputy 
and chief commanders of the army in the hands of the 
Irish kerne, who had either lately been or were not 
unlike to prove rebels." 

Paynes Moryson, from whom the above quotation is 

made, lived some years in Ireland as secretary to Lord 

Mountjoy. He thus describes the amuse- 

ynes nients of the Irish : — " They delight much in 

Moryson , . . . ,- i 

dancing, usmg no arts oi slow measure or 

lofty galliards, but only country dances, whereof they 

have some pleasant to behold as ' Balrudery ' and the 

"Whip of Dunboyne.'" It is to be observed that the 

Sword Dance was subsequently replaced by the Oak 

Stick Dance, or Rinnce an clp'tn. 

^ The tune of the " Furry" dance is the Irish An Maidhrin niadh, 
subsequently published as "Jamaica," better known as "Let Erin 




Ben Jonson — King James's proclamation — Mnrrice Dances — 
Britannia s Pastorals — London minstrels — An English bagpiper 
of 1637 — The King's band of music — Ilowitt the piper — Lanca- 
shire bagpipers — Yorkshire pipers — Playford's Dancing Alaster — 
The Restoration epoch — Butler's Hiidibras — Thomas Oynion — 
Northumberland pipers — The Royal Voyage — Gradual disappear- 
ance of English pipers — Hogarth's " Southwark Fair." 

The popularity of the bag-pipes in England in the first 
quarter of the seventeenth century is attested by Ben 
Jonson, and references to the subject are 
scattered througfhout his works. In his _ 

r^- ■ T,r J 7 1 1 r JonSOn 

Lripsics JMetamorp/wsed he makes one or 
his characters say : " We'll have a whole poverty of 
pipers ; call checks upon the bag-pipe." In Bar- 
tholo7nc7v Fair [161^) a principal character describes a 
north countryman as " full as a piper's bag-." Jonson 
also alludes to the minstrels and revelry of the early 
Stuart epoch, and in his Sad Shepherd he refers to 
*'the nimble hornpipe." 


Story of the Bagpipe 

King" James T., who had granted a new charter to the 

Company of Musicians of the city of London, on Julv 

Sth, 1604, issued a proclamation in 1618, 

■i^ing jj^ which the "wisest fool in Christendom" 

i, , laid down the specific sports and pas- 

Proclama- . r r r 

times reg"arded as lawful for his Eng-lish 

tion _ ^ _ _ !^ 

subjects. In this proclamation the old 
May games, Whitsun ales, and Morris dances, in 
which the bagpipe was an important factor, were 
decreed as lawful amusements, and the king gives 
as a reason for permitting specific sports and pas- 
times on certain occasions that " if these times be 
taken away from the meaner sort who labour hard 
all the week, they will have no recreation at all to 
refresh their spirits ; and in place thereof it will set 
up filthy tipplings and drunkenness, and breed a 
number of idle and discontented speeches in their 

Mr. Algernon Rose writes thus of the Morrice 

Dance: "It was danced by five men and a boy, the 

_ latter dressed like a girl and called Maid 

^ Marian. There were usually only two 

^^"•^^^ • • r^ c 4.\ ^ • ui 

musicians. One or the dancers, richly 

dressed, acted as foreman of the Morrice. A char- 
acteristic of the Morrice was that the dancers had 
bells of different pitches attached to their clothes, 
which jingled pleasantly. ... In Yorkshire the 
Morrice was danced to the tune of an old song called 
'The Literary Dustman.'" Subjoined is the music, 
said to date from 1610 : — 


London Minstrels 



Notwithstanding- the onward march of modern music, 
the piper was much in request under King" James, 
but on no occasion more welcome than at the May 
g^ames. This is evident from scores of contemporary 

Thus, William Browne, in his Britannia s Pas/orals, 
published in 1625, says: — 

" I have seen the Lady of the May, 

Set in an arbour on a holy day, Britannia's 

Built by the Maypole, where the jocund swains Pastorals 

Dance to the viaidLiis to the Bagpipe s strains." 

Secure in the royal favour, the minstrels of the city 
of London enjoyed to the full the benefit conferred on 
them by King- James's charter. In fact the 
years 1604-40 may be described as quite a 
gala time for the minstrels. Bartholomew 
Fair and Smithfield Fair proved happy hunting- g-rounds 
for the pipers, to which must be added Stourbridg-e 
Fair at Cambridg;e. In 1630, owing^ to the plag-ue, 
King- Charles I. forbade the holding- of these three 
fairs, but the revels in other years went on g-aily till 



Story of the Bagpipe 

1649. A fine pipe melody of this epoch is " Jack a 
Lent," printed by Playford in 1670. 

We are, fortunately, able to reproduce an illustration 

of an Eng-lish piper of the year 1637, which gives 

an excellent idea of the instrument of 

^"cf of '^^ that period. It is taken from the title 

.^ page of Drayton's Poems, as published by 

John Srnetluvick in 1630, and is engraved 

by William Marshall. 

But, as a fashionable instrument, the bagpipe was 
growing into disrepute, and it ceased to be heard at 
Court after the year 1625. From the pay- 
Kings ments made to the King's Band of Music 
-_ , in 1625, the customary amount to the one 
bagpiper of Elizabeth's reign does not 
appear, although the wind band consisted of eight 
performers on the hautboys and sackbuts, together 
with six flutes and six recorders. 

From the Rutland MSS. it appears that in the years 
1636-40 a famous piper called Howitt flourished. His 
services were well rewarded on his visits 
Howitt the ^^ Belvoir, as were also these of Edward 
Brock, a blmd harper. But, apparently, 
as we learn from other sources, the Lancashire pipers 
were held in very great esteem under King Charles L 

The following reference to the bewitching- 
Lancashire r T u' u ~ • • i u 
„, powers of a Lancashire bagpipe is to be 
Pipers =>r r 

found in Heywood's Lancashire Witches 

(Act iii., Sc. i), in 1634: — " She has spoke to purpose, 
and whether this were witchcraft or not, I have heard 


ENGLl'iH I'llFR OF 1637 

Story of the Bagpipe 

my aunt say twenty times that }io witchcraft can take 

hold of a Lancashire bag-pipc, for itself is able to charm 

the Devils I'll fetch him." 

It would seem that as late as 1641 bagpipes were 

requisitioned to lighten the labours of the harvester*;, 

, and in Best's Rural Economy in Yorkshire in 

-,. 1641 (Surtees Society, 18^7), there is an 

x^ipers ' . 

entry that " at my Lord Fmche's custom 

at Walton for Clipping," the bagpiper was given a 

gratuity of sixpence " for playing to the clippers all 

the day." 

Quite an epoch-making event in the English musical 

world was the publication of Playford's 

,^^^y^"^^'^ Dancing Master, in 1651, which' went 

,- ,, throufrh fourteen editions between the vear 

Master" ^ "=■ ^ t , • ,, , ' , 

165 1 and 1709. In this well-known work 

there are numerous bagpipe melodies, including many 

Irish tunes. 

With the Restoration, all the old-time amusements ot 

" merrie England" were revived, and a new lease of 

life was given to the bagpipes.^ Again were 
Restoration ^^^^ ^j^^ Morris dances,'- May games, 

Whitsun ales, wakes, etc. ; and the glories 
of Bartholomew Fair won the praise of Pepys and 
John Locke. In one of the broadsides of this epoch 
there is a ballad of Bartholomew Fair (to the tune of 

^ On February 23r(l, 1663-64, William Toilet was appointed " Bag- 
piper-in-Ordinary " to King Charles II. (see The King s Miisick). 

'^ Under date of May 30th, 1664, in the Rutland MSS., there is 
record of tvvo and sixpence paid to " the maurice dancers," 


Northumberland Pipers 

DutcJwiau^s Jig), in which the writer tells what he saw 
at the Fair : — 

"When trumpets and Bagpipes, Kettledrums, and Fiddlers all 
were at work, 
And the Cooks sung ' Here's your delicate Pig and Pork ! " 

At the same time, it Is only fair to put on record the 
estimate of the bagpipes, as given by Butler's 

Butler in his Hudibras : — " Hudibras" 

" Then bagpipes uf the loudest drones, 
With multiing, broken winded tones, 
Whose blasts of air in pockets shut 

. . . make a viler noise than swine 
In windy weatlier when they whine." 

Between the years 1674 ^^'""^ ^^^4 Thomas Oynion 
was of great repute in the Midlands. In the Rutland 
MSS. several payments appear as bestowed 
on Oynion for playing the bagpipes on „ , 

various occasions. He received sums vary- 
ing from five shillings to ;^2. There is also a record 
of /^i paid on February 3rd, 1674, to " the piper and 
shaume for playing." 

Whether from its proximity to Scotland, or from any 
other cause, Northumberland continued to be famous 
for its pipers down to the close of the 
eighteenth century. Under the Stuarts, , , ~ 
the Northumbrian bagpipes became distmc- tj. 

tive of their class, as was also the case with 
the Lowland bagpipe. It is here well to observe that 


Story of the Bagpipe 

the scale of the Higfhiand, Lowland, and Northumbrian 
pipes is the same, and the only real difference between 
the two latter forms is in size, the Northumbrian being 
the smaller. Of course, the Hig-hland pipe is blown bj^ 
the mouth, whereas the Lowland and Northumbrian 
pipes are inflated by bellows ; but I shall deal with the 
subject in a succeeding chapter. 

L'uder King James II. several dramatic writers 

allude to the bagpipe as the prevalent instrument for 

the masses, and it is certain that at rustic 

<3y^ gatherings the piper still held sway. In 

a tragi-comedy, entitled Tkc Royal Voyage^ 

acted in 1690, a piper is introduced in one of the 


At length, in the last years of King William, English 
Gradual pipes and pipers gradually disappeared. 
Disappear- save in Northumbria. In Lancashire, pipers 
ance of occasionally attended at wedding festivities 
English (as is recorded at Preston in 1732), but as a 
Pipes popular instrument the English bagpipes 

passed away under King George II. 

Almost the last appearance of an English bagpiper 

is in Hogarth's wonderful picture of " Southwark 

Fair," wherein is seen a capital illustration 

,, _^ , , of a bagpiper playing. This dates from 
"Southwark l'/ ^ , \ ^. ^ , , 

P . „ 1733- Hogarth also mtroduces the bag- 

pipe in his caricature of the Beggar's Opera, 
and in his " Election Entertainment." 




Drone bass — Pedal point — Faux bourdon and Gymel — Progressions of 
thirds and sixths — Irish influence in Northumbria — Guido's 
Microlos^us — Fitzwilliam Virginal Book — Mr. Byrd's Battle — 
Byrd's Galliard — " The Woods so Wild" — Lancashire hornpipes 
— Handel's Pastoral Symphony — Irish Cronan — "Ballinderry" — 
Bach's Loure — Spohr's Piffero. 

There is no gainsaying- the fact that to the bagpipe we 
owe drone bass, the very term implying the origin of the 

well-known musical form. Naturallv. the 

J- ^ r r 1 ' ^ Drone Bass 

most rudnnentary form of harmony must 

have been the continuous bass to the melody, and this 

primitive form is even still employed with wonderful 

effect, especially in pastoral passages. To students of 

musical form "pedal point" is a synonym 

for drone bass. As organ pedals were -^ . 

invented by Ludwig van Vaelbeke, in 1306 

or 1307, at Brabant, and were used by the Flemish 

organists of the fourteenth century, it is more than 

probable that the idea was borrowed from the drone of 

the bagpipe. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Org^anum, diaphonum, and discant (forms well known 

to the Irish of the eighth century) paved the way for 

faux bourdon or falso bordone, so popular 

aux in mediaeval days. This term was corrupted 

J P - in England as fa-burden, and by abbrevia- 
tion, burden. The late Rev. T. Helmore 
thus writes: — "The word bordone^ and bourdon^ in its 
primary sense, is (in both languages) a pilgrim's staff; 
hence, from similarity in forms, the bass-pipe^ or drone, 
of the bagpipe; and thence again, simply a deep bass 
note. As the earliest falsi bordoni of which we have 
specimens are principally formed, except at their 
cadences, by successions of fourths and sixths below 
the plain-song melody, such an accompanying bass, to 
those who had hitherto been accustomed to use the low 
octaves of the organum, and to consider thirds and 
sixths inadmissible in the harmonized accompaniment 
of the Gregorian chant, would sound false.'" Another 
musical form suggested by the bagpipe was called 
gymel, or gimel (from the Latin word gemellus, twin), 
g-enerally sung by two voices at an interval of a third, 
or sometimes a sixth, apart. It is said to have had its 
origin in England, but, as we shall see, was really 
borrowed from Ireland, 

From the writings of Giraldus Cambrensis we know 
that the Northumbrians delighted in a rude sort of 
harmony in which progressions of thirds and sixths 
were the dominant feature. And it is very remark- 
able that the rota, " Sumer is icumen in," is written 
in the key of bemol, or B flat (softened B), which has 


Irish Influence in Northumbria 

a burden or alternate drone of F and G. Dr. Naylor 

truly observes that "these ancient 'burdens' of two 
alternating notes lie at the very root of the 

mediaeval notion of harmonv, apart from the rogrcs- 

\ • J J t- ' ^ • ^ 4^u sions of 

harmonies produced bv counterpouit, or the ~,- . , , 

... ^^ ,-,•' ,, • Thtrds and 

combuimg^ or melodies. . . , Alternative Sixths 

drones of this nature were found in the 
Northumbrian bagpipe, which possessed an arrangement 
for changing the note of the drone or drones. Some- 
thing of the same sort is still heard in the Italian 
bagpipe performance with two players, one of whom 
plays the tune on a chanter, or rough kind of oboe, the 
other accompanying him on a larger instrument, which 
supplies a limited pedal bass." 

To me it is surprising that none of our musical 
writers have dwelt on the fact that the Irish influence 
in Northumbria was very considerable from 
the seventh to the tenth century. St. Aidan, insn 

the Apostle of Northumbria, and his Irish 

, , ...... in Nor- 

monks must have taught Irish singing, as ., , . 

well as the harp and the bagpipe. St. 

Cuthbert, too, cultivated Celtic psalmody, and Prince 

Aldfrid of Northumbria, who had spent some years in 

Ireland, gave a fillip to the musical tastes of his people. 

Here it may be well to give one of the earliest 

specimens of pedal point, or drone bass, 

as quoted in Guido's Microlosu-s. It will __, 

, , . , Micrologus 

be seen that the continuous bass accom- 
panies the melody of the plain chant, after the manner 
of the bag pipe drone. 


Story of the Bagpipi 



'' Fitz- 
Book " 

But the most interesting sixteenth-century specimens 
of pedal point are to be found in the Fitzimlliavi 
Virginal Book. And, in passing, it may be 
observed that in this Tudor collection of 
close on three hundred musical items we 
clearly see the beginnings of modern music, 
as far as regards major and minor scale 
passages, definite keys, and determining chords. In 
Bull's Galliard Dr. Naylor detects "a real bagpipe 
tune in every way, with a double drone-bass," as is 
also the case in *' Go from my window," and in Byrd's 
"John, come kiss me now." 

In Lady Neville's MS. Virginal Book, dated 1591, 
^ there is a wonderful piece of 
Mr. Byrd's j jj^^ ,,^^ Byrd's Battle." Three 

Battle , ^ 

ot the movements are : The Irish March, 

the Bagpipe, and the Drone. 

More convincing still as to the intimate relation 
existing between the melody and harmony of the bag- 
pipe, and the number of examples given 

-, „. , in the Fit37villi(un Virs^inal Book, is Bvrd's 

(ialliard . . , 

Galliard, which is beyond any manner ot 

doubt a bagpipe arrangement, having A G, A E as its 


Byrd's Drone Bass 

fundamental bass. Bull's " Juell " is a more developed 
specimen of the influence of the drone or burden. The 
reader will best be able to judge of the part played 
by the bagpipe in the matter of modern harmony by 
Byrd's arrangement of " The Woods so Wild," which 
I here reproduce from Dr. 'S a.ylor' s £h'sabe//iaji Virginal 


(showing Drone Bass) williak byt.D. 

^ ° ' Circa 1696. 

About the year 1700, John Ravenscroft, a wait of 
the Tower Hamlets, composed several popular hornpipes 
— all in triple tune, as was then customary. 
A few years later Thomas Marsden collected 


and published (1705) the first attempt at a 
volume of Lancashire hornpipes, and this was followed, 
in 1726, by albums of country dances, in which settings 
for the bagpipe^ were given. 

^ Daniel Wright, in 1726, published a collection of "bagpipe- 

Ill I 

Story of the Bagpipe 

All readers are familiar with the beautiful Pastoral 

Symphony in the Messiah, which is an echo of the 

Italian bagpipe or piffero, the performers on 

_, , which are known as pifferari. It is modelled 

l^astoral , , , , , t ,• i , , 

S ho V *^'"' ^ theme played by the Italian shepherd 

bagpipers at Christmastide, in honouring 
the infant Messiah, and thus has a peculiar appropriate- 
ness in Handel's sublime oratorio. Like many other 
snatches of melodies annexed by Handel, the fragment 
of a simple folk air has been treated in a masterly 
fashion, the bagpipe effect being well brought out in 
the orchestral treatment. 

As has previously been stated, the Irish bagpipe 
suggested the musical form of pedal point, or con- 
tinuous bass, and it is remarkable that 
"^ , another musical form in vocal music is due 

to this ancient instrument — namely, the Irish 
cronan. O'Curry tells us that the cronan was a sort 
of humming chorus accompanying the folk song, of 
which many examples are to be met with, notably 
Purcell's Irish Ground. 

Bunting has preserved for us a very beautiful air 

treated in the cronan form, which is reproduced by 

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford in his Songs oj 

„ ' Old Ireland. This is the song and chorus, 
dcrry . . 

" 'Twas pretty to be in Ballinderry," of 

which the shortened name is "Ballinderry." The folk 

song has a burden of three notes, which run right 

through the whole composition. 

On the continent the French loare, especially popular 


Spohr's "Piffero" 


in Normandy, gave its name to an old dance, in ; 
rhythm, somewhat slower than the g\gue or jig- 
From the fact of the dance bein^:: invariably 
associated with the loure, or bagpipe, the 
name loure came to mean a musical phrase 
played in the style of the bagpipe melodies. The 
great Bach introduces a loure in the sixth movement 
of the fifth of his French Suites in G. It must not 
be forgotten that " lourer" signifies to play legato, or 
in a pastoral manner, emphasizing the down beat of 
each bar, or the first note of each group. 

A piffero is a primitive form of bagpipe with sheep- 
skin bag. Spohr in his Autobiography, under date of 
December 5th, 1816, quotes a piffero or bag- 
pipe tune, which had been popular in Rome, 
as played by Neapolitan pipers, one playing 
on a chanter, whilst another performer furnished a drone 
accompaniment. The following eight bars will give the 
reader an idea of the seventeenth century bagpipe tune : — 

PIFFERO. noted bv Spohr. 





State pardons — Ben Jonson's Irish Masque — War-pipes — The con- 
federate period — " Lament for Owen Roe " — Battle of Knockna- 
cross — " MacAlistrum's March " — Irish pipers in the Barljadoes — 
Pipers of the King's Company — The wolf and the piper — Siege of 
Derry — Persecution of pipers under King William — Battle of 

On March 30th, 1601, pardon was granted to Owen 

MacHug-h iia bralie, an Irish piper ; and in the 

followingf month there is a record of State 

_ pardons to John intlea, a wandering- piper 

Pardons /^ ^ r- 1 /^ at ,-i c 

from County Cork ; Cosney MacClancy, or 

Cloonanna, County Limerick ; Bryan MacGillechrist, 

Ferg-us O'Farrell, Donal O'Farrell, and Patrick 

O'Farrell, four pipers from County Wexford ; Daniel 

and Conor O'CulHnane, of County Cork ; and Richard 

hiiidhe Macjames, of County Wexford, pipers^ were 

pardoned in May. Turlog-h the piper, Owen and 

Dermot O'Delaney were pardoned in June ; and in 

Aug-ust a similar mark of favour was extended to 

John O'Tracy and Donogh O'Cullinane, pipers. In 

September i6or pardon was granted to Cathal O'Kelly, 

Donogh bnidhe O'Byrne, and Donal the piper, all 


Ben Jonson's " Irish Masque " 

pipers of County Wicklow ; Donal O'Killeen and 

Owen O'Killeen, pipers, were pardoned on May 6th, 

1602; and Donal MacDonag-h, piper, \\2ls taken into 

favour on February 2Sth, 1603. Under King James, 

in 1603, Bryan huidhe O'Clabby, a County Sligo piper, 

was pardoned. This list of State pardons amply 

proves that Irish pipers were very much in evidence 

in the opening- years of the seventeenth century. 

As may well be supposed, Ben Jonson was fully 

acquainted with the social customs of Ireland, and 

hence, in his Irish Masque (produced in 

1613, at the English Court), he introduces ^^ 

... , . . -1 u Jonson s 

six men and six bovs dancing to the bag- ., t • i_ 

^ » *< Irish 

pipe. This fact, apart trom other evidence, M=,^aue" 

implies that it was then customary to dance 

country dances to the accompaniment of a bagpipe. 

The piob mor, or the Irish war-pipes, continued in 

favour whenever the Irish engaged in battle, and the 

brave pipers always led on the army in „, _. 

T- i, • ,. .1 war Pipes 

warfare. rynes M orison tells us that, 

in 1601, when a body of the Irish troops attempted an 

assault on the English camp at Armagh, they had 

drums and bagpipes, as was their wont. He adds : — 

" After that our men had given them a volley in their 

teeth they drew away, and we heard no more of their 

drums and bagpipes, but only mournful cries, for many 

of their best men were slain." 

A fine bagpipe tune of the years 1615-30 is the still 

popular " An cnotadh ban," or " The White Cockade." 

But it was during the Confederate period — namely, 

1 1^ 

Story of the Bagpipe 

from 1642 to 1648, that the bagpipe was in all its 

glory, especial!}' the piob mor. On the Thursday 

before Ash Wednesday 1642 Richard 

. - ~ Stephenson, Hiirh Sheriff of Limerick, 

federate . 

p . J was shot at Kilfinny, " as he came up in 

the front of the army, imth his drums and 
pipers^'' (Diary of Lady Dowdall, as quoted in Gilbert's 
History of tlie Irish Confederatioii). On a memorable 
occasion, in 1647, when Alastair MacColl MacDonnell 
was besieged in a northern castle, he hit upon a happy 
expedient, as is recorded in a contemporary narrative. 
Havifig embarked in one boat, he put a bagpipe player in 
another, and thus deluded his enemies in pursuit of him. 
Towering above all his fellows during that epoch 
was the gallant Owen roe O'Neill, the bravest of Irish 

generals. When he died, a glorious Lmnent 

. ^ was composed, and the Irish war-pipers 

for Owen 1 j u- • a.u 

P ;» played over his grave in the cemetery 

attached to the dismantled Franciscan 

Friary, Cavan. Another fine Lament was for Myles 

O'Reilly, popularly known as " Myles the Slasher," 

who was slain by the Scotch Covenanters on the 

bridge of Fenagh, near Granard, and was interred in 

the tomb that afterwards received Owen Roe. 

At the disastrous Battle of Knocknanoss (near 

Mallow) fell the brave Alastair Mac- 

T^ , Donnell on November i^th, 1647, whose 

Knockna- . , , 

remains were attended to at the grave by 

a band of Irish war-pipers. Dr. Charles 

Smith, writing in 1750, says: — "There is a very odd 


'' MacAlistrum's March " 

kind of Irish music, well known in Minister by the name 

of ' MacAlistrum's March,' being' a wild rhapsody made 

in honour of this commander, which to this day is 

much esteemed by the Irish, and played at 

all their feasts." The Irish tradition is that ., ~ 

, . ^ , , ^ ,, . , Ahstrum s 

the remams or the brave Colkitto were borne „, , „ 


to the ancestral tomb of the O'Callaghan's 

at Clonmeen, County Cork, preceded by a band of 

pipers, who played a specially-composed funeral march, 

ever since known as " MacAlistrum's March." 

Under the Cromwellian regime Irish pipers were 

treated with ruthless severity, and numbers of them 

were transported to the Barbadoes. From 

official records we learn that Cornelius ^^^ , '^"^ 

O'Brien, an Irish piper, who had been ^ t j 

' r r » Barbadoes 

transported, was on January 25th, 1656, 

" sentenced to receive twenty lashes on the bare back," 

and was ordered to leave the island within a month 

" on suspicion of incitingf to rebellion." 

The Irish regimental pipers at this epoch had 285. a 

month, almost equal to ^^20 of present value. When 

the Irish Regiment of Guards was formed 

i^a c J • • J f 1 Pipers of 

m 1D02, we hnd provision made tor a drum , %^. , 

c ^ J • the King's 

major, twenty-tour drummers, and a piper to ^ 

the King's Company. The non-commissioned 

officers and soldiers of the Irish Guards had uniforms 

consisting of " red cassocks, lined with green and cloth 


Here it is apropos to quote a story told of an 

Irish bagpiper and a wolf, as is told in Oxford Jests 

1 1 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Refined and Enlarged (1684): — "In Ireland, a bagf- 

piper coming for England with his knapsack on his 

shoulder, as he sate at dinner in a wood, 

_,. three wolves began to accost him : then he 

the Piper , , , , , , •,, 

threw one bread, and another meat, and still 

they crept nearer to him, upon which, being- afraid, he 
took his bagpipes and began to play, at which noise the 
wolves all ran away: ' A pox take you,' says he, ' if I had 
known you had loved musick as well, you should have 
had it before dinner.' " I have here inserted this story, 
which apparently dates from the period 1650- 1660, mainly 
because it is frequently dished up in various ways. 
The latest version of it is quoted by Mr. W. L. Manson, 
who, not being aware of the story in Oxford Jesis, 
associates it with a Scotch piper losing his way in 
Siberia. It is as well that the oldest printed version 
should be given, which, as has been seen, centres 
round an Irish bagpiper. The Scotch "chestnut" 
only goes back to the second half of the eighteenth 

From the Churchwardens' accounts of St. Finnbarr's 
Cathedral, Cork, under date of March 5th, 1682-83, it 
appears that Cosney and Donogh gankagh, 
"^ pipers, were presented " for piping before a 

p J corpse to the church." Some years pre- 

viously John Cullinan was arrested as 
being a Catholic soldier, and it was sworn that he was 
a bagpiper, and in the years 1676-78, " when the 
company went to the parish church of Ringrone [Co. 
Cork], he lacni piping with them to the church." 


Battle of Cremona 

Irish pipers were present at the siege of Derry in 

1689. The infantry had two drums, a piper, and 

colours ; the cavalry had a trumpet and a 

standard; and the drae-oons were allotted '^ 

"^ . Ucrry 

two trumpets, two hautbois, and a standard. 

Assuming- that the Jacobite forces were at full strength, 

each regiment must have had fourteen pipers, fifty-six 

drums, five trumpets, and fourteen hautbois. This 

memorable siege lasted 105 days, during which about 

9,000 persons perished in the city, and at length 

James's forces were obliged to withdraw. 

Under King William Irish pipers experienced much 

persecution. All minstrels were banned, but especially 

harpers and pipers. After the sieg-e of 

Limerick many of the war pipers went to ■^^^''^ecution 

the continent with the "Wild Geese," and , ,?, 

under Jvine 
they were subsequently afforded oppor- William 

tunities of urging on the Irish troops to 

battle. Those who remained at home had to run the 

gauntlet of the Penal Laws, and many are the stories 

and legends told of bagpipers at this troubled period. 

One of the finest Irish bagpipe melodies at the close 

of the seventeenth century was heard at Cremona on 

February ist, 1702, At this great battle, 

when the Irish brigade gained a famous „ 

, . '11 r Cremona 

victory, the pipe tune played was ever after- 
wards known as " The Day we beat the Germans at 
Cremona." It is now seldom heard, but its popularity 
continued from 1702 to the close of the nineteenth 


Story of the Bagpipe 


1 20 



Praetorius and Mersenne — Cornemuse — Musette — Dcstouches, the 
royal piper — The Band of the Grand Ecurie — Borgon's Iraite de 
la Musette — French ladies play the bagpipe — John Francis 
O'Farrell— John Baptist Lully— David's "Musette Player"— 
The Prince de Conde patronizes the bagpipe — Ilotteterre's 
Methode four la Musette— \\txa'\ Baton — Philippe Chedevillc — 
Jean Fcry Rebel — French regimental pipers. 

From the works of Praetorius and Mersenne we 
get a good idea of the different forms of bagpipes in 

vogue on the continent in the earlv years 

r ^1 i. ..L ^ A,r ' • Praetorius 

of the seventeenth century. Mersenne, in 

1636, deals at considerable length with the ^ ^^ 

five classes of pipes. Oi these the most 

popular in France were the cornemuse and the 


1 have previously alluded to the cornemuse, or 

cornamusa, which was a primitive form of bagpipe. 

It may be described as a pipe blown bv the _ 

... , ^ . , ^ .' , Cornemuse 

mouth, with a chanter or eight linger holes 

and a non-fingered vent hole. Up to the seventeenth 

century it had but one drone, but two drones were then 


Story of the Bagpipe 

substituted, known as le grand and le petit bourdon^ 

with a difference of an octave in pitch. 

The musette was modelled on the Irish uillcann, or 

elbow, pipes, blown from a bellows, and having double 

reeds throup-hout. ^ Musenne, in iG-jB, de- 
Muscttc ., ., ^ , ,• , r 1 • 

scribes it as a most delightful instrument. 

Originally consisting of "one chanter with apertures 
for twelve notes, besides some double apertures and 
valves opened by keys," it was considerably improved 
by Hotteterre the elder, who added a smaller chanter 
(le petit chalumeau) to the grand chalu- 
s ouc cs, J^-,g^^_ jj^ ^j^g hands of Destouches, the 
the Royal i • , , , 

p. royal piper, the musette completely cap- 

tivated the French Court, and Mersenne 
asserts that with a skilful player the musette did not 
yield to any instrument. ^ Apparently Destouches had a 
very beautiful set of bagpipes, for not only were the 
chanters and drones of exquisite workmanship, but the 
bellows, or wind-bag, was covered with velvet, em- 
broidered with fleur de lis. Mr. D. J. Blaikley thus 
describes Hotteterre's improved musette : — " The com- 
pass was fromy" to d'" , the grand and the petit chalu- 
meau having respectively seven and six keys, and the 
former eight finger holes. The drones, four or five 

^ Musette is the diminutive form of A/iisc. In 950 St. Wolstan uses 
the word Alusa for an organ pipe. Giralt de Calanson, in 12IO, gives 
the Muse as among the nine instruments that a Joni;leur played. 

- In 1575 there was but one musette-player in the Court Band, but 
the number had increased to four musettes in 1649 {EeorchevilU^ Sam. 
I.M.G., ii. 4). 


French Bagpipes in 1 640 

in number, are all fitted into one cylinder, being broug-ht 
into small space by the doubling- of the tubes within 
this cylinder, which is provided with sliding stops for 
tuning the drones." 

So popular did the musette become in its highly 
developed state, during the reign of 
Louis XIV., that it was employed in < ^ °j 
the band of the Grand Ecurie, and was t, 

in high favour at all royal concerts, as 
well as at the musical entertainments of the nobility. 

Naturally, the rage for this instrument demanded a 

text-book, and so we are not surprised that several 

Tutors were published. Of these the most 

celebrated was a Traite de la Musette, by ^, „ . , 

Charles Emmanuel Borgon, a French < lur .. „ 

, => / la Musette 

advocate, who was a distinguished amateur 
performer on the musette. This work — now exceedingly 
rare — was enriched with plates and bagpipe melodies 
collected by M. Borgon in various parts of France, and 
was published at Lyons in 1672. The author, who 
also issued several legal books, died at Paris, May 4th, 
1 69 1. 

But perhaps the most extraordinary development 
of the musette cult at this period was that it became 
the fad of titled ladies of fashion. Just as 
in the case of the harp in the eighteenth /^".^ 

l^a Q IPS 

century so was musette the favoured instru- p, , 

ment of French dames under King Louis « - 

XIV. On this account the most costly 
materials were employed for the higher grade French 


Story of the Bagpipe 

bagfpipes, and ladies vied with each other as to the 
excellence of their pet instrument and to the wealth of 
decoration on the bag' of the musette. 

Though slightly of a digression it may be apropos to 
mention here that, in 1659, John Francis O'Farrell 

(Jean Francois Ferrel), a native of Anjou, of 
1° " , Irish descent, published at Paris a remark- 

j-j,p .J able pamphlet on the rights of French 

dancing masters, whose chief, the roi des 
mc7U'triers, asserted a right over all musicians. The 
controversy waxed fierce for almost a century, and, at 
length, by a decree of the French parliament, in 1750, 
the musicians were declared the victors. 

But probably the great glory of the French bag- 
pipe was its introduction into the orchestra by Jean 

Baptiste Lully, the founder of legitimate 

1^*". French opera. This set a hall-mark, so to 

T f, speak, on the musette. Louis XIV. made 


Lully master of the Petits Violons, who 

soon surpassed the famous Les Vingt-quatre Violons 

da Roi ("Four and twenty fiddles all in a row"). 

His Acis et Galatt^e was produced on September 6th, 

1686, and he died on March 22nd of the following 


It will doubtless be of interest to reproduce a drawing 

David's °^ ^^^ musette — namely, C. David's illustra- 

Musettc tion of " A Player on the Musette," engraved 

Player by Leblond. 

* Though the musette was introduced into the French orchestra in 
1670, the contra basso was not employed till 1 7 16. 




Story of the Bagpipe 

All through the seventeenth century the musette con- 
tinued fashionable, and at a remarkable fi'te given by 
the Prince de Conde at Chantilly in 1688 in 
rincc honour of the Dauphin the host appeared 

as Pan, "accompanied by a tram of 
patronizes , , , , , , 1 , 

the Bapoioc shepherds and shepherdesses, others re- 
presenting" Satyrs, leaping and dancing to 
the sound of hautbois, bagpipes, and such-like instru- 
ments," The late Mr. Taphouse had a beautiful 
specimen of a musette, circa 1725, the bag of which is 
covered with figured silk and fitted with conical ebony 
chanter, and having a barrel-shaped drone, with four 
cylindrical tubes regulated by five ivory slides. Jean 
Baptiste Anet (a pupil of Corelll), Jacques David, and 
Jean le Clerc published compositions for the musette. 
Perhaps the best proof of the vogue of the musette is 
the publication, in 1737, of James Hotte- 
Hotteterre's ^-gj-j-g's M^thocle pour la Musette. Hotteterre 
"Methode . . /-, • ^- • • ^1 • 

, (whose Christian name is incorrectlv given 

pour la ^ . T • \ 1 V 

Musette" by most writers as Louis) was the first to 

play the transverse flute in the orchestra of 
the Paris Opera in 1697, and he published much music 
for the flute between the years 171 1-25. 

Among the noted musette performers in the years 
1725-35 was Henri Baton. His younger 
enri brother, Charles, was also a good per- 

former, and he composed Suites for the 
musette in 1733 and 1741. A greater virtuoso was 
Colin Charpentier, to whom Anet dedicated two volumes 
of musette music in 1726 and 1739. 


Rebel's Musette 

Even a more famous musette-player was Philippfi 
Chedeville, a member of the opera orchestra 
from 1725 to 1749. Ahnost equally dis- ^.^.^'^'^^^ 
tmgfuished was his brother Nicholas. Both 
brothers composed much splendid music for the 

Jean Fery Rebel, who was conductor at the French 
Opera from 1725 to 1739, composed a 
charming- pastoral symphony in 1734 entitled f^^^^^^Y 
Les Plaisirs chanipeires, which opens with a 
delig-htful Musette as follows: — 




But thoug-h the perfected instrument partially dis- 
appeared in the second half of the eii^hteenth 
century, the primitive form of the musette rrznzi\ 

was retained in the French army; in fact, ^^g^'^^"^*! 
French regimental pipers were employed 
as late as the opening years of the last century. 




Playing on the "great pipe" in 1623— Highland pipers in 162S— 
Aberdeen rejects the town pipers — The clan pipers — MacLeod of 
Dunvegan — The MacCrimmons — "Lament for MacLeod" — 
Regimental pipers — Popularity of the kilt — "Battle of Inver- 
lochy " — "I got a kiss of the King's hand " — " Lord Breadalbane's 
March" — Needham's satire — Sir Archibald Johnston — The Piper 
of Kilbarchan — Thomas Kirke — Introduction of the great drone — 
Skye College of Pipers— The MacArthurs. 

Perhaps one of the earliest references to the "great 

pipe " is in 1623. In that year a bag^piper at Perth was 

prosecuted for playing on the great pipe, as 

. ^V.^^ °'^ appears from the Kirk Session Register, 
the " Great , , c ^ , , , , 

■D. „ . under date or October 'joth, quoted by 
r'lpc in . . . . 

jg23 Dalyell in his Musical Memoirs. However, 

it is well to note that the "great Highland 
pipe" must not be confounded with the " great drone," 
which, as we shall see, was not introduced until 1700. 
The popularity of the pipes among the Highlanders 

in the first quarter of the seventeenth century 

ig an j^ corroborated by contemporary evidence. 

Pipers in . , . ,• 1 . 1 1 

-- o Also it was deemed essential to have bag- 
1028 . . . ^ 

pipes in the newly-formed regiinents. Thus, 
when Alexander MacNaughton was commissioned to 


Clan Pipers 

raise some two hundred men for ser\ice in the French 
wars, he took care to provide a piper. Writing- to 
Lord Morton from Fahnouth under date of January 
15th, 162S, he informs him that "the bag-g- pypperis 
and Marht Phiidis " proved very serviceable. He adds 
that Alaster Caddil, the piper, and his gilHe, as also 
Harry MacGrath, harper^ from Laarg^, and another 
piper, accompanied the levies. 

We have seen previously that the burgh, or town, 
pipers were a reg^ular institution in Scotland all through 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Aber- 
deen apparently was tainted with Anglicised Aberdeen 
ideas in 1630, for on the 26th of May of that ' _, 
year an entry appears in the Town Council p. 

Register as follows: — "The Magistrates 
discharge the common piper of all going through the 
town at night or in the morning in time coming with 
his pipe — it being an incivil fonn to be used within sic a 
famous burgh, and being often found fault ivith, as well 
by sundry neighbours of the towti as by strangers. " 
Dauney suggests that the instrument of the "common 
piper" must have been the great Highland bagpipe, 
and he adds in a not over-complimentary fashion: — 
"The sounds which it emits are of a nature better 
calculated to excite consternation than diffuse pleasure." 

During the sixteenth century clan pipers were a 
fixed arrangement in the retinue of the great 
Highland chiefs. This idea was borrowed p. 

from Ireland, and it is a remarkable fact that 
the office was mainly hereditary, as was the case with 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Irish pipers. More remarkable still, the most celebrated 
of the hereditary pipers were the MacCrimmons, who 
were attached to the family of MacLeod of Dunvegan. 

Mary, a daughter of Sir John MacLeod, 

MacLeod of -jat ■ jTjrir 

^ married Maurice, second Lord of Kerry, 

Uunvegan . 

who was one of the Irish nobles summoned 

to attend King Edward L in his Scottish campaign. It 
must not be forgotten that the celebrated Dunvegan 
Mether, or Drinking Cup, one of the most treasured 
relics of the MacLeods, is Irish, and was made for 
Katherine Magrannel, wife of Maguire, Prince of Fer- 
managh, in 1493, as is evident from the inscription. 
Sir Walter Scott made a most extraordinary blunder in 
misreading the inscription, as is recorded in the notes 
to his "Lord of the Isles." He makes out that the 
mether was "the property of Nial Glundhu," and that 
the lettering was "Saxon," deciphering it as: " llfo 
Johannis Mich Magni Principis de Hi Manai," etc., with 
the date 993 ! The relic is an unmistakable Irish 
wooden mether, elaborately ornamented in silver, in 
pierced work, filigree, and niello, dating from 1493. 

From about the year 1600, when Donald MacCrimmon, 
a distinguished Irish piper, came to Dunvegan, the 

MacCrimmons continued hereditary pipers to 
MacCfim- ^j^^ MacLeods until the death of Donald 

MacCrimmon in 1S45. From a fancied re- 
semblance of the name MacCrimmon to Cremona 
some Scotch writers absurdly suppose that Donald 
MacCrimmon came from Cremona ! As a matter of 
fact, Donald's grandson, Donald ?nor, was sent to 



Ireland to learn the pipes, as Is admitted by all 
authorities. Tliis was about the year 1635. I may 
add that the Irish MacCrimmon family are still well 
represented, but the name now variously appears as 
Cremen, Cremmen, and Crimmins. The late Mr. Glen 
thus writes: — "Donald mor, or big- Donald, became 
eminent at an early age for his performance of pibrochs. 
The reputation of the MacCrimmons was so g-reat that 
no one was considered a perfect player who had not 
been instructed or finished by them. Donald luor was 
succeeded by Patrick og, and he by Malcolm, and the 
latter by John dubh — the last of this celebrated race of 
pipers, who died in 1822 in the ninety-first vear of his 

In a previous chapter I alluded to the exaggerated 
claims put forward for certain old Scotch tunes. Even 
the probable dates assiqfned for some 


pibrochs do not stand close scrutiny, and 

<- , • , , , • , for 

none or them can with absolute certamty be ■«„ -r j ,, 

■' MacLeod 

traced earlier than the second half of the 
seventeenth century. MacCrimmon's " Lament for 
MacLeod" is variously dated 1620, 1630, 1640, and 
1650, but I have grave doubts if it goes back so far. 

Coming to less debatable ground, there is evidence 
of regimental pipers in the first half of the seventeenth 

century. I have already quoted the refer- 

/- o i ii 1 i r 1 Regimental 

ence, in 1628, to the employment of bair- -r, 

pipers in the war against trance. Twelve 

years later we come across another reference as to the 

pipes in the Scottish regiments. Lord Lothian, in 1641, 


Story of the Bagpipe 

writes as follows: — " I cannot out of our army furnish 

you with a sober fiddler; there is a fellow here plays 

exceeding- well, but he is intolerably given to drink; nor 

have we many of those people. Our army has few or 

none that carry not arms. We are sadder and graver 

than ordinary soldiers, only we are well provided of 

pipers. I have 07ie for every company in my regiment, 

and I think they are as ^ood as di-ummers .^^ According 

to Mr. W. L. Manson, the 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers, 

formerly the North British Fusiliers, was the first 

regiment to employ bagpipers. One thing is certain, 

that from an official return of the officers of the Earl of 

Dumbarton's Regiment in 1678 the name of Alexander 

Wallace, " Piper Major," is given as belonging to the 

staff. On December nth, 1680, when the Dumbarton 

Regiment was mustered at Youghal (Ireland), the piper 

was present at the head of the Colonel's company. 

As the kilt is surely an accessory of the Highland 

bagpipes it may be well to mention that it was popular 

in the first half of the seventeenth century. A 

c . t!-.; recent writer in the Athcnceitm (1Q06) sought 
of the Kilt . , , , , \-^ ... =^ , 

to revive the old story that the kilt only 

dates from 17 15, and was invented by an English 

contractor named Rawlinson, as quoted in a letter by 

Ewen Baillie of Aberiachaw, dated March 22nd, 176S. 

But it has been proved to demonstration that the tartan 

was worn as far back as 1470, whilst it is equally 

certain that the Earl of iMoray, during the reign of 

Charles I., wore the kilt. Lord Archibald Campbell 

gives two illustrations of the kilt, one dated 1672 and 

" Lord Breadalbane's March " 

the otlicr 1693, and there is no doubt but it was worn 

long- before the time of the ingenious RawHnson. 

There is a well-known pipe melody, called "The 

Battle of Inverlochy," said to have been composed on 

the occasion of the conflict at Inverlochy, 

in 164^, but the authenticity of the air is ^ , , ,, 
, , ,. , , . .„, Inverlochy" 

unsupported by any reliable testunony. 1 he 

same may be said of " The Clan's Gathering-," which is 

traditionally supposed to have been played at this 

historic battle on February 2nd, 1645. 

A vague tradition has it that Patrick 7nor MacCrimmon, 

about the year 1661, composed a pibroch entitled: 

" Fhuair mi pog a laimh an Righ," or " 1 

got a Kiss of the King's Hand," the " I got a 

. , . • -1. -..i" t • 4. C-- Kiss of the 

occasion bemg a visit with his master, bir ^^. 

. King s 

Roderick MacLeod of MacLeod, to King tt . „ 

Charles IL However, the structure of the 

tune is distinctly eighteenth-century, and, probably, the 

tradition confused King Charles H. with Bonnie Prince 

Charlie, thus giving the date as circa 1745. 

Scotch writers claim a venerable antiquity for the 

pipe-tune, " Lord Breadalbane's March," also known 

as " Wives of the Glen " and " The Carles 

wi' the Breeks," and, in fact, three or four 

legends are dished up to explain the origin , , 

=> i^ y ^ bane s 

of the tune. The dates range from 1644 to jyr « „ 

1692, but the melody is apparently of the 

mid-eighteenth century. Mr. W. L. Manson says that, 

as " Lord Breadalbane's March," It appears in "an old 

hymn book by Iain Bin Caimbeul, first published in 

Story of the Bagpipe 

1786," but I have traced it ten years farther back — 
namely, in 1776, at which date it was published in 
Daniel Dow's Ancient Scots Music. I may add that it 
, '^ very Irish in its characteristics. In his 
^, , Short History of the English Rebellion, in 

164S, Needham savagely denounces the 
Presbyterians 1 for their opposition to the royal cause, 
and he concludes his acrimonious satire as follows : — 

" The Si:otcIi bagpipes, the pulpit drums, 
And priests sound high and big, 
Once more a Cause and Covenant comes 
To show's a Scotish jig." 

Another biting- satire of the year 1659 thus refers to 
Sir Archibald Johnston, Lord W'arriston : — "Poor Sir 

Archibald Johnston, woe is me for thee, for 


thou hadst thought to be a muckle laddy, 

T , , hilt no2V the piper of Kilbarchan will laugh 

Johnston ^ f < . ^ ^ 

thee to scorn. This allusion to " the Piper 

of Kilbarchan " has reference to Habbie Simson, a 

noted performer from the village of Kilbarchan, on 

whose death about the year 1625 Robert 
Piper of c 1 t • 1 ' 

1^-11- L Semple wrote a quasi-humorous poem in 
Kilbarchan „ . , ^^ ^ , 

Scottish metre. One or the verses quotes 

two favourite pipe tunes as played by Habbie : — 

" Now who shall play the Day it Daivs- 
Or Hunt's Up when the cock he craws ? 
Or who can for our Kirktown cause, 
Stand us in stead ? 

^ In 1649 it was enacted by the Edinburgh Presbytery that hence- 
forth " ther could be no pypers at Ijrydels." 


Skye College of Pipers 

Our bagpipes now no hotly blaws 
Sen Habbie's dead." 

A third satirical allusion to the great Hig-hland bag-- 
pipe is to be found in A MoiUnm Account of Scotland, in 
1679, by an Englishman, Thomas Kirke. 
Writingf of the music of the Highlands, he ^^, , 

says: — " Musick they have, but not the 
harmony of the spheres, but loud terrene noises, like the 
bellowing of beasts; the loud bagpipe is their delight; 
stringed instruments are too soft to penetrate the 
organs of their ears, that are only pleased with sounds 
of substance." 

Passing over other references to the Scotch bagpipe 

during the last quarter of the seventeenth century, we 

come to the year 1700, when the great drone 

was introduced. It is the great drone which Introduc- 

really differentiates the great Highland pipe *'°" °i *^^ 

from the Lowland instrument, and from that ^-w 

, . , Drone 

ot Northumbna. However, 1 shall reserve a 

description of the great drone as well as of the High- 
land and Lowland bagpipes for a succeeding chapter. 

In the second half of the seventeenth century a college 
for training pipers was established by the MacCrimmons 
at Skye. Certainly it was in existence in 
1690. The college at Skye was the most ^^ 

celebrated in the Highlands, and it was the t,. 

^ . Pipers 

hall-mark oi' a bagpiper to have been 

educated there. A seven years' course, as was given 

•n Irish pipe schools, was invariably prescribed, and 

it must be borne in mind that the bagpipes was at that 


Story of the Bagpipe 

time only taug'ht by "pattern" playing- and chanting 

forth the air in a language peculiar to the hereditary 

pipers. Dalyell, in his Musical Metnoirs, gives a good 

account of the oral method of teaching the bagpipes at 

Skye, in the eighteenth century, as first deciphered and 

published by Captain Macleod of Gesto. He calls it a 

"syllabic jargon"; and certainly, to the uninitiated, 

the combination of certain syllables chanted in a 

monotone would not seem to convey any definite idea 

of fixed sounds forming a melody. However, the 

system must have been successful, and the "syllabic 

jargon " may be regarded as a primitive form of Tonic 

Sol-fa in an oral form. Dr. Johnson, in his Tour to 

the Hebrides, in 1773, thus writes: — ■" MacCrimmon 

was piper to Macleod, and Rankin to Maclean of Coll. 

There has been in Skye, beyond all ti}ne of vienwry, a 

college of pipers, under the direction of MacC7-i7nnion, 

which is not quite extinct. There was another in Mull, 

superintended by Rankin, which expired almost sixteen 

years ago. To these colleges, while the pipe retained 

its honour, the students of music repaired for education." 

Next in importance to the MacCrimmons were the 

MacArthurs, hereditary pipers to the MacDonalds of 

. . the Isles. The MacArthurs were originally 

MacArthurs ., r at r- ■ 1 .u a 

pupils 01 .MacCrimmon, and they opened a 

college for pipers at Ulva, in Mull. In the opening 

years of the eighteenth century Charles MacArthur was 

a famous performer, but he, too, like his forbears, went 

to finish his pipe studies at Dunvegan, under the 





Legend of the Clach a fhiobair — Battle of Killiecrankie — The Act of 
Abjuration — Union of the two crowns — " Sherrifnuiir March" — 
" Up and waur 'em a', Willie " — " The Campbells are coming " — 
Seizure of Leith — Archers' meeting — Death of Rob Roy — " Rob 
Roy's Lament ■' — "Wi' a hundred pipers an' a' an' a'" — James 
Reid — Prince Charlie's bagpipes — James MacGregor — Dispersal of 
the clans — The Earl of Marischal in 1772 — Early bagpipe-makers 
— The village piper of Eaglisham. 

On May ist, 1690, the Scotch Jacobites suffered a 

decisive defeat at the famous engagement known as the 

Battle of Cromdale, or the Haughs of 

Cromdale. The Williamites drove the ^T^^f^ °^ 

Hit>hlanders across the hill, but a wounded , . , . ,, 

. a phiobair 

piper proved the hero of the day, for he 

continued to climb the highest point of Cromdale Hill, 

and there continued to play the bagpipes till he could 

blow no longer, and then died "with his face to the 

foe." The stone on which the piper played his last 

tune is still known as Clach a phiobair — that is, the 

Piper's Stone. 

Whatever we may think as to the authenticity of the 

Clach a phiobair legend, there is no denying the fact 


Story of the Bagpipe 

that pipers were in evidence at the battle of Killiecrankie 

on July 27th, 16S9, when Graham of Claverhouse was 

killed. The tune known as " Killiecrankie" 

is to be found in the Leyden MS. in 1692, and 

< . in Atkinson's MS. in 1694, althouq-h it is only 

crankie . . -/ ^ 

fair to mention that in the latter manuscript 

the melody appears under the title of "The Irish Gilli- 

cranky," whilst, as Mr. Glen states, " it forms a part of 

the tune called ' My Mistres blush is bonny ' in the Skene 

manuscript [cir. 1620]." 

It is not within our province to touch on the massacre 

of Glencoe, nor on the political events in Scottish history 

between the years 1691 and 1701, but a 

passings word mav be said as to the Act of 

Abjuration \ , . . . " „, . . ^ n j n 

Abjuration in 1701. Ihis Act compelled all 

persons to abjure the Pretender, and thus gave rise to 

innumerable songs, which were wedded to old bagpipe 

melodies, and became immensely popular. One of 

them had a great vogue — viz., "Let our great James 

come over. " 

But of greater political importance was the Act of 

Union, by which Scotland was united to England. This 

Act was signed on July 22nd, 1706, and, as 

nion o might be expected, gave an opportunity for 

the two i- TT • I .-■ \ 

^ numerous anti-Union songs. In particular 

Crowns y . 

the Highlanders were averse to the Union, 

and many a fine bagpipe melody was composed in 

derision of the Act; indeed it may be said that both the 

Act of Abjuration and the Act of Union considerably 

fostered the musical side of the Jacobite cause, and 


" Up and warn a\ Willie " 

served as themes for poets and composers in praise of 
the Pretender — King-James VIII. 

There is a fine bagpipe tune known as the " Sheriflf- 
muir March," said to date from the well-known battle, 
and to have been played by the pipers of the 
Clan Stewart; but another legend would ^^^ .^ 

fain date the march from the battle of Pinkie jviarch '' 
in 1547, though the Avords to which it is 
sung were only written in 1645, or later. The battle of 
Sheriffmuir was fought on November 13th, 1715, and 
victory was claimed by both sides, as a consequence of 
which numerous satires and pasquinades were penned. 

One of the best known of the Sheriffmuir satires is 

" Up and waur 'em a', Willie," the title being a 

crantara^ or warning of a Highland clan for 

battle. The name of the song has been ^ ^^ , 

, TT , I .Mr warn a , 

corrupted to " Up and waur them a, from w'tr " 

a misunderstanding of the crantara, and 

hence we find a song in The CJiarincr\\\ 1752, the first 

verse of which is as follows : — 

" When we wenl to the field of war, 
And to the weaponshaw, Willy, 
With true design to stand our ground, 
And chase our foes awa', Willy ; 
Lairds and lords came there bedeen, 
And vow gin they were pra', Willy. 

Up and waur 'em a', Willy ; 

War 'em a', war em a', W'illy." 

The music for this song will be found in Oswald's 
Caledonian Pocket Companion in 1751, which was re- 


Story of the Bagpipe 

printed by Bremner in 1759; but it is of Irish origin, 

and was utilized by Burns in his revised version of 

" Up and warn a', WiUie." In connection with Sheriff- 

muir, it is of interest to add that the Duke of Sutherland 

has an ancient set of bagpipes, said to have been played 

at this historic battle, but experts are not agreed as to 

its authenticity.^ 

Perhaps one of the best-known bagpipe melodies 

is "The Campbells are coming," which, strange as it 

may seem, is an old Irish air known as 

"The M^u Seanduine" ("The Old Man"). It 

^ passed over to Scotland early in the 

arc . 

„• „ eiirhteenth century, and at once became 

coming ° •'_ 

popular. The earliest reference to it is in 
the IVodrow Correspondence (Vol. XL, No. 96), in a 
letter dated April nth, 1716, as follows: — "When 
Argyle's Highlanders entered Perth and Dundee, for 
they were upon the van of the army, they entered in 
three companies, and every company had their distinct 
pipers, playing three distinct springs, or tunes. The 
first played the tune ' The Campbells are coming, oho, 
oho!' the second 'Wilt thou play me fairplay. High- 
land laddie?' the third 'Stay and take the breiks with 
thee'; and when they entered Dundee, the people 
thought they had been some of Mar's men, till some of 
the prisoners in the tolbooth, understanding the first 
spring ['The Campbells are coming'], sung the words 

' Dalyell says that this instrument is supposed to have been played 
on during the rebellion in 1745, "and that it could be heard at the 
distance of eight miles ! " 


Archers' Meeting in 1715 

of it out of the windows, which mortified the Jacobites." 
This reference shows that the tnne was played by the 
Duke of Argyle's pipers "in derision of the High- 
landers," as Dalyell says. The melody was a favourite 
in Ireland all through the eighteenth century, and was 
published by Walsh in 1745 under the title of " Hob or 
Nob." It is not generally known that the Scotch song 
to this tune, commencing " Upon the Lomonds I lay, I 
lay," and which has been in vogue for 120 years, was 
written by Robert Burns, though published anonymously 
in the Scots Musical Museum, in 1790. 

On October 15th, 1715, when Argyle's troops marched 
to Leith, as Charles Cockburn writes (third Report of 
the Hist. MSS. Commission), "while our 

arenerals were asleep the rebels marched , . , 

r. TT , • ., • Leith 

west to Seaton House, Leaving the piper 

playing in the citadel to amuse. . . . There was great 

clamour in Edinburgh that the rebels should have 

escaped from the citadel of Leith." 

Four months previously, at the Archers' meeting^ at 

Edinburgh, the bagpipe was in evidence. From a letter 

preserved among the manuscripts of the 

T-v 1 r TV T i i.L • 4. • Archers' 

Duke of Montrose there is an account given 

. , , , , . . Meeting 

of an episode that occurred on this occasion: 

"Sir Thomas Dalziell called on the Musick to play 

' The King shall enjoy his own again,' which took the 

fancy of some ladies and Jacobites. General Whitman 

' A procession of the Royal Company of Archers at Edinburgh in 
1734 Has headed by "a Highland piper, dressed in scarlet richly 


Story of the Bagpipe 

ordered an officer of Forfar's regiment to give them a 
drabbing, which was done very heartily." 

Rob Roy looms largely in Scottish legendary history 
in the second decade of the eighteenth century. His 

conduct at Sheriffmuir can hardlv be con- 
Death of J J J , <-• J 1 • 
„ , „ uoneu, and he continued his career as a 
Rob Roy . , ... ^ . 

freebooter during the years 1715-16, creating 

no small sensation by capturing Graham, the deputy 
Sheriff, in November 1716. At length, on June 3rd, 
1717, he surrendered at Dunkeld, and was imprisoned 
at Logyrate, but escaped three days later. Rob Roy 
died^ in 1736, and his funeral procession to the church- 
yard of Balquhidder was headed by a band of pipers. 

The pipe-melody known as " Rob Roy's Lament," to 
which Scott makes reference, owes its origin to the 

, „ , „ chieftain's wife, Helen MacGregor, and was 

"Rob Roy's ^ I , ., ^ f I • 

. „ composed by her on the occasion or being 

forced to leave the banks of Loch Lomond. 

In the words of the great Scottish novelist — " Helen 

made a Lament as well as MacCrimmon himself could 

hae framed it . . . like the wailing of one that mourns 

for the mother that bore him." 

Coming to the '45 period, the figure of Bonnie Prince 

Charlie looms large in history and tradition. One 

ti-ivrn account savs that the voung Pretender 

hundred marched into Edinburgh after the battle of 

pipers an' Prestonpans with a hundred pipers playing 

a', an' a'" " The King shall enjoy his own again." On 

^ Just before he died he asked to have " C/iaii/ ,';te tiiltd/i" played 
on the pipes. 


Prince Charlie as a Piper 

the march to Carlisle he is said to have had a hundred 
pipers in his train. Another version has it that the 
Prince only employed thirty-two pipers, which number 
g-ot swelled to the century for poetic effect in the 
song " \Vi' a hundred pipers an' a', an' a'." How- 
ever, it is beyond question that the music of the 
Highland pipes in no small way cheered on the Jacobite 
troops, although the most popular melody, "The King' 
shall enjoy his own again," was an English composi- 
tion of the early seventeenth century, with words by 
Martin Parker, in 1643. The earliest appearance of 
the melody is in Playford's Afusick's Recreation on 
the Lyra Viol in 1652, after which it was frequently 

So powerful a factor was the Scotch bagpipe in 
working up enthusiasm for the Stuart cause ^ that it 

was regarded as an "instrument of war." 

• • • Twines 

This pomt IS amply proved by the fact that „ . , 

James Reid, a Scotch piper, was tried at 

York for high treason, the capital offence being that as 

" no Highland regiment ever marched without a piper ; 

therefore, his bagpipe, in the eye of the law, was an 

instrument of war." Reid suflFered death at York, on 

November 6th, 1746, as is reported in the contemporary 

Caledonian Mercury. 

As a matter of fact, Prince Charlie himself was a 

tolerable performer on the bagpipes, and, according- to 

* The tune of "Over the water to Charlie"' is now admitted 
to be of Irish origin. Il was printed under a corrupt Irish title in 

143 L 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Sir Walter Scott, had several sets of pipes. His 
favourite bag-pipe was sold at the sale of effects of 

his brother, Prince Henry, Cardinal of York, 

rince ^ who died at Frascati, in 1807, and was 

„ . acquired by Mr. Richard Lees of Gala- 

shiels, irom whom the instrument passed 
to his granddaughter, Mrs. Stewart of Sweethope. 

Rob Roy's son, James MacGregor, was also a gfood 
pipe player. After the '48 debacle he went to Paris, 

where he spent the remainder of his days 

__ „ enduring- many hardships. In 17^4, about 

MacGregor . ^ /o-t» 

a week before his death, he wrote a touching^ 

letter to his patron, Bohaldie, with the following post- 
script : — " If you'd send your pipes by the bearer, and 
all the other trinkims belong-ing; to it, I would put them 
in order, and play some melancholy tune, which I may 
now in safety, and in real truth. Forg"ive my not goingf 
directly to you, for if I could have borne the seeing- of 
yourself, I could not choose to be seen by my friends 
in my wretchedness, nor by any of my acquaintance." 

The disastrous battle of CuUoden put an end to the 
hopes of the Jacobites, and, not long- afterwards, the 
clan system of the Hig^hlanders was com- 
Dispersal pi^^g] broken up. With the dispersal of 
of the , , .... , , . , 

^. clans, the distnictive dress, the social 

customs, and the bag-pipe almost dis- 
appeared for a time. Mr. Glen writes : — " In this 
interval much of the music was neglected and lost, so 
that, afterwards, when the internal commotions of the 
country had completely subsided, and the slumbering 


Village Piper of Eaglesham 

spirit and prejudices of our countrymen awakened under 
the new order of thing^s, the principal records of our 
ancient Piobaireachd were tlie memories of these 
patriarchs who had proudly sounded them at the 
unfortunate rising." 

When Dr. Burney visited the Earl of Marischal in 
Prussia, in 1772, that Scottish nobleman, who was in 
high favour with the King- of Prussia, told 

the musical historian, that of all the national ^^ ° 

^, ... ,, ,. , . , Marischall 

tunes then existmg, the only music he 

^ . -^ in 1772 

preferred was that of his own country bag- 
pipes." This Earl, as Burney relates, lived in great 
style near the palace of the King of Prussia, and kept 
a Highland piper. 

In 1770 there must have been a revival of the bag- 
pipes in Scotland, for in the Edinburgh Directory for 
1775 there is mention of Hugh Robertson, 
" piper maker. Castle Hill." Robertson's ^^!*^^ 

fame as a maker of bagpipes was celebrated nii f 

°^ ^ . Makers 

for a quarter of a century, and his daughter 

was even more famous, w^ho was a noted performer as 

well as a maker of the instrument, in the early years of 

the nineteenth century. 

One of the last instances of a " burgh " piper is that 

of the village of Eaglesham in Renfrewshire. In 1772 

the Earl of Eglinton covenanted " to keep 

a piper properly clothed with proper bag- Village 

pipes for the use of the inhabitants of the „ j^^/ 

• 1 . /• T- 1 t , , , liaglesham 

said town or Eaglesham, to play through 

the town morning and evening every lawful day." 




Improvements in the Uilleann pipes — Larry Grognn — "AllyCroker" 
— Pipers at social gatherings — Matthew Hardy — The piob »ioy at 
Fontenoy — Wind l^and replaces the pipes — Handel admires pipe 
music — " Der arme Irisch junge" — Rev. Dr. Campbell — The 
Bishop of Kilmore as a piper — Parson Sterling — Dr. Barney's 
appreciation of the Uilleann pipes — The Irish bagpipe in 1751 — 
Piper T'ickson — Jackson's " Morning Brush" — Piper MacDonnell 
— Moorehead and his pupils — Uilleann pipes in Dublin Museum — 
O'Farrell's tutor — "Maggie Pickins" — Rev. John Dempsey — 
Rev. Charles Macklin. 

.About the year 17 15 the Uilleann pipes were improved 
somewhat, and became very popular. 
Improve- Manv distinguished amateurs took up the 
ment in the • " • r ^ ^1 u j 

^^.„ pipes m preference to the harp, and con- 

Uilleann ^ ^ , , . , . 

p. sequently the mstrument had quite a 

vogfue, ""gentlemen pipers" being found 
in every county. 

Among the many votaries of the Uilleann pipes in 

the second decade of the eighteenth century the most 

remarkable was Lawrence Grogan, Esq., 

^^'■'■^ of Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford, better 

known among his fellows as Larry Grogan, 

who shone as a composer as well as a performer. One 


" Ally Croker 

of his most famous airs was composed on the vag'aries 

of a disappointed suitor of Miss AHcia Croker, the 

sister of Edward Croker, High Sheriff of County 

Limerick in 1735. This lady was popularly known as 

Ally Croker, hence the song and tune of that tune. 

Grogan wrote the song of " Ally Croker " in 1725, and 

played the air inimitably. Its popularity extended to 

England and Scotland, and, in 1729, it was ^^ 

introduced into Love ilia jRi'dd/e, suhsequentW ^ , „ 

^ , . . ' Croker 

acquirmg a greater vogue from the smgmg 

of Miss Macklin, the Irish actress-vocalist, in Foote's 

comedy. The Englishman in Paris, in 1753. Perhaps 

it may be necessary to mention that this famous pipe 

melody is now known as "The Shamrock," from Tom 

Moore's setting. Grogan is not only remembered in 

song and story, but also in the annals of the Irish turt, 

as we learn from Faulkner s Joiiriial that on August 

31st, 1743, Puree Creagh's horse, Larry Grogan, won 

the ;^io prize at Loughrea races. 

Pipers were in great request at all social gatherings 

in Ireland, especially at weddings. It must also be 

added that the war-pipes were much in evi- 

dence at funerals. The football and hurling ^ ^ . . 

r . 1 • , . . Social 

matches of the early eighteenth century ,- ^, • 

. -^ ^ . . •' Gatherings 

were invariably provided with a piper, who 
headed the contending teams as they entered the field. 
Matthew Concannen, who wrote a mock-heroic poem, 
entitled, "A Match at Football," in 1721, describes 
the enlivening strains of the bagpipes as the rival clubs, 
six aside, lined out for play in County Dublin. A few 


Story of the Bagpipe 

years later we meet with a record of pipers at the 

Templeogue dances, where Irish jigs — notably "The 

Major" and "The Best in Three" — were merrily 

footed to the accompaniment of the bagpipes. 

From g-ay to grave the bagpipe was requisitioned, 

and no important Irish funeral took place unless headed 

by a band of war-pipes. A contemporary 

-- , notice of the burial of Matthew Hardy, a 

rlardy ... 

remarkable Irish piper, m 1737, describes 

the funeral procession as "headed by eight couple 
of pipers, playing a funereal dirge, composed by 
O'Carolan." Hardy is described as a dwarf, " but 
two feet in height," and "he was the life and soul of 
his countrymen." His death occurred in the month of 
April, 1737, and he was buried in Rathmichael Church- 
yard, Co. Dublin. 

But perhaps the last occasion on which the Irish 

pipers were heard in battle was the most memorable. 

This was the famous Battle of Fontenoy, on 

Mav nth, 174^, when the Irish Brigade 

at ■' .^ . ^ 

T7 ^ turned the tide of victory for the French 

rontenoy . ^ . •' 

against the English troops. The two tunes 
played on the p/od mor at Fontenoy were " St. Patrick's 
Day in the Morning" and "White Cockade," two 
characteristic Irish airs. I cannot find any record of a 
later battle in which the music was supplied by the Irish 
pipes,' but as late as December 1759 Lieutenant Colonel 

' There is a good specimen of the Irish /t/o/i mor in tlie Musee de 
Cluny, Paris, said to have belonged to one of the pipers of the Irish 


Irish War-pipers in New York 

Morg-an, of the Irish Light Infantry, advertised in 

the Cork Evening Post that " g"ood Irish pipers will 

meet with particular encouragement" as ''gentleman 


Although trumpets and drums had begun to supersede 

the bagpipe for martial music in the early years of the 

seventeenth century, yet, as we have seen, 

the Scotch and Irish' regiments employed ^'"'^ ^^"'^ 

^, . . . ^ ^ . T- Replaces 

the ancient mstrument m 174^. r rom , „, 

. '^"^ the Pipes 
about the year 1680 the desire was felt of 

replacing the strident tones of the bagpipe by fifes and 
drums, and the introduction of the clarinet, in 1690, 
paved the way for the modern military band. Sir 
James Turner, in his Pallas Arniatas (1683) thus 
writes: — "In some places a piper is allowed to each 
company; the Germans have him, and I look upon their 
pipe as a warlike instnivient. The bagpipe is good 
enough musick for them who love it; but sure it is not 
so good as the Almain whistle. With us any captain 
may keep a piper in his company, and maintain him, 
too, for no pay is allowed him, perhaps just as much as 
he deserveth." It was not, however, until the year 
1765 that military music was put on a definite basis, 
and in 1780 the band of the Coldstream Guards con- 
sisted of two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, and two 

' Lord Rawdon formed a corps of the "Volunteers of Ireland" 
(400 strong), at New York in 177S, and he had a l)and of Irish war- 
pipers, with Barney Thomson as [lipe major. In 17S0 this corps 
merged into the 105th Regiment. Rawdon became Earl of Moira 
in 1793. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Whilst the i,'-i-eat Handel was in Dublin in 1741-42 he 
was much interested in Irish folk music. 

Handel j^^ ^^.^^ j^^j. Q,^|y taken with the harp, but 
with the bag-pipe, and it is on record that he 
sometimes sat in Sam Lee's music shop in 

the Little Green listening to an itinerant piper. His 
Sketch Book, now in the Fitzvvilliam Museum, 

'^ Der Arme ^^^j^^l^j.jjg.^^ contains an interesting Irish 
air, which he calls " Der arme Irische 
Junge," or "The Poor Irish Boy," I here 

rive it in Ilaiiders notatitm: — 

Pipe Music 

Junge " 


Taken down by HANDEL in 1742. 

The old Irish nobles and landed gentry of the mid- 
eighteenth century kept a piper as well as a harper on 
the establishment. The Rev. Dr. Campbell, 

Rev. Dr. 


Rector of Galloon, County Fermanagh, the 
friend of Johnson, Bos well, Edmund Burke, 
and Goldsmith, tells us that on a visit to Mr. MacCarthy, 
of Spring Hill, County Tipperary, he was regaled at 
meals, as he writes, " even on Sunday, with the bag- 
pipe, which is not an instrument so unpleasant as the 
players of Italian music represent it." 

'^ Parson " Sterling 

Dr. Campbell, Catholic Bishop of Kilmore (owiiiij 

to the severity of the Penal Laws) went 
u t • 4.U • r u ~ • } ^ Bishop of 

about m the o^uise oi a bajjpiper: and to ,, . ^ 

,, . , . ^ , .'^'^J: . . Kilmore as 

this dav there is preserved in the palace in -r,- 

. ^ , ^ a. riper 

Cavan a portrait of the Bishop, who was 

a skilled performer, dressed in the gfarb of a piper, 

A very distinguished amateur piper of this period was 

the Rev. Edward Sterling, of Lurgan, County Cavan. 

He was generally known as " Parson " 

e.. 1- I 1 1 ^ "Parson" 

bterhng, and composed many popular tunes. 

His wife was the Irish actress Miss Lydell, 

the first Dublin Polly of the Bt'o-oa/s' Opera in 1728, 

who retired from the stage in 1732. He published his 

poetical works at Dublin in 1734, and received Peg 

Woflington's recantation on December 31st, 1752. His 

musical powers were generally appreciated, and are 

highly praised by Edmund Burke in a letter of the year 


During the second half of the eighteenth century the 

Uilleann pipes enormously increased in popularity, a 

fact doubtless due to the displacement of 

the Irish harp in favour of the harpsichord. .tSurney s 

It is satisfactory to be able to quote no , - 

. : . of the 

less an authority than Dr. Burney in praise TJilleann Pi 

of the Irish Uilleann pipes. ^ Burney, 

writing to Joseph C. Walker (author of Historical 

Memoirs of ihe Irish Bards) in 1775, says: — "The 

instrument at present used in Ireland is an improved 

' It must not be forgotten that Burney's father, James MacBurney, 
was of Irish descent. 

Story of the Bagpipe 

bagpipe, on which I have heard some of the natives play 

very well in ttvo parts without the drone, which I believe 

is never attempted in Scotland. The tone of the lower 

notes resembles that of a hautbois and clarionet, and 

the high notes that of a German flute; and the whole 

scale of one I heard lately was very ivelL in tunc, which 

has never been the case of any Scots bagpipe that I have 

yet heard.'"'' 

An anonymous traveller, describing- a visit to Ireland 

in 1 75 1, thus writes in the Gentleman' s Magazine (vol. 

xxi. p. 466): — "Every village has a Bag- 

, piper, who, every fine evening after working 

. hours, collects all the voung men and maids 

in 1 75 1 . . . 

in the village about him, where they dance 

most cheerfully; and it is really a very pleasing enter- 
tainment to see the expressive though awkward attempts 
of nature to recommend themselves to the opposite 

About the year 1760 flourished Walter Jackson, a 
celebrated "gentleman p>per," who lived at Jackson's 

Turret, near Ballingary, County Limerick. 
ipcr j_jg ^^^^ always known as " Piper Tackson," 

Jackson ... •,,. r ,•,/ ht, 

to distmguish hmi from his brother Myles, 

" Hero Jackson," and was not only a good player on 
the pipes, but also composed much dance music. 
Among his bagpipe melodies not a few still retain 
their popularity — e.g.^ "Jackson's Morning Brush," 
"Welcome Home," "Jackson's Maggot," and "Jack- 
son's Cup." A small volume of his airs was published 
by Sam Lee in 1774, and was reprinted in 1790. By his 



Jackson's "Morning Brush" 


' Morning 


will he left a sum of £^(iO a year to the poor of BalHn- 
g-arry parish, half to be distributed by the Catholic 
pastor and the other half by the Protestant 
rector. Bunting- says that Castle Jackson 
was destroyed by lig-htning- in 1826, but it 
had been derelict since the last decade of the 
eighteenth century. Perhaps the best example oi his 
style is the well-known Jackson's " Morning- Brush," 
which O'KeefFe introduced into his A^ecable Surprise^ 
arrang^ed by Arnold in 178 1. I here subjoin the melody 
from a MS. collection of the year 1776: — 


circa 1770. 

Another remarkable " g-entleman piper" was Mac- 

Donnell, of whom John O'Keeffe has a long notice. 

Writing- of the period 1770-71, he says: — 

" MacDonnell, the famous Irish piper, lived __ ^^ ^^^J, 

^ ^ MacDonnell 

m g-reat style— two houses, servants, 

hunters, etc. His pipes were small and of ivory, tipped 

with silver and g-old. You scarcely saw his fingers 

Story of the Bagpipe 

move, and all his attitudes while playing were steady 
and quiet, and his face composed. . . , About the same 
season I prevailed on MacDonnell to play one night on 
the stage at Cork, and had it announced on the bills 
that Mr. MacDonnell would play some of Carolan's fine 
airs upon the ' Irish organ.' The curtain went up, and 
discovered him sitting alone in his own dress ; he 
played and charmed everybody." MacDonnell had 
several exquisite sets of pipes, and one of them, dated 
1770, passed into the MacDonnell family of County 
Mayo, which is now in the Dublin Museum on loan 
from Lord MacDonnell, late Under-Secretary for 
Ireland, who has kindly permitted it to be photographed 
for the present volume. 

In the years 1765-75 Moorehead of Armagh was a 

skilled violinist and piper. His son and pupil was the 

famous John Moorehead, violinist and com- 

° ^, ^ poser. Another son, Alexander, was leader 

Tj ., of the orchestra at Sadler's Wells Theatre. 


Strangely enough, both brothers died insane, 

the latter in 1803 and the former in 1804. A third pupil 

of Moorehead was William Kennedy, a noted blind 

piper of Tandragee (1768-1850). 

There are some splendid specimens of LHUeann pipes 

in the Dublin Museum, the oldest of which 

Uillcaun j^ dated 176S, and is said to have belonged 

r. , ,. to Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Another very 

Dublin ^ , r , 1 , 

Mnne set dates from the vear 1770, made bv 
useum ^ , ; / / ' 

the elder Kenna, of Dublin, a famous maker, 
another of whose instruments, dated 1789, is also in the 


S - 

'< 'i. 

< 5 - . 5 
1^ a 3 

? S < 

" Maggie Picklns " 

Museum.^ Subjoined is an illustration oC the Fitzgerald 

Although a Tutor for the Highland Bagpipes had 
been issued in 17S4, it was not until the year 1799- 
1801 that O'Farrell's Tutor appeared. This 

author, O'Farrell, was an excellent plaver ^15^ 

1 TT-ii • 1 • 1 Tutor 

on the uilleann pipes, and in 1791 he per- 
formed in the pantomime of Oscar and Malvina. In 
addition to " a treatise with the most perfect instruc- 
tions ever yet published for the pipes," there was added 
"a variety of slow and sprightly Irish tunes," and a 
vignette was prefixed of O'Farrell playing on the 
" Union " pipes.- 

One of the popular pipe melodies of the mid- 
eighteenth century was " Maggie Pickins," which a 

tourist in 17^6 heard in Countv Donegal. 

T. r / • ■ ^ ■ "Maggie 

Its earliest appearance in print was in t- »> 

Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion in 

1759, and the Scotch adapted it to a vulgar song called 

" Whistle o'er the lave o't." Robert Burns dressed up 

the words anew, and his version was published in the 

Scots Musical Museiun in 1790. It is well to note that 

Burns believed the air to be an original composition, 

and in a letter to Thomson (October 1794) he ascribed 

it to John Bruce, a fiddler of Dumfries, but Mayne, an 

intimate friend of Bruce and Burns, says that " although 

John Bruce was an admirable performer, he never was 

^ John Wayland, of Cork, has a fine set, made by the elder Kenna, 
dated 17S3. 

- This treatise is very interesting, and is printed in Appendix F. 

Story of the Bagpipe 

knoimi as a composer of Music.'' I may also add that 
this fine Irish pipe melody was utilized by the Irish 
Volunteers of 1782 as one of their marching tunes. 

M.S. 1760. 

Between the years 1770 and 1790 flourished the Rev. 
John Dempsey, a Catholic priest, who was a skilful 
player on the Uilleann pipes. He was a 
Rev. John ^^^j^g ^f County Wexford, but was affiliated 
^ ^ ^ to the diocese of Kildare, and served for 
twenty years as assistant priest in the parish of Killeigh, 
King's County. His fame as a piper was considerable, 
and he died July 2nd, 1793, aged seventy-six. 

This chapter may fittingly conclude with a reference 
to the Rev. Charles Macklin, who is described by Lady 
Morgan as " a marvellous performer on the 
Irish bagpipes — that most ancient and per- 
fect of instruments. " Macklin was a nephew 
of the great Irish actor of that name, and 
was dismissed from his curacy in the diocese of Clonfert 
for having played out his congregation with a solo on 

the bagpipes. 







Founding of the Highland Society — The first meeting in 1781 — 
Glasgow gives support — Edinburgh follows suit — Competition of 
1784 — Adam Smith present — Graphic description by de St. Fond 
— Successful meeting of 1785 — " Failte a Phrionsai" — Want of 
variety in the competitions — First triennial meeting — Mendelssohn 
and Neukomm present — Sword dance— Collapse of the meetings 
in 1844 — Revival at Inverness in 1859 — A second society formed 
in 1875 — Highland Mod. 

In 177S, a number of enthusiastic Scotchmen in 
London, anxious for the encouragement of the bag- 
pipe, determined to found an association 
in which yearly competitions on the great °"" ^"^ 
pipe should be the outstanding feature. „. . , 
Thus was founded the Highland Society of Society 

London. However, the arrangements for 
holding the initial meeting did not materialize for 
three years. At length, in 1781, the first of the great 
Highland gatherings was held at Falkirk, and lasted 
three days. 

Thirteen competitors appeared at this historic 
gathering, and each of them played four pipe selec- 

Story of the Bagpipe 

tlons. Dalj'ell tells us that "the competitors were 

most properly removed from view, per- 

^j*"^ forming- in a court, while those who were 

Mcctinc: in ^ , ^ . , . ,.^. . , . 

„ to determme their qualities remained in 

1781 ^ 

an apartment.' The winner of the first 

prize (a bagfpipe) was Patrick MacGreg-or, of Ardradour, 


Although Falkirk was the venue for the first three 

pipe gatherings, the Highlanders in Glasgow lent 

substantial aid towards the success of the 

3.sgow meetings. The date of all three gatherings 

civcs . . *' 

was arrang-ed to synchronize with that of the 
support . . ° . . 

principal cattle fair in Scotland, the Tryst 

of Falkirk, in the month of October. 

Nor was the fair city of Edinburgh behindhand in 

giving support to the new movement for the 

"■ "'"^ cultivation of the bagpipe. But, not content 

with this, a committee was formed which 

^"" three years later developed into the Hi.klan, 

Society of Edinburgh. 

The second and third competitors at Falkirk were on 

the lines of the first gathering, but, instead of three 

davs, the performance was limited to one 
Competition , ' r ^ t 1 at 

^ day, from 9 a.m. to 5 r..M. John Mac- 

AUister (West Fencible Regiment) and 

Neil MacLean, of Airds, were respectively the victors 

in the years 1782 and 1783. Some dissatisfaction was 

felt at the awards of 1783, and twelve of the seventeen 

candidates presented themselves at a rival gathering 

on October 22nd, at Edinburgh, under the presidency 


Adam Smith 

of AiacDonald of Clanranald, at which "Professor" 

MacArthur assisted. The competition of 1784 was 

held at Edinburg^h, under the auspices of the Hig^h- 

land Society of Edinburg-h, and the first prize was 

awarded to John MacGregfor, sen., of Fortingall. 

The number of prizes given at each gathering- from 

1781 to 1S09 did not vary, and consisted of three; 

1st, a bagpipe; 2nd, forty merks in money; and 

3rd, thirty merks. 

Although Dalyell could find no particulars of the 

17S4 gathering, yet a most interesting account of it 

was given by a French writer in his Travels. 

We know that Adam Smith, author of the ^^f''" 

Wealth of Nations, was present at the per- 

, , . , present 

lormance, and to hun we owe the account 

furnished by the great geologist, whose guest he was. 

As this work, published in 1784, is scarce, the following 

summarized description of the Edinburgh meeting of 

1784 is of interest, all the more as coming from a 

distinguished foreigner : — 

" In a short time a folding door opened, and to my 

surprise I saw a Highlander advance in the costume of 

his country, and walk up and down the 

empty space with rapid steps and an agitated _ ^. ^ . 

• ,, • ,. . • , , Ti 7- Description 

air, blowing his )ioisy instninicnt, the ais- u -m a 

cordant sounds of which were enough to rend g^ Fond 

the air. The tune [pirbraut] was a kind of 

sonata, divided into three parts ; but I confess I could 

distinguish neither melody nor form in the music : I was 

struck only with the attitude, the exertions, and the 

159 M 

Story of the Bagpipe 

warlike countenance of the piper. . . . Having listened 
very attentively to eight pipers in succession, I at last 
discovered that the first part of the air was a battle 
march ; the second a sanguinary action by descriptive 
music, to imitate the clang of arms and the cries of the 
wounded. With a sudden transition, the piper entered 
on the third movement, a sad, slow melody, repre- 
senting the laments of friends for the slain, and it was 
this third movement that drew tears from the eyes of 
the handsome Scotch ladies. The whole of this enter- 
tainment was so extraordinary, and the impression it 
produced on the audience was so different from what I 
felt, that I could not avoid ascribing it to an association 
of ideas, which connected the discordant sounds of the 
bagpipe with some historical facts thus forcibly brought 
to recollection." 

On August 30th, 1785, a most successful Highland 
gathering was held in Dunn's Assembly Rooms, Edin- 
burgh, under the chairmanship of MacDonald 

se ing ^^ Clanranald, when twentv-five competitors 

(^i 1785 , , ,. Ti ' r . 

entered the lists. By way of overture a 
salute to the Society was played by "Professor" 
MacArthur, described as " the only surviving pro- 
fessor of the ancient College of Dunvegan, now 
grocer in Edinburgh.'''' This venerable piper also 
concluded the proceedings, giving a masterly render- 
ing of " Clanranald's March." In all fifty-two pieces 
of music were performed, of which forty-eight were 
in competition ; and there was also Highland danc- 
ing. However, it must have been rather monotonous, 


" Failte a Phrlonsa " 

as Dalyell tells us that one pipe tune, "Failte a 

Phrionsa," was played by twenty-four competitors 

consecutively. MacDonald in iSo6 adds that from 

17S5 to 1S05 " there had not been above a dozen of 

different tunes played at the annual competition of 

pipers in Edinburg-h," 

In Major-General Thomson's Ceol Mor, a mag^nificent 

collection of about two hundred and seventy-five 

pibrochs, "Failte a Phrionsa," or "The 

■ . \ . . " Fai'te a 

Prmce's Salute," is ascribed to John Mac- „, , '^ 
. . , , ,• r , r^hnonsa 

Intyre, m 1715, on the landmg of the 

Pretender. Anyhow, it is remarkable that the prize 
winner at the 1785 meeting- was Donald Maclntyre, of 
Rannoch, age seventy-five. It is equally remarkable 
that at the 1788 meeting- this pibroch was only g-iven 
twice, whilst it disappeared altogether from the pro- 
gramme of 1796. 

There is no gainsaying the fact that from 17S1 to 
I S3 1 there was a great want of variety in the pieces 
selected for competition, and, indeed, in the 

programme generally. We have seen that 

,( -r, -r, • ' c 1 i )j ^ M Variety in 

Ihe Princes balute was actually per- , ' 

r , r • •• t"^ Com- 

lormed twenty-tour times at one competition. _ 4.;.;„^„ 

-' *^ petitions 

Another oft-repeated pibroch was, "A' Glas 
Mheur," or " The Finger Lock," whilst a good third was 
" Grim Donald's Sweetheart." Even the augmenting 
of the prizes from three to five, in 1809, did not make 
for any great variety in the pieces selected for com- 
The first triennial competition — there were no 

Story of the Bagpipe 

meeting's in 1827 and 1828 — took place on July 2gth, 

1829, when John MacNab, of the 72nd 

''[^ . Highlanders, obtained first prize. The 

,- ^. i^atherinsf was unusuallv well attended, and 

Meeting ^ => . , , -^ -a a 

both music and dancmg were considered 

to be an advance on previous years. 

An added interest attaches to the 1S29 meeting' by 

reason of the fact that Mendelssohn and Chevalier 

Neukomm were present. To this Scotch 

luendels- y^-\^\i \^ ^^^^Q ^\^q famous Hebrides overture, as 

-T f also the Scotch symphony, and it is easy to 

Neukomm . ■ ' , -n r 1 , • 

P escnt perceive that the skill of the bagpipers was 

appreciated by Mendelssohn. Sir John 
Dalyell tells us that Neukomm was much struck with 
the pibrochs, which he afterwards described to Campbell 
as possessing " rude, wild charms." 

A few words on the Sword Dance may not be out of 
place, especially as it formed a feature of the Highland 

gatherings, x^s far back as 16 ^'j King 
^ Charles 1. was entertained at Perth with the 

Sivord Dance by thirteen of the Company of 
Glovers. However, from the description given of it, 
there is very little resemblance between the dance of 
1633 and that of 1833. It was introduced as a novelty 
at the Highland gathering of 1783 by some of the com- 
peting pipers, but did not find a place in the regular 
programme until 1832. Dal3'ell writes: — ''Consider- 
able confidence and dexterity are requisite, and of 
various competitors in two exhibitions, Alexander 
Stewart alone succeeded in 1838, while the appropriate 


Inverness Gathering 

tune was played by the cJiampion of ihc pipers^ to the 
high gratification of the audience." 

Although there were thirteen candidates at the High- 
land gathering of 1835, at which a gold medal was first 
offered for competition (won by John Bane 
MacKenzie, piper to the Marquis of Breadal- Collapse 

bane), vet the standard was regarded as __. 

• r • T^ 1 11 , • • Meetings 

mfenor. Ualvell states that "neither m • ,q,, 

. . "^ i°44 
1841 nor in 1844 did any competitor oi the 

highest quality enter the lists." From whatever cause, 

the triennial meetings at Edinburgh came to an end in 

1844, in which year Donald Cameron, piper to Sir 

James MacKenzie, of Scatwell, was awarded the gold 


In 1S59 a new departure was made, and the venue 

of the competitions was changed from Edinburgh to 

Inverness. Under the title of the " Northern 

Meeting," the competitions were held ^^^^^ 

,, . „ r , • I 1 Inverness 

annually from 1859 to 1900, for which the , „ 

first prize was the Highland Society's gold 
medal. The standard of playing was considerably 
improved in the 'sixties, and on a few occasions there 
was a special competition between the victors, the 
winner being dubbed "Champion of Champions." In 
1867 John MacLennan, piper to the Earl of Fife, won 
the first prize ; but Donald Cameron, piper to MacKenzie 
of Seaforth, obtained the coveted distinction of " Cham- 
pion of Champions," a distinction which was won by 
Ronald MacKenzie in 1873, and by Duncan MacDougall 
in 1S76. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

In order to stimulate a love for the pioh 77ior, a second 
society was established in 1S75, known as the Argyll- 
shire Gatherino-. This meetinsf was held 
^econ under the same conditions as the Inverness 

. \ . Gatherinsr, and a irold medal was presented 

lormed in . . 

o,,e by the Highland Society of London as first 

prize. The Arg3'llshire Gathering continued 

from 1875 '<^ 1 899? ^'"'d it is remarkable that Murdoch 

MacKenzie, who won the gold medal at Inverness in 

1S98, also won the gold medal at the Argyll Gathering 

in 1S99. 

In recent years a further impetus has been given to 

Scotch Gaelic literature and music by the Highland 

Mod. The Mod is somewhat analagous to 

__ , the Oireachtas in Ireland: and while pri- 

Mod ... . 

manly aiming at the preservation of the 

language, it also encourages singing, dancing, and pipe- 
playing. It is under the management of An Comunn 
Gaidhealach, and the meetings from 1892 to 1908 have 
been very successful, especially those held at Dingwall 
and Oban. The Glasgow Mod, held on September 
19th, 1907, under the presidency of the Lord Provost, 
attracted in all 396 competitors. Indeed, the present 
position of the bagpipe in Scotland is decidedly hopeful, 
and it still holds first rank as the national instrument, 
as is evident from its prominence at the Braemar 
Gathering of September 191 1, when King George V. 
was present in Highland costume. 

J 6^ 



Eraser's Regiment — MacLeod's Highlanders — Battle or Assaye — 
Concert by the band of the 5Sth Regiment — The Seaforth High- 
landers—Siege of Lucknow — John MacLachlan at Ciudad Rodrigo 
— The pipes in the Peninsular campaign— Battle of Vimiera — George 
Clark — Kenneth Mac Kay — Scotch pipers at Waterloo — Angus 
MacKay — The Black Watch pipers — The Cameron Highlanders — 
"March of the Cameron Men" — William Ross — Disbanding of 
the Argyllshire pipers — The Scots Guards disbanded — Army 
Pipers — Govan Police Band. 

At the battle of Quebec in April 1760, the pipers of 
Eraser's Regiment did g-ood service by rallying the 
troops. It appears from MacDonald's High- ^ 

land Vocal Airs (1784) that on the morning ^ . 
of the battle the pipers were forbidden to 
play, on which account the Scotch troops got dispirited. 
Just as the forces were about to give way a field officer 
explained to the General in command the cause of the 
men's listlessness, whereupon orders were at once given 
to the pipers to "play up like the devil." The music 
acted like magic, and the Highland companies rallied 
ia brilliant style to the sound of a martial pibroch. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Another memorable example of the efficacy of the 
pipes in warfare is that told of the MacLeod High- 
landers, or the 73rd, in India. Sir Eyre 

MacLeod's /- .. • o r • • ^u 4. ^u 

rr. , . , Coote, m 1780, was of opmion that the 
Highlanders , . _ , , 

bagpipe was or no great use ; but at the 

battle of Port Novo, in 17S1, he found that when the 

battle raged fiercest the pipers animated the troops to 

deeds of valour. As a proof of his appreciation he 

presented the regiment with a silver set of pipes and 

the sum of ^50. 

At the battle of Assaye the bagpipes (as played by 

the pipers of the Ross-shire Buffs) were 

^ ° also heard to advantage, and there is no 

denying the fact that the skirl of the pM 

mor invariably roused the ardour of the Scottish 


In 17S6 there was a "Grand jSIilitary Concert" 

given in Edinburgh, in which the pipes were 

Concert by j^^j. forgotten, although the programme, as 

'. , „ , performed by the band of the sSth Regi- 

of the 58th ^ . f •,,-,,, 

r> •_ * ment, mainly consisted or "the most 
Regiment ' -^ . 

approved Scots, English, and Italian airs 

and marches." 

At Pondicherry, on August 12th, 1793, the Scotch 

bagpipes were responsible for a curious incident in 

military warfare. We read that Colonel 

,,, , , , Campbell, in command of the trenches, as 
Highlanders , !, ... ,. .... 

the tire was thickest irom a neighbouring 

fortress, suddenly ordered the pipers of the Seaforth 

Highlanders to play up some popular pibrochs. Strange 


Ciudad Rodrigo 

to say, as soon as the pipers commenced playing" the 
enemy's firing almost immediately ceased. The his- 
torian of the regiment continues: — "The French all 
got upon the works, and seemed more astonished at 
hearing the bagpipe than we with Colonel Campbell's 
request." It may be as well to add that the bagpipe 
was also employed in certain regiments of the French 
service even as late as the first quarter of the last 
century. Dalyell tells us that a distinguished field 
officer of the 42nd Regiment told him of the capture of 
a French bagpiper "immediately preceding the battle 
of Salamanca" (July 22nd, 181 2). 

No account of regimental pipers would be complete 
without reference to the siege of Lucknow, and most 
writers have accepted the legend as to the 

effect of the bagpipes in animating the ^ , 

r , , , ?^ • Lucknow 

droopmg spirits or those hapless victims 

confined in the Residency.^ Historical truth, however, 

compels us to state that the whole story as to the 

inspiring strains of the bagpipe borne on the breeze to 

the joyful ears of those at Lucknow must be regarded 

as apocryphal. 

A rather good story is told of a brave piper of 

the 74th Regiment at Ciudad Rodrigo — 

by nama John MacLachlan. Being one John 

f 4.U r 4. 4. 1 *i It 1 MacLachlan 

or the loremost to scale the walls, he _. 

played "The Campbells are coming" p'j . 

with much verve, until a stray shot 

^ In all there were 140 pipers attached to tlie fnur Iligli'.and 
regiments at Lucknow. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

from the enemy, penetrating- the wind-bag, put an 
end for a time to his music. Nothing daunted, 
MacLachlan seated himself on the ramparts and re- 
paired the bag as well as he could, and in a short 
time again "blew up the pipes," to the delight of 
his company. 

From Napier's pages we learn that at Vittoria (June 

2ist, 1813) the 92nd Regiment were conspicuous by 

their valour. In fact, all through the 

ripes Peninsular Campaign the pipers contributed 

_ . , in no small degree to rouse the requisite 
Peninsular ... , xt • • \,^, 

r> ■ military ardour. Napier writes: — " 1 he 

Campaign _ ■' ^ 

pipers headed the charg"e, striking up a 
favourite war-tune composed centuries before. Their 
war-like music inspired their comrades with a fury 
nothing could resist. . . . How gloriously did that 
regiment come forth again to the charge, their colours 
flying- and their pipes playing as if at review." 

At the Battle of Vimlera (August 21st, 1808), George 
Clark, piper to the 71st Regiment, displayed unusual 

bravery. Whilst playing a rousing pibroch 

_- . he was wounded, and though "fallen and 

Vimicra , , ,. , , ,, t-. , ,1 • 

bleeding on the ground, as Ualyell writes, 

" he boldly resumed his office, which contributed not a 

little to the fortune of the day — as he survived to 

witness it." Six years later, this brave piper appeared 

as a candidate at a competition in the Theatre Royal, 

Edinburgh, and received a tremendous ovation, as well 

as a generous gratuity. 

Strange to say, there is no record as to how the pipe 


Angus MacKay 

competition in 1S15 came off, but it is evident from 
Dalyell that Georgia Clark only got "placed," 
receiving-, however, a substantial amount ^ 

of bawbees, by way of solatium, as the 
piper-hero of Vimiera.^ 

At Ouatre Bras the role of piper-hero fell to the lot 
of Kenneth MacKay, piper of the 79th Cameron High- 
landers. At an important crisis he stepped 

out of the ranks and blew up " Cogadh na „ i^' 

. . MacKay 

Si n " (" War or Peace '), an ancient pibroch, 

with startling effect, in the very teeth of the French 


When the din of the battle of Waterloo raged most 
fiercely the bagpipes were heard in no uncertain fashion. 
The pibroch at the word of command, 
" Prepare to charge," roused the troops, ^ ^cotcn 

J • • -A .u T u • u Pipers at 

and It IS said that one brave piper, when ,„/^^ , 

^ ^ / _ Waterloo 

wounded in the leg, threw down his pipes 

and entered the fighting ranks, dealing havoc all 

round till he was killed. At Waterloo, the pipers 

were those attached to the 42nd, ^^8th, 79th, and 92r*^^ 

regiments, -/Z*^ f '"^^^ 

Queen \'ictoria set a hall-mark on the Scotch pipers 

by selecting Angus MacKay as her first piper in 1S37. 

Not only was MacKay an excellent performer 

on the bag-pipes, but he rendered a distinct _. ^f 

. . , , , ,• • c MacKay 

service to pipe music by the publication ot 

his Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd in 1S38, of which 

^ He was subsequently given the post of piper to the Highland 
Society of London. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

a second edition appeared in 1839. MacKay's book of 
pipe melodies was a distinct advance on any previous 
work of its kind, and contained sixty pibrochs. His 
end was sad, for on March 21st, 1859, he was accident- 
ally drowned, having inadvertently walked into the 
river Nith. 

For over half a century the pipers of the Black 
Watch have been famous. A story is told of them that 
on one occasion, under a broilino- sun in 
^'^ India, they managed to keep the music 

p, going for fully four miles — quite a remark- 

able feat of endurance. It is as well to 
explain that, under ordinary circumstances, pipers 
can easily keep playing for about three miles, and 
it is undeniable that, for a Highland regiment, 
the bagpipes are a splendid aid in diflicult marches. 
In connection with the Black Watch, it may also 
be added that they distinguished themselves in the 
Ashanti W^ar, and no braver episode signalized the 
campaign than the march to Coomassie, headed by 
the pipers. 

The Cameron Highlanders, too, have reason to be 

proud of their regimental pipers, of whom many stories 

are on record. One of the latest, as 

,., , , J chronicled bv Mr. W. L. Manson, tells 

Highlanders , „. ' ^ 1 1 -,1 j 

that Piper James Stewart, who was killed 

at the battle of the Atbara, was found to have seven 

bullets in his body. " He gallantly led the charge, 

playing ' The March of the Cameron Men,' and during 

a bit of rough and bloody work he mounted a knoll 


March of the Cameron Men 


and stood playing" the tune until he fell mortally 


The above reference to the tune of *' The March of 

the Cameron Men " naturally sug-gests a query as to 

the ag-e of the melody. Some writers would 

have us believe that it is an early eig'hteenth ^*"^ 

century pipe melody, and that it was actually „ 

I 111 • r 1 -- • . Cameron 

played by the pipers of the Cameronians when Men " 

flocking to the standard of Prince Charlie 

at Glenfinnan, on August 9th, 1745. Sober truth 

compels us to say that the tune is distinctly modern ; 

but all the same, it is a fine martial pipe melody, and 

appeals strongly to a Scottish audience. 

As piper to the Black Watch, William Ross achieved 
a great reputation, and he was appointed piper to the 
Queen, ^ in succession to Angus MacKav. 
In 1S69 he published a collection Cl marches, „ 

strathspeys, reels, and marches, of which a 
number of editions have since appeared, the latest 
containing forty-one pibrochs and four hundred and 
thirty-seven marches. Ross continued till his death, 
in 1S90, as royal piper, and was succeeded by Pipe 
Major J. C. Campbell. - 

Notwithstanding the recognized value ot the bagpipe 
in Highland regiments, the 91st lost their pipes in 

^ At Queen Victoria's funeral, in February 1901, her two pipers 
took part in the procession. 

^ King George V. inherits Queen Victoria's love for the I)agi)ipe, 
and he keenly relishes the morning performance by the King's piper 
at Buckingham Palace. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

April, 1850. It appears that when the Arg-yllshire 
Hig^hlanders (91st) landed at Dover, they were in- 
spected by the Adjutant General, Major- 
Uisbanding Qqi^qj^-^\ Brown, who ordered the pipers to 

. „ , , be disbanded. The abolition of the time- 
Argyllshire , . . , , 
T,: honoured instrument was much resented, 
X ipers _ _ _ ' 

and an ag'itation was got up by enthusiastic 
admirers of the pi'ob mof, with the result that due 
reparation was subsequently made to the 91st. 

But a more extraordinary proceeding" has recently 

taken place — namely, the disbanding of the 3rd 

battalion of the Scots Guards, on October 


3i^t, 1906. The ceremony took place in 
d' b d d presence of King Edward VII., and during 

it the massed pipers played " Lord Leven's 
Lament," intensifying the feelings of regret on the part 
of this fine regiment, which orig'inally consisted of eight 
companies. However, there is a probability that the 
Scots Guards and its pipe band will be re-formed. 

The War Office allows six pipers — namely, a Sergeant 
Piper (Pipe Major) and five others, but there are 

generally ten to twelve members in the pipe 

rmy band attached to each battalion. Officially, 

r^ipers . , , , 

payment is only made to the sergeant 

piper and his five associate pipers, who are known 

as "full" pipers. The additional six players are 

called "acting" pipers, whose pay is subscribed 

for by the officers of each battalion, and who are 

furnished from the same source with uniforms, hose, 

buckles, banners, etc. Pipers are paid at the same 


Govan Police Band 

rate as drummers, and they frequently find additional 
pay when engaged at social functions, band promenades, 
etc. In addition to playing at "Reveille" and "Tattoo," 
the pipers also play at officer's mess, and at military 
funerals. It may be added that at military funerals 
"The Flowers of the Forest" is the favourite dirge 
played by the pipers. 


SKENE M.S. 16S0. 

also be made of the Govan Police Band, 
formed in 188:; — remarkable as beinsr the 

In addition to regimental bands, there are also Volun- 
teer pipe bands, like the Glasgow Highlanders and the 

ist Sutherland H.R.V. But mention must 


-V — remarKaDie as oemg ine „ , 

^. . . ^ Band 

only pipe band in the Scottish police torce. 

During twenty-five years this fine pipe band has con- 
tinued to add to the enjoyment of the Glasgow citizens 
by their performances in the parks, and the sinews of 
war are supplied by two annual concerts. 



The Lowland Pipes — Dr. Leyden's opinion — Similarity to the Uilleann 
pipes — George Mackie — l'"alkir]< a pipe centre— Lowland regi- 
mental pipers — Border pipers — DalyelTs criticism — Northumbrian 
pipes — James Allan— Eulogistic verses— Modern Northumbrian 
pipes — The Northumbrian Small Pipes Society — Versatility of 
Lowland pipers. 

Much misconception has existed in rec;fard to the Low- 
land bag-pipe as distinct from the Highland. Some 
writers alleg^e that the two instruments are 

_. totally distinct, and that the Lowland bajr- 

Jripes . ''. ' . , . 

pipe IS rather or an interior class. It is 

here sufficient to say that there is no essential differ- 
ence between the Highland and the Lowland pipes, 
for the scale is the self-same, and the chanters are 
alike. True it is that the Lowland instrument is 
smaller than the Highland, and is blown not by 
the mouth, but by a bellows (like the Irish Uilleann 
pipes), whilst the drones rest on the right arm (or 
thigh), so as to be easy of access for tuning — yet it 
can be definitely stated that, far from being a different 


George Mackie 

instrument, It is practically the same as the Hii^hland 


Dr. Leyden g-ave it as his opinion that the Lowland 

pipes came into vogue about the close of 

the sixteenth century. Certain it is that '^'^^, ^"^ 
1 . II f , , 1 T 1 1 Opinion 

the bellows was adopted by the Lowlanders 

in the last years of King James VI. ere he ascended the 
throne of England. 

It is strange that Dr. Leyden did not notice the 
extraordinary similarity which the Lowland instru- 
ment has to the Irish Uilleann pipes, as 
both are blown by a bellows. I have Similarity 

no hesitation in saving that the Lowland -r-f. 

u A f T 1 ^ f Uilleann 

pipes were borrowed from Ireland, lor, as Pines 

has been seen in a previous chapter, the 

Uilleann pipes were in use in Ireland in 1580, and 

are the "woollen" pipes alluded to by Shakespeare. 

In reference to the bellows Glen writes: — "It is 

usually assumed that they are an improvement on 

the blow-pipe, but this is a matter of taste; and as 

the reeds require to be more delicate, they are deficient 

in power." 

George Mackie is said to have effected improvements 

in the Lowland pipes as a result of his residence in the 

College of Skye, which fact tells against the 

• • « • GcorcTC 

supposition that the Highland pipes are __ , , 

quite different from the Lowland. Mr. Glen 

notes: — " If the instrument he used was different from 

the Highland pipes, he would have gone there to no 

purpose. He made no improvement on the Lowland 

Story of the Bagpipe 

pipes whatever; but he returned with a great improve- 
ment in his style of playing", having studied and adopted 
the method of interposing appogiature, or warblers — 
the great charm and ditliculty of pipe music." 

Here it will be 
of interest to 
give a drawing 
of the improved 
Lowland pipes, 
taken from 
Glen's Historical 
Sketch of the 
Scotch Bag-Pipe. 
Among the 
many places 
where the Low- 
land bagpipes 
found many 
votaries, Falkirk 
occupies an 
honoured place. 
Yet, strange to 
say, the cultiva- 
tion of the High- 
land pipes pre- 
dominated, and 
we have seen 
^ " " that the annual 

gatherings of the Highland Society from 1781 to 1784 
were held at Falkirk. Regarding the Highland tryst 


Lowloftd Piper 

Border Pipers 

of 1783 Dalyell writes: — "The whole conchided with 

a grand procession to the churchyard of Falkirk, where 

the victors in the three competitions — 

viz., M'Gresror, Macalister, and Maclean, „, ^ 

. , , . , , , r , Pipe Centre 

marched thnce round the tombs or the 

immortal heroes Sir John Stewart, Sir John the Graham, 
and Sir Robert Monro, playing- the celebrated ' M'Crim- 
mon's Lament' in concert on their prize pipes." 

It is remarkable, too, that the Lowlands have supplied 
many notable pipers for Hig-hland regiments. 
More remarkable still, Falkirk can assert its „ Lowland 
... I A a ■ 4- } • • Regimental 

claim to have had nve regmiental pipers in „. 

. . Pipers 

the one regiment, the 42nd, in 1S51, whilst 

two other natives of Falkirk were attached to the pipe 
band of the Black Watch. 

At the same time, during the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries the vogue of the Lowland bag- 
pipes continued, and its strains, though 
lacking the martial ring of the Highland ^/ 

pipes, were much appreciated, especially in 
domestic circles. Border pipers were very welcome at 
all social gatherings, and the player was generally 
seated, as in Mr. Glen's illustration. 

Vet such an enthusiastic Scotchman as Sir John 
Graham Dalyell writes as follows: — "The Lowland 
bagpipe of Scotland may be apparently 

identified with the Northumbrian; but it is ^^ ^^ ^ 
, , . , , , Criticism 

viewed rather contemptuously by the ad- 
mirers of the warlike bagpipe, because its music merely 
imitates * the music of other instruments ' — meanintr 

Story of the Bagpipe 

that It is not devoted to perform what they deem the 
criterion of perfection, iho. ptobrach."' 

Dalyell, in his observation as to the identity of the 
Lowland and the Northumbrian pipes, is fairly correct, 

but he fails to notice that both instruments 

°fV ^fe clearly borrowed from the Irish Uilleann 

p. pipes. In tact, it may be taken for granted 

that the only difference between the Lowland 
and the Northumbrian pipes is one of size, the North- 
umbrian being the smaller. 

Any reference to the Northumbrian pipes would be 
incomplete without mention of the notorious James 

Allan, whose "life and surprising- adven- 
AfT^^ tures " furnished James Thompson with 

materials for a biography — published at 
Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1817 — that for years was popular, 
in chap-book form. Born of gipsy parentage at Roth- 
bury,^ in Northumberland, in 1734, he inherited his 
musical tastes from his father, a piper, and was regarded 
as a most skilled performer. A true vagabond, his 
exploits read like romance, and he captivated the 
Duchess of Northumberland, who retained his services 
as " piper extraordinary." After a career of the Dick 
Turpin type, he was at length put in Durham Gaol for 
horse-stealing, and he died in that establishment on 
November 13th, 1810. 

' Percy, in his ReliqiicSy tells us that the Duke of Northumberland 
had three household minstrels, one for the barony of Prudhoe and two 
for the barony of Rothhury. These minstrels were invaria])ly per- 
formers on the Northumberland bagpipes. 


Modern Northumbrian Pipes 

When Jemmy Allan died some enthusiastic admirer 

wrote a poetic epitaph, which is included in Thompson's 

little chap-book. The eulogistic verses are 

not verv original, being apparently borrowed ^^ 

. , .' . Verses 

from "The Epitaph of Habbie Simson " 

(1706) and the " Elegy on John Hasty." I append the 

first stanza as a specimen: — 

"All ye whom Music's charms inspire. 
Who skilful minstrels do admire, 
All ye whom bagpipe lilts can fire 

'Tween Wear and Tweed. 
Come, strike with me the mournful lyre, 
For Allan's dead." 

It may be necessary to explain that the modern 

Northumbrian bagpipe differs somewhat from the older 

form of the instrument. The modern pipes 

of Northumbria have the chanter closed at Modern 

the end, and are provided with kevs, thus , . 

,. . , . . , . r , umbrian 

lurnishmg semitones and mcreasmg the -d- 

scale. They have seven finger-holes and 

one thumb-hole; and the drones (like the chanter) are 

stopped at the lower end, so that when all the holes are 

closed there is no sound. ^ The ancient Northumbrian 

pipes had three drones, but the modern pipe has four, 

whilst the chanters are furnished with seven keys. 

About the year 1765 Francis Peacock issued a collection 

of airs for the Northumbrian pipes. 

William Shield (1748-1829), the distinguished English 

^ There is a very beautiful set of Northumbrian pipes in the National 
Museum, Dublin. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

composer, was a native of County Durham, and much 

admired the Northumbrian pipes. In the overture to 

J^osiiia in 1783 he introduces the tune 

^°'**^- known as " Auld Lang- Syne," to be played 

o <i TT bv the oboe, accompanied by bassoons " to 
Small Pipes . ^ . , ' : ,, J., . 

Society imitate the bagpipe. Ihis fact was 

pointed out, in 1897, by Dr. W. H. 
Cuinming's, at a meeting- of the Northumbrian Small 
Pipes Society. At the same time, Dr. Cumming-s was 
in error in assuming- that Shield composed "Auld Lang- 
Syne" in 1783, for that world-famed Scotch melody 
was undoubtedly in existence before Shield was born. 
"Auld Lang- Syne" appears as "The Miller's Wed- 
ding-," published by Bremner, in 1759, and as " The 
Miller's Daughter," in 1780. 

In concluding- this chapter it is well to note that the 

Lowland pipers of the seventeenth and eighteenth 

centuries were extremely versatile, and we 

. ^ , ^ read that the expert performers were able 
of Lo-wland . , , , , 

■a. to sing-, dance, and play at the same time. 

Pipers . . 

This applies to Border and Northumbrian 

pipers as well as to those of the Lowlands. 




Jean Baptiste Lully — Bach's English suites — Handel's grand concertos 
— Shield's " Rosina" — " The Poor Soldier" — "Oscar and 
Malvina" — Francis Adrien Boieldieu — "Dame Blanche" — 
Meyerbeer's "Dinorah" — Schubert's " Rosamunde" — Schubert's 
" Winterreise" — "Die Tanzmusik " — Beethoven's " Hirten- 
gesang" — Modern pedal point — Haydn's LOnrs. 

As seen in a previous chapter, Jean Baptiste Lully 

fully appreciated the musette or bag-pipe, and he 

introduced the instrument into his Court 

ballets, in which King^ Louis XIV. him- .^" 

ir J J T'l ^^ 1 • ^ Baptiste 

sell danced. 1 he musette was also mtro- y t< 

.... Lully 
duced mto the ballets which, m conjunction 

with Moliere, he coinposed between the years i66S 

and 1 67 1. 

Bach in his Eng^lish suites (Nos. 3 and 6) makes use 
of the "musette" form; no small com- Bach's 

pliment to the vog^ue of the bagpipe and English 
its appropriateness for pastoral dances. Suites 

The musette form is also successfully used Handel's 
by the g^reat Handel in the sixth of his Grand 

g-rand concertos. Concerto 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Allusion has previously been made to Shield's intro- 
duction of a Scotch air into Mrs. Frances Brooke's 

ballad opera of Rosma, in 1783. This he 
Shicla s , ... , . 1 • 1 1 

,, _ , „ does n\ the overture, m which he scores 
"Rosma" , ,, , r -, a 1 1 t o ,, 

the well-known tune of " Auld Lang" Syne 

for the bassoon and oboe "to imitate the bagpipe," 

middle C and its lower octave being" played as a drone 

bass right through to the end. 

Again, in O'Keeffe's musical play, The Poor 

Soldier, teeming with Irish airs. Shield skilfully 

introduces a basfpipe accompaniment to the 

" The Poor , ^ ,,^ , f • w TM1 u 

o ,,. „ duet, "Out or my sio-ht, or 111 box vour 

Soldier" ' „„ . , , , ^ ' 

ears. 1 his play was produced at Covent 

Garden Theatre in 1783, and ran for forty nights, 

O'Keeffe receiving 300 guineas for the libretto. 

Tom Moore utilized two of the versions of Irish 

airs in this musical piece for his Irish Melodies, the 

tunes having originally been supplied to Shield by 


Dr. Arnold, too, who collaborated with John O'Keeffe 

in several of his comic operas, gives a native flavour 

T^ , many of the Irish airs by orchestral imita- 
Dr. Arnold . . . 

tions of the Irish bagpipe. Arnold does 

this effectively in The Agreeable Surprise (1781) and 

in the better known Castle of Andalusia (1782), as 

w'ell as in some others of O'Keeffe's trifles. It is 

not surprising to learn that the scoring of some of 

the Irish airs cost no small amount of trouble to 

Dr. Arnold. 

At the production of Oscar and Maliiina, in 1791, the 



Irish bag'pipe was i^iven prominence. Shield had been 
commissioned to compose the music for this ballet- 
pantomime, and had written a g'ood portion 

r -4- u ► • 4. vcc -41 "Oscar and 

or it, but owmiT to some dillerences with ,_ , , 

„ . , .^ , , . ,^ Malvina" 
Harris he resig"ned his post at Covent 

Garden. Oscar and Malvina was then completed by 

William Reeve, who was given Shield's position as 

composer to Covent Garden. Reeve supplied the 

overture in which he employs the bagpipe, and we are 

told that Mr. Courtney,^ an Irish piper, played on the 

Uilleann pipes with much effect. Seven years later, 

another version of Oscar and Malvina was arranged 

by Mr. Byrne, and produced at Covent Garden Theatre, 

on October 2oth, 1798. In Farrell's Collection of 

National Irish Music for the Union Pipes (1801) there 

is a vignette of O'Farrell performing on the Uilleann 

pipes in Oscar and Malvina.'^ 

Passing from the Irish and English musical school 

the name of Francois Adrien Boieldieu must 

be held in esteem bv lovers of bagpipe , , . 

, , ' , , • Adrien 

music. Although the musette had practic- d • tj- 

ally gone out of favour at the close of the 

eighteenth century, Boieldieu must have occasionally 

' CouiUicy spcnl many years in England and Scotland, and was not 
only a goud performer but a good teacher. He also composed 
many popular dance-tunes, including "Lady Filzgibbon's jig," and 
" Lady Cliarlotte Rawdon's Fancy," both of which were publislicd in 
Mountain's Collection of New Coiiiilry Dances for ijgj, in Dublin. 

" At a performance of Oscar and Malvina at Crow Street 
Theatre, Dublin, 011 March 5ih, 1816, William Talbot played the 

Story of the Bagpipe 

heard it at Rouen. Be that as it may, the spark- 
ling' French composer showed his appreciation of the 

In La Dame Blanche, produced on December loth, 
1825, Boieldieu makes striking use of the bagpipes ; 
^^^ and certainly the introduction of the pipes 

gj - „ into a world-famed French comic opera 
marks an epoch, though it is well to re- 
member that the overture was composed by Adolphe 
Adam, the pupil of Boieldieu, whilst the libretto was a 
travesty of two of Scott's novels. There is plenty of 
local colour in La Dame Blanche^ yet the introduction 
of "Robin Adair" was a mistake, as the air is un- 
doubtedly Irish, not Scotch. 

But a greater master than Boieldieu — namely, 
Giacomo Meyerbeer, in his opera of Dhiorah, or Le 

. Pardon dc PloenncL introduces the bagpipe 
Meyerbeer s . . . . c r r 

" D" Vi " "" order to give the requisite colour to a 
scene laid in Brittany — a Celtic country, 
where the Bignou (bagpipe) may still be heard. The 
overture to Dinorah may well be described as " pro- 
gramme music," illustrating the wedding procession of 
two Breton peasants, and the instrumentation is very 

I think it well to give here a musical illustration 

of the effective way in which the bagpipe 

^^ has been treated by Schubert in his Rosa- 

j „ mundc. The following passage, with a 

drone bass, is taken from the beautiful 

*' Hirten-melodie" : — 


Schubert's ^' Die Tanzmusik " 




" Winter- 


Schubert, that dehghtlul master of orchestration, 
employs the bagpipe effect with advantage 
in his charming " Legermann," in IVinfcr- 
reise, although of course the device adopted 
must strictly be classed as "pedal point" or 
" continuous bass." 

Similarly, the bagpipe imitation is of more than 

ordinarv interest in Die Tanzmusik, al- 

, " . /^..- 1 L 1 > Die Tanz- 

thouofh it may more fittuigly be classed ,, „ 

^ , musiK 

as a specimen of drone bass. 




Another good example of drone bass is the lovely 
Hirtengesang at the commencement of the Beethoven's 
Finale to Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. Hirtenge- 
Indeed, many of the works of Beethoven sang 


Story of the Bagpipe 

furnish specimens of bagpipe imitation, both of the 
Tonic Pedal and of the Dominant Pedal. ^ 

As regards modern pedal point the following quota- 
tion from Mr. F. Corder's article on the subject in the 
new edition of Grove's Dictionayy (1907) 
Modern j^ apropos : — " When both Tonic and 

T, . , Dominant are simultaneously sustained 

Point ■' 

we have a Double Pedal, an eflFect much 

used in modern music to convey ideas of a quaint 

or pastoral character, from its suggesting the drone 

of a bagpipe. This is a very ordinary form of 

accompaniment to the popular songs and dances 

of almost all countries, and is so constantly to be 

found in the works of Gounod, Chopin, and Grieg, 

as to form a mannerism. Beethoven has produced a 

never-to-be-forgotten effect just before the Finale of the 

C minor Symphony by the simple yet unique device of 

placing in his long double Pedal the Dominant under 

the Tonic, instead of above as usual. This passage 

stands absolutely alone as a specimen of Pedal." 

This chapter very fittingly closes by presenting the 

reader with eight bars of Haydn's LOnrs, being the 

Finale of his famous Symphony, composed 
Haydn's • ^o t-i • 11 

« I 'n " ''^ 1 7*^5' A he passage gives a marvellous 

mutation or the cornemuse or bagpipe, sug- 
gesting a bear-dance : — 

^ Beelhoven uses the Irish air of "Nora Criona" with good effect in his 
yih Symphony, which really deserves the title of the "Irish" Sym- 
phony. (See Lennox Clayton's annotated programme of the Ilavemann 
Orchestral Concert at Queen's Hall, London, on June 6th, 1911.) 


" i;Ours " 


Vivace assai 

Finale of HAYDN S SYMPnONY. 



Vogue of the Uilleann pipes — Courtenay, Crampton, and Crump — 
Jeremiah Murphy — William Talbot — Edmund K. Hyland — "The 
Fox Chase" — Fitzpatrick plays for George IV. — Thomas 
O'Hannigan — Paddy O'Sullivan — James Gandsey — Paddy 
Coneely — Daniel O'Leary — Michael Whelan — A group of 
pipers — Amateur performers — Revival of the war-pipes — Decline 
of the Uilleann pijjes. 

Perhaps at no period of the history of the bag-pipes 
in Ireland was the vogue of the Uilleann pipes so 

great as during the first half of the nineteenth 

ogue century. Between the years 1800 and 1807 

^,.,, three Bagpipe Tutors were published — viz., 

r>. O I'arrell s, r itzmaurice s, and Geoghegan s. 

At christenings, weddings, dancing at the 
cross-roads, or other social functions the bagpipe was 
indispensable. The war-pipes had disappeared, the 
harp was fast going into abeyance, and so the improved 
domestic pipes catered for the needs of the middle 
classes. Unlike the Scotch pipes, the Uilleann pipes 
had a compass equal to the requirements of all popular 
airs and dance music, and were in high favour from 


Famous Irish Pipers 

iSoo to iS6o — the period of decay settings in after the 
famine of 1S47-49. 

From various sources we learn that the three most 


famous Irish pipers at the birth of the nineteenth 
century were Courtenay, Crampton, and Crump. The 
former has been already alluded to as having played 


Story of the Bagpipe 

in the pantomime of Oscar and Malvina, and as 

having- composed much popular dance music, 

our cnay, (^^ampton was also a brilliant performer, 

J ff ' but did not have the o^ift of composition, 
and Crump ^^ . , • o 

He died early m iSii. John Crump was in 

equally good repute as a performer. His pipes were 

acquired by Hardiman. 

Jeremiah Murphy was a noted performer of the same 

period. He describes himself in a professional card 

(now before me) as " late of Loughrea," and 

Jeremiah • e . u o t 

i_ in September ibii he announces evening' 

performances at D'Arcy's Tavern, Cook 
Street, Dublin. Early in 1813 he transferred his services 
to the Griffin Tavern in Dame Court, a sort of "free- 
and-easy" establishment. After 1815 he gave up enter- 
taining the public in taverns, and I cannot trace him 

More famous than any of these was William Talbot, 
the blind piper. Born near Roscrea, County Tipperary, 

in 1780, he lost his sight from small-pox in 
T^iu^^ 1785, and was trained as a professional 

piper. He had quite an adventurous life, 
and was a most ingenious mechanic and inventor. 
Not alone did he construct a beautiful organ, but he 
made several sets of bagpipes, and introduced many 
improvements. Between the years 1803 and 1813 his 
fame was not confined to Ireland, and in the latter 
year he opened a tavern in Little Mary Street, Dublin. 
At a performance of Oscar and Malvina at Crow 
Street Theatre on March 5th, 1816, he played on the 



The Fox Chase 


Uilleann pipes, and upheld his reputation as a master 

of his instrument. 

Another wonderful piper in the early years of the last 

century was Edmund Keating Hyland, a native of Cahir, 

County Tipperary. Like Talbot, he lost his 

sight when still a boy, and was apprenticed ~, mund 

to a local piper. In 1812 he formed the r/V^f 
,- o- T , .- r Hyland 

acquaintance ot bir John Stevenson, from 

whom he received some lessons in musical theory, and 

in 1 82 1 he played for King- George IV., who ordered him 

a new set of pipes costing fifty guineas. He availed of 

all the improvements effected by Talbot, and his playing 

oi " The Fox Chase" was a glorious piece of " tipping." 

Hyland died at Dublin in 1845, aged sixty-five. 

Surely "The Fox Chase " is a delightfully descriptive 

piece, with its imitation of the hounds in full cry, the 

death of the fox, etc. ; and it is said that 

Hyland's performance of it was unrivalled. „, „ 

o -1 • -111 1. Chase 

Some writers have imagined that he actually 

composed this piece, but he merely added some varia- 
tions.^ The theme of it is " Au Maidrin ruadh," or 
"The Little Red Fox," an ancient Irish melody. 

Of slightly later date among the Irish bagpipe virtuosi 
is Kearns Fitzpatrick, who was specially selected to 
play at a command performance in the 
Dublin Theatre Royal, on August 22nd, ^'*j^**"f*^^ 
182 1, when King George IV. was present. ^ ^^ 

Fiti:patrick performed "St. Patrick's Day" 
and " God Save the King " with applause, although, as 

^ Tlui piece was printed Uy O'Farrell in his Bagpij)e Sclcclions (i8c6). 

191 O 

Story of the Bagpipe 

stated in a contemporary notice, the sound of the pipeS 

appeared somewhat thin in the large building-. 

During the second quarter of the last century Thomas 

O'Hannigan was deservedly in request as a piper. He 

was a native of Cahir, County Tipperary, 

„,TT . and became blind at the age of eleven, in 

U Hannigan , „ , ^ ° . , . . 

the year 1S17. After an apprenticeship of 

four years to various Munster pipers he acquired no 

inconsiderable local fame. In 1837 he performed for 

five nights at the Adelphi Theatre, Dublin, and in 1844 

his playing was much admired at the Abbey Street 

Theatre. He went to London in 1846, and remained 

there six years, during which he played before Queen 

Victoria and the Prince Consort, and also at an Oxford 

University commemoration. In 1862 he returned to 

Ireland, but died early in 1S63 at Bray from an attack 

of apoplexy. 

O'Connell's famous piper Paddy O'Sullivan, better 

known as Paddy Gos/iurc, must not be omitted, more 

especially as he was an excellent performer, 

„,„ ,,. but yet never could be induced to leave the 

O bulhvan . . ■: /- 1 • 

vicinity or Derrynane. Ihe nanie Losheir 

(pronounced " Goshure ") was given to him as one of a 

branch of the O'Sullivans " for a peculiarity in using a 

sword in battle," as Lady Chatterton writes. Paddy 

flourished from 1S25 to 1840. 

But the most celebrated Irish piper of this period 

was James Gandsey — " Lord Headley's blind piper" — • 

a very prince amongst performers on the Uilleann 

pipes. Born in 1767, he lived all his days in the 


■j < g. 3 g 


: r^ < o 

Z H 

^' ^ w < ^ 

— O --> <; Q 

r O 



2 X |- 

■o'' ^"i^ ^2 
, a S :£ H P 

< i P ? 


Paddy Conccly 

*' Ring^dom of Kerry," and was unrivalled for tone 
and execution. ^'isitors to Killarney from 1820 to 
1850 made it a point to hear Gandsey, one 
of whose favourite tunes was "The Day _, 
we beat the Germans at Cremona (an old 
Irish pipe melody composed in honour of the victory 
at Cremona on February ist, 1702), and his playing 
is eulogised by Crofton Croker, Lady Chatterton, Sir 
Samuel Ferguson, and other writers. Like Hyland, he 
revelled in descriptive pieces like "The Fox Chase." 
Gandsey lived to a green old age, and died at Killarney 
in February 1857, aged ninety. There is a fine portrait 
of him in the Joly collection now in the National 
Library, Dublin. 

Between the years 1825-50 Paddy Coneely had a 
great reputation in Connaught, almost equal to that of 
Gandsey in Munster. Sev^eral of his com- 
positions have survived, but it is as a per- _ , 

11-1 1 1 TT Coneely 

tormer that he is best remembered. He was 

presented with the splendid set of pipes formerly 
belonging to Crump through the generosity of James 
Hardiman, author of Irish Minstrelsy^ who acquired 
them after Crump's death. His " O'Connell's Welcome 
to Clare" in 1S28 is a fine specimen of a pipe melody. 
.\ very appreciative notice of Coneely from the pen of 
Dr. Petrie appeared in the Irish Penny Journal for 
October 3rd, 1840, with a striking portrait. He lived 
some years later, but I have not been able to discover 
the exact date. 

For centuries the old Irish chieftains had a hereditary 


I'AUUY CO.NEtLY, IHE FAMOUb GALWAY I'U'FK. Octubtr 3rci, lg40.) 

'•Gentlemen" Pipers 

>iper as well as harper, and one of the last of the 
lousehold pipers was Daniel O'Leary, piper 
o the O'Donoghue of the Glens, in the Daniel 

forties and 'fifties of the last century. He O'Leary 
vas regarded as little inferior to Gandsey. 

Another famous Kerry piper was Michael Whelan. 
Vlany professional performers came from 
iifferent parts of Ireland to hear him play, Michael 
jut he ruined his career by unsteadiness Whelan 
ind died in poverty. 

In the 'fifties and 'sixties flourished quite a number 
Df capital performers on the Uilleann pipes. It is 
rather invidious to single out any one in 
sarticular, but we are assured by competent "^^^f 
ludges that Sheedy, Fergfuson, Taylor, 
Garret Quinn, Cunningham, Hicks, David Quinn, Dow- 
iall, and Hogan worthily maintained the best traditions 
Df pipe playing. In fact, old people allege that at this 
particular epoch the bagpipe had lost none of its 
popularity, and there were at least a dozen good pipe- 
makers in various parts of Ireland. 

Xor had the pipes lost any of its old glamour in the 

eyes of amateurs. We find numerous "gentlemen" 

pipers all through the last century. Peers, 

like Lord Rossmore and Lord Edward _, 

i erforrners 
Fitzgerald ; college dons, like the late Rev. 

Professor Goodman of Trinity College ; men of large 

fortune, like Mr. Butler, Mr. Brownrigg, Mr. Colclough, 

and Mr. MacDonald ; even Catholic Bishops, like Dr. 

Tuohy of Limerick, and many priests and parsons — all 


Story of the Bagpipe 

were devoted to the instrument. My earliest recollection 
is hearing- Professor Goodman play a selection of Irish 

Ey J. P. Haverty, K.H.A. (i70(-iS64). 

airs on the Uilleann pipes, and I never forg^ot the 
charm of his playing-. 


Some Modern Pipers 

To the Tyrone Fusiliers, a link battalion of the 27th 
Royal Inniskilling" Fusiliers, is due the revival of the 
Irish war-pipes in 1S59, and some years 
later Colonel Cox, commanding- the Syth 
Royal Irish Fusiliers, supplied eight sets of -^jt p. 
war-pipes (with two drums) to eig^ht Irish 
pipers in his regiment. These eight pipers were 
attached to companies, and their pipes were modelled 
on the lines of the pi'ob vior of the sixteenth century. 

After the famine period (1847-49) gT^iety seemed to 

have disappeared from the " masses," and what between 

the depression of the times and the exodus 

to America, the decline of the Uillcatin ■L'echnc 

pipes set in. This decline continued until .^.., 
. , r 1 1 1 • o Uilleann 

the close of the last century, and in 1894 P'oes 

scarce a dozen good pipers could be found 
in Ireland. Of these Robert Thompson, Martin 
Reilly, Turlogh MacSweeney, Denis Delaney, Michael 
O'Sullivan, John Flanag^an, and John Cash were the 
most famous. No doubt the starting of the Qaelic 
League (July 31st, 1893) focussed attention on the 
Irish harp and the Irish pipes, but the musical aspect 
had to be subsidiary to the language resuscitation, and 
so the vogue of the pipes was merely given a fillip. 
Indeed, some enthusiasts like myself thought that a 
grand and permanent revival of the bagpipes would 
take place, but truth compels me to add that expecta- 
tions formed in the years 1893- 1900 have not been 




Future of Uillennn Pipes — Inaucjuration of an annual Irish Festival — 
Establishment of a Fipers' Club in Dublin — Irisii National Music 
— Irish War-pipes. 

As has been seen in tlie preceding- chapter, the outlook 
for the Uilleann pipes at tlie close of the last century 
was gloomy in the extreme. Vet, when all seemed 
dark, a little ray of light appeared on the occasion of 
the first Feis Ceoil, in Dublin in 1897, when there was 
a special competition for the bagpipes. Six entries 
were adjudicated on, and the first prize was won by 
Robert Thompson, who was also successful in 1S98. 
By a curious coincidence the Gaelic League inaugurated 
an annual Irish festival, known as the Oireac/itus, in 1897, 
in which prizes were given for the war-pipes as well as 
for the Uilleann pipes. Vet the sad fact remains, that 
now, in 1911, after fourteen years' propag-anda work for 
Irish music, the position of the bagpipes is by no means 
of a roseate character. 

The establishment of a Pipers' Club [Cu77ia7i7i na 
hpiohaire) in Dublin, on February 17th, 1900, gave 
promise of great things, and several successful concerts 


Bagpipe Influence 

were org-anized. Pipe-playing-, pipe-making-, and the 
subsidizing- of poor pipers were encourag-ed, as also 
traditional Irish dancing- to pipe music. But after an 
existence of six years the club g-ot into financial 
difficulties, and now (191 1) it is in a moribund 

As in the case of the Irish harp, I fear that the Irish 
Uilleann pipes are doomed to extinction, save for senti- 
mental reasons. Even the pipe-playing- at the Oireachtas 
in recent years was a dismal failure, and the schools 
of Irish pipings have almost disappeared. 

But though the vogue of the Irish piper has gone, 
perhaps for ever, national music is becoming more and 
more popular, and again is Ireland returning to the old 
folk-song that extorted praise from Edmund Spenser : 
songs that " savoured of sweet wit and good invention, 
sprinkled with some pretty flowers of their natural device, 
which gave good grace and comeliness unto them." 

There is much to be said in favour of the theory that 
the bagpipe, with its peculiar scale, has considerably 
influenced the old traditional method of singing. 
Dauney thus writes: — "On the chanter of the bag- 
pipes and the flute a bee, the fourth (which is made by 
keeping up the second, third, and fourth fingers of the 
lower hand) is too sharp ; the seventh again (which is 
produced by keeping up the whole of the fingers except 
the upper one and the thumb) is too flat. We have 

^ The Cork school, established in March 1S9S, still lingers on under 
the enihusiastic directorship of Seaghan O'Faelain. I regret to add that 
Seaghan was forced to emigrate to IVrth (W. Australia) in Sept. 1911. 


Reviv^al of Irish War.pipes 

here, therefore, a circumstance (independently of the 
plain chant,' where the omission of these notes is so 
frequently observable) to which we may ascribe the 
orii^in of this peculiarity in our music." 

But whether we believe that the bag^pipe, with its 
peculiar scale, has been a factor in the marked character- 
istics of Irish folk-song-s, there seems no falling- off in 
the enthusiasm for what is known as " traditional 
singing." At the same time, " the ring of the piper's 
tune " is fast passing away, and we cannot disguise the 
fact that the race of pipers is also passing away. Still, 
there are some ardent votaries of the Uilleann pipes — 
amateurs as well as professionals — who nobly strive to 
uphold the best traditions of Irish piping. 

Strangely enough, while the bagpipes were dis- 
appearing in Ireland, their vogue was galvanized into 
life in America through the efforts of a distinguished 
amateur — Captain Francis O'Neill, Superintendent of 
Police, Chicago. Between the years 1900 and 1909 
Captain O'Neill's " Irish Music Club," Chicago, did 
wonders for pipe-playing, and resulted in the publica- 
tion of three splendid collections of Irish airs. 

More remarkable still, the Irish war-pipes have been 
successfully revived in Ireland, thanks to the efforts of 
Francis Joseph Bigger and Shane Leslie, and there are 
now (191 1) pipe bands in many of the Irish towns, 
as well as in Australia. Several forms of the war-pipes 
are in use, but the "Brian Boru " — -with a complete 

1 Dauney had previously pointed out the affinity between plain chant 
and Celtic airs. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

chromatic scale — manufactured by Mr. Henry Starck 
(London), is in much favour.^ 

And who knows but that in the near future tlie 
Uilleann pipes may again become fashionable. It 
would be a real pity that such a fine old instrument 
should altogether disappear. Doubtless an appeal to 
national pride in an Irish-speaking, self-governing 
Ireland will revive the vogue of the pipes, but at 
present the outlook is not hopeful. 

' Mr. R. J\I. O'Mealy, of Bel''asf, manufactures lioth Uilleann and 
war-pipes. He is also an admirable perfurmer nn boili instruments. 




A. Chronological List of Eminent Pipers of all 


Ij. Glossary ok Terms and Pipe Mechanism. 

C. Composers who have employed Pipe Music. 

D. Bibliography of the Bagpipe, 

E. Pipe Bands in the British Army. 

¥. O'Farrell's Treatise on the Irish Bagpipes. 

Appendix A. 

Chronological List of Eminent 
Pipers of all Ages. 

36-68. — Nero, Roman Emperor. 
1206. — Geoftrey the Piper, of Dublin. 
1376. — Daniel O'Moghan, Irish piper. 
1469. — Richard IJennet, of Dublin. 
1494. — Pudsey, the English Court piper. 
1540-69. — Richard Woodward, English Court piper. 
1569-98. — Robert Woodward, English Court piper. 
1597. — Dermot MacGrath, Irish piper. 
1600. — Fineen Fitzjohn, Irish piper. 
1610. — Donald MacCrimmon, Irish piper. 
1620.— Habbie Simson, the Piper of Kilbarchan. 
1635-40. — Howitt, English piper. 
1663. — William Toilet, English Court piper. 
1674-S4. — Henry Oynion, English piper. 
1695. — Destouches, French Court piper. 
1725. — Colin Charpentier, musette-player. 
1730. — Jacques Hotteterre, musette-player. 
1730- — Henry Baton, musette-player. 
1735. — Charles Baton, musette-player. 

Story of the Bagpipe 

1735. — Pliilippe Chcdeville, musette-player. 
1735. — Danguy, musette-player. 
1745. — James Reid, Scotch piper. 
1760.^ James MacGregor, Scotch piper. 
1730. — Lawrence Grogan, Irish piper. 
1740. — ^Edward SterUng, Irish piper. 
1760. — Walter Jackson, Irish piper. 
1770.— John MacDonnell, Irish piper. 
1780. — Patrick MacGregor, Scotch piper. 
1790. — Neil IMacLean, Scotch piper. 
1790. — John MacGregor, Scotch piper. 
1795. — Dugald Maclntyre, Scotch piper. 
1790.— Patrick Courtenay, Irish piper. 
1790. — John Crampton, Irish piper. 
1795. — John Crump, Irish piper. 
1800. — P. O'Farrell, Irish piper. 
1810. — William Talbot, Irish piper. 
1820. — Edward Keating Hyland, Irish piper. 
1820. — Kearns Eitzpatrick, Irish piper. 
1825. — Thomas O'Hannigan, Irish piper. 
1830. — Patrick O'Sullivan, Irish piper. 
1835. — James Gandsey, Irish piper. 
1800. — George Graham, Scotch piper. 
1810. — John MacGregor, Scotch piper. 
1815. — Robert MacKay, Scotch piper. 
1820. — William MacKay, piper to Celtic Society. 
1825. — Donald Stewart, Scotch piper. 
1830. — John MacNab, Scotch piper. 
1835.— John MacKenzie, Scotch piper. 
1838. — Angus MacKay, piper to Queen Victoria. 
1840. — John MacBeth, Scotch piper. 
1844. — Donald Cameron, Scotch piper. 
i860. — Alexander MacLennon, Scotch piper. 

Appendix A 

1840. — Patrick Coneely, Irish piper. 

1850. — Daniel O'Leary, Irish piper. 

1850.— WiUianr Ferguson, Irish piper. 

i860. — Garret Quinn, Irish piper. 

i860. — WiUiam Ross, piper to Queen Victoria. 

1890. — J. C. Campbell, piper to Queen Victoria. 


Appendix B. 

Glossary of Terms and Pipe 

Curls, or Turns. — This is the term applied to characteristic 
" trimmings," and is akin to the Italian appoggiatura. It is 
the curls or embellishments or grace notes that give the 
real charm to pipe-playing. 

Tipping. — Playing staccato, or giving each note a definite 
touch. "Double tipping" is an essential part of good 

Ceol Mor. — Literally "great music," but is the generic name 
for what may be termed "classical" pipe music. 

Cumhadh. — Lament. 

Failte. — Welcome, or salute. 

Cruinncachadh. — Gathering. 

Slogan. — War cry of the clan. 

Coronach. — Keening or wailing for the dead. 

Piobaireacbd. — Pibroch, or "classical" set selection in praise 
of a chieftain or clan. 

Uriar. — The groundwork of the pibroch. 



Appendix B 

Piob Mor. — The great Highland pipe. 

Union Pipes. — A corrupt form of Uilleann or elbow pipes, the 
improved Irish pipes blown by the elbow and not from the 

War Pipes, — The old form of pipes as blown from the mouth. 

Chanter. — The melody pipe on which the tune is fingered. 

Practice Chanter. — The chanter used by beginners and blown 
directly from the mouth, without the bag, or reservoir, to 
hold the wind. 

Regulators. — The keys producing concords, or the keyed 
chanter, played by the wrist or " heel of the hand." As a 
rule the Irish pipes have three drones and three regulators, 
though some pipes have four regulators, each containing 
four keys. 

Drone. — The long, fixed pipes fitted with reeds. 

Sliders. — Moveable joints for tuning. 

Full Set. — Applied to the Irish Uilleann pipes when furnished 
with three drones and three regulators. 

Blowpipe. — The pipe through which is blown the wind from 
the mouth in the case of the Irish war-pipes and the Scotch 
bagpipes, or the Highland pipes. 

Bellows. — The reservoir blown by the elbow, as in the case of 
the Irish Uilleann pipes and the Northumbrian pipes, as 
also the Lowland or Border pipes. 


Appendix C. 

Composers who have employed 
Pipe Music. 

Andrd-Cardinal Destoiiches (1671-1749). 
Charles Emmanuel Borgon, circa 1672. 
Jean Baptiste Lully (1633-1657). 
James Hotteterre, circa 1720, 
Baptiste Anet (1675-1775). 
Henri Baton, circa 1725-35. 
Jean Fery Rebel (1660-1747). 
Charles Baton, circa 1730-40. 
Philippe Chedeville, circa 1725-49. 
G. F. Handel (1685-1759). 
Lawrence Grogan, circa 1725- 1745. 
Edward Sterling, circa 1740-1755. 
Walter Jackson, circa 1748-1765. 
John Moorehead, circa 1760-1775. 
Patrick Courtenay, circa 1775- 1790. 
Patrick O'Farrell, circa 1790- 18 10. 
P. M. MacCrimmon, circa 1715-1725. 
J. Maclntyre, circa 1718-1728. 
D. B. MacCrimmon, circa 1745-1750. 
John MacArthur, circa 1750-1785. 
William Shield (1 748- 18 17). 

Appendix C 

Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1S09). 
Louis Spohr (1784-1859). 
Franz Schubert (1797-182S). 
Francis Adrien Boieldieu (1775-1834). 
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770- 1827). 
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864). 

Appendix D. 
Bibliography of the Bagpipe. 

Bianchini, Dc iribiis goicribus instruiiicntoruDi. Rome, 1742. 
Fetis, BiograpJiie Universellc des Alusicicns, 10 vols. Paris, 

Walker, Hisi. Memoirs of the Irish Bards. Dublin, 17S6. 
iMersenne, Harmonic Utiiverselle. Paris, 1636. 
Stanihurst, Dc rcbtts in Hit. Gesiis, 15S4. 
Brown and Stratton, British Mus. Biog.^ 1897. 
Grove, Diet, of Music and Musicians. New edition, by 

Fuller Maitland. London, 1904-10. 
Eitner, (luillcn Lex ikon, 1900- 1904. 
Flood, Hist, of Irish Music. Second edition, 1906. 
Crowest, Story of British Music, 1896. 
Duncan, Story of Minstrelsy, 1907. 
Dalyell, Musical Memoirs, 1S49. 
Y.w-g^X, Musical Instruments. New edition, 1909. 
Jusserand, Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages, 1901. 
Strutt, Sports and Pastimes. New edition, 1898. 
Brenet, Musique et Musiciens, 191 1. 
lirenet, Les Concerts en France, 1900. 
Schlesinger, Instruments of the Orchestra, 2 vols. London 

1 9 10. 
Galpin, Old English Instruments oj Music, 1910. 


Appendix D 

Smith, The World's Earliest Music, 1904. 

Engel, Music of the Most Ancient Nations, 1S64. 

Southgate, English Music, 1906. 

Jones, Welsh Bards, 1794. 

Instruments of Music in Sculpture. Leipzig, 1906. 

Manson, The Highland Bagpipe, 1901. 

Fraser, The Bagpipe, 1906. 

Agricola, Musica lustruvicntalis, 1529. 

VVarton, Hist, of English Poetry, 1774-78. 

Bunting, Irish Music, 1796, 1809, 1840. 

Stainer, Music of the Bible, 1879. 

Chouquet, Le Muscc du Conservatoire, 1S84. 

O'Neill, Irish Folk Music, 1910. 

Dauney, Ancient Scotish Melodies, 1838. 

Armstrong, Musical Instruments, 1904. 


Appendix E. 
Pipe Bands in the British Army. 

At present there are twenty-one pipe bands in the British 
Army, of which the most important are:— The Royal Scots, 
Borderers, Cameronians, Highland Light Infantry, Seaforth 
Highlanders, Gordon Highlanders, Argyle and Sutherland 
Highlanders, and Royal Highlanders. In recent years many 
of the Irish regiments have taken up the Irish war-pipes. The 
war-pipes of the old 5th Inniskilling Fusiliers — when that regi- 
ment was disbanded — were acquired by the Waterford R.G.A. ; 
and the 4th Inniskilling Fusiliers — the Tyrones — also have a 
pipe band, as likewise the 2nd battalion of the Inniskilling 

In 1903, through the generosity of Lord Castletown, K.P., 
Lieutenant-Colonel, the Queen's County Militia — now the 4th 
battalion P.O.W. Leinster Regiment — were presented with a 
fine set of war-pipes. The ist battalion of the same regiment 
formed a pipe band in igo8, and the 2nd battalion followed suit 
in 1 910. 

The 2nd battalion of the Dublin Fusiliers have a pipe band, 
as have also the 3rd battalion of the i8th Royal Irish. The 
London Irish and the London Scottish companies have excellent 
pipe bands. 

As a rule in the case of regiments with Irish war-pipe bands, 
eight pipers constitute the musical corps, but the full strength 


Appendix E 

is supposed to be twelve. The iSth Royal Irish in India have 
a set of Brian Boru war-pipes. 

In the British Army there are only six pipers officially recog- 
nized, the Pipe Major and five others, who are known as "full" 
pipers; but mostly there are eleven players in addition to the 
sergeant piper, the six unofficial pipers being known as 
"acting" pipers, whose pay is arranged for by the officers of 
the battalion. 

As has been stated in Chapter XXI., there are a number of 
volunteer pipe bands like the Glasgow Highlanders and the ist 
Sutherland H.R.V. Some of the Scouts have likewise formed 
pipe bands. 

There is no gainsaying the fact that the war-pipes are most 
efifective in British regiments ; and even though the twentieth 
century Philistine may term the music as "archaic" and 
"barbarous," yet the skirl of the pipes has a charm that makes 
a special appeal to the Irish and Scotch, and Celts in general. 


Appendix F. 

O'Farrell's Treatise on the Irish 
Bagpipes (pubhshed in 1801). 


being an instrument now so much improved as renders it able 
to play any kind of music, and with the additional accompani- 
ments which belong to it, produce a variety of pleasing harmony, 
which forms, as it were, a little band in itself. 

(}entlemen, after expressing a desire to learn the pipes, have 
been prevented by not meeting with a proper book of instruc- 
tions, which has induced the author to write the following 
treatise, which, it is presumed, with the favourite collection of 
tunes added thereto, will be acceptable to all lovers of ancient 
and pastoral music:— 

The first thing to be observed in learning this instrument is 
the fixing it to the body, so as to give it wind, which is done as 
follows: — 


Appendix F 

There is a small pipe fastened to the bag, the top of which is 
to be fixed in the mouth of the bellows, so as to convey the 
wind freely to the bag; there are also two ribbons, or strings, 
fastened to the bellows, the longest of which is tied round the 
body, so as to keep the bellows steady; the other ribband is 
brought over the arm and fastened to the small end of the 

When done, the learner may begin to blow by moving the 
arm to which the bellows is fixed up and down, easy and 
regular, until the bag is full of wind, which must then be 
fixed under the opposite arm and pressed so as to produce 
the tone. The learner may, at the same time, stop the 
upper part of the chanter with that hand where the bag 
rests, by placing the tops of the fingers on the holes, keep- 
ing the bag well secured with one arm and blowing con- 
stant and steady with the other, which, when the learner 
finds he can continue to do with ease for a few minutes 
he may then proceed to stop the lower part of the chanter. 
But not with the tops of the fingers as the upper hand, it 
must be done by placing the little finger on the lower hole 
and the middle part of the other three fingers on the next 
holes, keeping the thumb behind to support the chanter. The 
Drones are not to be kept over the hand, but under, so as 
to rest near the body. 

The learner then sitting as upright as possible, having all 
the holes stopped, begins to sound the first note, D, which 
will produce a soft, full tone as often as the chanter is well 

When master of blowing and stopping the pipes you may 
proceed to the the following scale. At the same time I would 
advise the learner to stop all the drones for some days until he 
can play a tune or two: — 

Story of the Bagpipe 



R R R 

-<Ho -o- o -®- -^^— 

R R R R 

The first thing to be observed in the above scale is that the 
notes of music are placed on five parallel lines called a stave, 
each note distinguished by its proper name. Secondly, the 
next table, which has eight lines, on each of which there are a 
number of black and white dots, the black signifying such 
fingers as are to be stopped, and the white dots such as are to 
be raised. 

The high notes, or what are called pinched notes, on the 
pipes begin in E, over which there is a mark thus =*\= to signify 
that the bag must be pressed somewhat more than in sounding 
the other notes. 

The letter R is likewise fixed under the eight lines, to signify 
that the chanter must there rest on the knee, and for that 
purpose it would be requisite to provide a small piece of white 
leather to place on the knee under the chanter, as nothing else 
will stop the wind so well. 

The learner may then begin to make the first note, D, by 
having all the holes perfectly stopped, as may be seen by 


Appendix F 

observing- so many black dots on the lines representing the 
eight holes of the chanter. The next note is E, which is marked 
in the table with two white dots on the two lower lines, to signify 
that the two lower fingers are to be raised together, while the 
chanter rests on the knee. 



It is to be observed in this scale that the sharp of one note 
is the flat of the next above it. For example, D sharp and 
E flat in the beginning of this scale are both performed in the 
same manner, likewise G sharp and A flat, and so of the rest. 

When flats or sharps are placed at the beginning of the stave 
all the notes on the lines on which they are fixed are to be 
played sharp or flat unless contradicted by a natural. 

A sharp marked thus t before any note makes it half a tone 
sharper or higher. A flat, marked thus '■y, makes it half a tone 
lower; and a natural, marked thus Jl, reduces any note made flat 
or sharp to its primitive state. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

A Semibreve 
is equal to 

2 Minims 

■4 Crotchets 

8 Quavers 


J J J J , /tj: n^^ 

i I i i f V ^ V V V i i y~"r H 

16 Semiquavers or 

32 Demisemiquavers. 

Whenever rests occur they simply silence for the length of the 
note they severally correspond. As for example, the rest in the 
beginning of this scale is equal in time to a semibreve or four 
crotchets, and the next to the time of a minim, etc. 


There are two sorts of time — viz., common and triple. 
Common time is known by any one of these characters, called 
time moods, C C or |. The two first marks contain the value of 
a semibreve or four crotchets in each bar, but I contains only a 
minim or two crotchets in a bar. Likewise the first mark 
denotes the slowest sort of common time, the next a degree 
quicker, and last a brisk movement. Triple time is known by 
any of the following figures: S, ;■, •;:, \-, I, %, or S, g ; and all 
moods of triple time, the first denoting a grave movement, the 
two next marks are usually prefixed to slow airs and minuets, 
and all the rest adapted for jig tunes and brisk music. 

Common Time Simple Triple Time 

M rj ■ I I j T't *'* 1 1' } ^J ~ 



Appendix F 


A dot following any note, thus o'. J J*. ^^. makes it half as 
long again — that is, a dotted minim is equal to three crotchets, 
a dotted crotchet to three quavers, and so of the others; a dot 
following a rest lengthens it in the same manner. 



A single stroke or bar, thus 

drawn across the five 

lines divides the measure, and distinguishes one bar from 
another. A double bar | | divides the airs and songs into 
longer parts, and is always put at the end of a movement. A 
repeat :1I: or :^: signifies that such a part is to be played twice 

A slur ^ -. drawn over or under any number of notes 

signifies that the sound is to be continued from one note to the 
other. A figure 3 placed over or under any three notes imports 
they are to be played in the time of two. A figure 6 placed in 
the same manner signifies that they are to be played in the time 
of four. A dot with a circular stroke, thus ^, signifies a pause 


Story of the Bagpipe 

or rest on the note over or under which it is placed. A direct 
thus ~ is put at the end of a stave to show what note begins 
the following. 


A shake is an agitation or mixture of two sounds together, 
which is performed by a quick motion of the finger, and is 
commonly marked thus tr over the note that is to be shook. 
The first shake on this instrument is made on E, and as this 
shake is occasionally done two different ways on the same 
note, I would advise the learner to be acquainted with both; it 
is sometimes done with the chanter resting on the knee, having 
every finger stopped except the two lower ones, and at the 
same time beating quick with the first finger of the lower 
hand — it may also be done with the chanter raised off the knee, 
having every finger stopped except the one next the lower 
finger then by a quick beating of the first finger of the lower 
hand it is performed. All the rest of the shakes are done by a 
quick motion of the finger above the note required to be 
shook. For example, if G is to be shaken, the note A above it 
must beat quick, as may be seen in the following example: — 

Mark'd Play'd Mark'd 


Appoggiaturas J J* are little notes which borrow their time 
from the notes before which they are placed. For example — 

MarkU Play'd Mark'd Pi^ 


Appendix F 


A knowledge of this is very necessary to every person who is 
desirous of playing the instrument perfectly, so it ought to be 
studied as soon as the pupil is well acquainted with the gamut, 
and can blow and stop the chanter well. 

What is meant by tipping is making every note staccato or 
distinct, and is done by having the chanter close on the knee 
with all the holes stopped, then by a quick rising of any one or 
more fingers up and down together the tipping is performed. 

In tipping low D you must have all the holes stopped, then 
raising the chanter quick off the knee and down again, it is 
done, which you may repeat as often as you please. In 
tipping some other notes on the pipes you raise two or three 
fingers at a time, which must go up and down the same as if 
there was but one. 

The following will show such notes as require tipping, 
and likewise how many fingers are to be raised together. The 
chanter must rest on the knee while the tipping is performing. 



Story of the Bagpipe 

When the pupil finds he can make all the above notes 
distinct he can proceed to the following example, where the 
notes are double tipped, and make the two first by raising the 
thumb of the upper hand quick up and down twice, and so of 
the rest. 


, ^|p|g5^fe pj jj ^ ; a ^ .|^ 


Example of Tipping 


Curls are frequently introduced in jig tunes and reels, and 
have a very pleasing effect in giving double harmony and 
spirit to the music, and therefore ought to be practised at 
leisure. In the following example may be seen some useful 
and popular curls much practised: — 

Example I 

Example II 

ExaiT.ple 11! 

The curl in the first example, being a principle one on the 
pipes, is performed by sounding the note D by a sudden pat of 
the lower finger of the upper hand, then slurring the other 
notes quick and finishing the last note by another pat of the 


Appendix F 

lower finger of the upper hand. The curls in the second 
example are easily done, as it is made while sounding tlie 
second note of each of the three tied quavers by a sudden pat 
of the same lower finger of the upper hand, and answers for two 
notes. In the third example the curls are done in the same 
manner by pat of the finger while sounding the second note of 
each of the tied quavers. 

Example IV, 


Example V. Example VI. 

In the fourth example the curl is made by a pat of the same 
finger while sounding the second note of the tied quavers. 
Example the fifth, by a pat of the same finger while sounding 
D, slurring the next note and finishing the last by another pat 
of the same finger. Example the sixth, the curl is made by two 
quick pats of the upper finger of the lower hand while sounding 
the first note F, and finishing the next note, D, by a pat of the 
same finger. The third note, E, in the same example begins by 
two pats of the upper finger of the lower hand and finishes the 
next note, D, with one pat of the lower finger of the upper 


Most good performers at this time have only two drones 
going at once, which are the two large ones. The large drone 
must be stopped, then sounding lower A to the smaller drone, it 
may be screwed inward or outward till the sound is equal to A, 
then sounding the large drone, it may be screwed in the same 
manner till the sound of it is an exact octave to the rest. 

Story of the Bagpipe 


The regulator, being one of the principal accompaniments to 
the chanter, is used by most performers on this instrument, 
and when managed with judgment produces a very pleasing 
harmony, but I would not advise the learner to practise the 
regulator until he could play a few tunes well. 

There are generally four keys fixed to the regulator^ the louier 
of which is F, attd must sound the same note as low F sharp 
on the chanter. The next key is G, and must be exactly in tune 
with low G on the chanter. The next key above that is A, and 
is tuned to low A on the chanter. The upper key of the four is 
i), and is likewise tuned to B on the chanter. The following 
example will show what notes on the chanter that each key of 
the regulator will agree with. 


Chanter j-J^jJf^^^t^; ^^^ 


lower key 

It must be observed that it is with the wrist or heel of the 
lower hand that each key is touched, and care must be taken 
not to touch two keys at the same time. I would advise the 
pupil to begin the use of the regulator by first sounding the 
note low D, on the chanter, to the low key F on the regulator, 
which after a little practice will lead to a knowledge of the 
other keys. 



Aberheen rejects the town pipers, 

Aberlraw, Eisteddfod at, 30 
Adam, Adolphe, 184 
" Adesv Dundee," 59 
Ac^ricola Martin, 75, 213 
Aikin, William (piper), 65 
Allan, James (Northumbrian 

piper), 178 
Allen, battle of, 23 
" Ally Croker," 147 
American War, Irish pipers in, 149 
" An cnotadh ban," 115 
An Comunn f laidhealach, 164 
"An Ciuiscin Lan," 57 
Anet, Baptiste, 126 
Angelic bagpiper, 47 
Anglo-Saxon pipes, 34 
Arbeau's Grcht'sogi-ap/tte, 61 
Archers' meetins; at Edinburgh, 141 
Arghool (Egyptian flute), 4, 8 
Argyllshire gathering, 164 
Aristides (^uintilianus, 17 
Aries, primitive organ at, 4, 5 
Armin's JVcsl of Ninnies, 86 
Army pipers, 172, 214, 215 
Armstrong, Koliert Ikuce, 213 
Arnold, Dr., 1S2 
Artificial reeds, 8 
Askaulos, 15 
Assaye, battle of, 166 
Assyrian bagpip< s, 9 
Aston, Hugh, 88 

' Augustine, St., 11 
" Auld Lang Syne,' 
Aulus Gellius, 17 

iSo, 1S2 

Bach's " Loure," 113 

Bach's English suites, iSi 

"Balruddery," 98 

Ballet's Lute Booh, 84 

Bannockbuin, battle of, 44, 53 

" Ballinderry," 1 12 

Barbor (piper), 38 

Bartholomew Fair, 99, 104 

Baton, Henry, 126, 205 

Baton, Charles, 126, 205 

Battle of Balrinnes, O5, 66 

" Battle of Flodden Field,'" 55 

Battle of Harlaw, 44, 54 

Beethoven's Hirtengesang, 1 85 

Begg,ars Wedding, 57 

Bennet, George, 65 

Bennet, Ricliard, 27, 205 

Beverley Minster, 35, 48 

I5ianchini, 16, 212 

Biblical references to bagj'ipes, 2, 

II, 12 
Bigger, F. J-, 201 
liignou (biniou), 6 
'•Black Donald's March," 55 
Black Watch pipers, 170, 171 
lioccaccio and the ])ipes, 72 
Boieldieu, F. A., 183, 184 
" Bonnie Dundee," 59 
" Bonny Earl of Moray," 56 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Border pipers, 177 

Borgon's Trait i de la Musette, 123 

Boston Parish Church, 35 

Boulogne, siege of, S9, 90 

Braemar Gathering, 164 

Brandt's Ship of Fools, 82 

Branle ci" Escosse, 60, 6 1 

Brehon laws, 19 

Brenet, Michel, 212 

Brian Boru war-pipes, 200, 201, 215 

Britannia^ s Pastorals, lOl 

Brown, Edmund (piper), 65 

Bruce the traveller, 9 

Bruce, Robert, 43, 44, 53 

Buchanan, George, 63 

Bulgarian pipes, 78, 79 

Burgh pijiers, 67 

Burns, Robert, 53, 155 

Butler's Hudiliras, 105 

Byrd, William, no 

Byrd's pipe music, no, n i 

Caerwys, Eisteddfod at, 30, 31 
(ralabrian pipers, 72 
Calais, Irish war-pipes at, 25 
Caleaouian Pocket Com/'aiiiou, 53, 

56, 139 
Campbell, J. C. (pipe major), 171, 

Campbell, Rev. Dr., 150 
Cambrensis, Giraldus, 21 , 24, 34, 43 
Camden's account of Irish pipers, 

91, 92 
Cameron Highlanders, 170 
Cameron, Donald, 163, 206 
Castletown, Lord, 23, 96, 214 
Charpentier, Colin, 126, 205 
Carno, battle of, 30 
Chaucer, Geoftrey, 2, 34, 35, 39 
Ceol-Mor, 16 1 

Chedeville, Philippe, 127, 206 
Chinese legend of bagpipe, 10 
Chevrette, 6, 38, 43 

Chevretter, J., 37 

Chorus, \\, 37, 38, 43 

Ciudad Rodrigo, 167 

Ciaramelta, 6 

Christmas carols, 12 

Christmas legend, 12, 13 

Chrysostomos, Dion, 15 

Clack a Phiobair, 137 

Clan pipers, 68, 129 

Clark, George (piper), 168, 169 

Clarke, Sir Ernest, 84 

Clement of Alexandria, 12 

Cochrane, a piper, 88 

Cockelhie Sow, 57 

Colclough, Dudley, 1S9 

Company of Musicians, lOO, loi 

Complaint 0] Scotland, 51, 65 

Coneely, Paddy, 193, 194, 207 

Cork pipe school, 199 

Cornemuse, 6, 121 

Corn pipe, 35 

Courtenay, Patrick, 1S3, 189, 190, 

Crampton, John, 189, 190, 206 
Cremona, battle of, 119, 193 
Crecy, battle of, 26 
Cronan, Irish, 112 
Crowest, F. J., 30, 212 
Crump, John, 189, 190, 2c6 
Ctesibius of Alexandria, 4 
Ciiisle, 19 
Citisleamiack, 20 
CuUoden, battle of, 144 
Curlews, battle of the, 97 
Cummings, Dr. W. II., 180 

Dai.yeli.'s hhtsical Memoirs, 47, 
48, 64, 68, 136, 158, 159, 161, 
162, 177 

"Dance of Death," 80 

Dauney's Ancient Scotish Melodies, 

37. 43. 53. 56, 55^, 59. 60, 97, 
129, 199 




Danguy (musette-player), 206 
David, Kini:; of Scutland, 66 
Daviil, Jacc|ue.s, 126 
David's "Musette Player," 124, 

Delaney, Denis, 197 
Dempsey, Kev. John, 156 
" Der arme Irische Junye," 150 
Derrick's Iniaoe of Ireland, 93, 94 
Destouches the French piper, 122, 

Derry, siege of, 119 
D'Estree, Jean, 59, 60 
Dick's Songs of Kobe ii Bums, 54 
Donal the Piper, 114 
Douglas, Gawin, 53 
Dew's Ancient Scots Aliisic, 134 
Drayton's Polyolbion, 85, 86 
Double Tipping, 224 
Drone, loS, 109, 217 et seq. 
Drone bass, 107, no, in 
" Drone of a Lincolnshire bag- 
pipe," 85 
Dowdall, T., 195 
Dublin Fusiliers pipe band, 214 
Dudelsack, 79 
Duncan, Edmonstoune, 12 
Dunvegan drinking cup, 130 
Dtirer, Albrecht, 75, 76, 77, 89 

Eagi.esham, village piper of, 145 
Early English bagpipes, 3S 
Ebner Gasse at Nuremberg, 78 
Edinburgh Castle, pipers at, Si 
Corporation pipers, 50, 62 

Presbytery, 134 

Higland society at, 158, 159 

Edmund the piper, 90 
Egyptian pipes, 7, 8, 14 
Eisteddfod, Irish origin of, 29 
Elizabeth of York, 82 
Elizabeth, Oueen, and her band of 

music, 85 

Elizabeth Rogers' Vir^^nnl Book, 57 
English court pipers, 81, 82, 83, 104 
English shepherd pipers, 87 
English Music ("Music Story 

Scries"), 84 
Essex pipers, 88 
Exeter, minstrels" gallery at, 36, 37 

" Fading, The," 97 

" Failte a Phrionsa," 161 

Fair of Carmen, 20 

Falkirk, a pipe centre, 176, 177 

battle of, 26 

riighland society at, 157, 158 

Falstaft's referenee to the bagpi]ie, 

Farnaby, Giles, 57 

Faux Bourdon, loS 

Feis Ceoil, 19S 

Feis of Tara, 20, 29, 30 

Fergus MacErc, 42 

Ferguson, William (piper), 195, 

" Fhuair mi pog a laimh an 
High," 133 

" Finger Lock," 161 

Htzgerald, Lord Edward, 195 

Fitzjohn, Fineen, 96, 205 

Fitzmaurice's Tutor for the bag- 
pipes, 1S8 

Fitzpatrick, Fineen, 96 

Fitzpatrick, Kearns (Irish piper), 
191, 206 

Fiizwilliam Virginal Book, no 

Flanagan, John (piper), 197 

Flodden Field, battle of, 55, 63 

Florence, Boccaccio's reference to 
jiipers at, 72 

" Flowers of the Forest" (music), 

Fontcnoy, battle of, 148 
Football matches enlivened by 

pipers, 147 


Story of the Bagpipe 

"Fox Chase," the, 19T, 193 
Fraser, Dr. Duncan, 43, 213 
Fraser's regiment, 165 
French bngpipes, 120-127 
" Fairy" Dance, 95 

Gaelic colonization of Wales, 2S, 

Gaelic League, 197, 19S 
Galilei, Vincenzo, 97 
Gandsey, James (Irish piper), 192, 

193 ,. . 
Garstang's Ilittite slab wiih 

sculptured ])ipcr, 7 
Gate, John (English piper), 41 
Geoffrey the piper, 24, 205 
Geoghegan's Bagpipe Tutor, 188 
George V., King, patronizes the 

pipes, 171 
Gerbert's illustrations of the bag- 
pipe, 21 
German pipers, 70, 71, 73-78 
Giraldus Cambrensis (see Cam- 

" Ginkertoune," 59 
Gipsies Metainorphosed, 99 
Glen's Historical Sketch of ilte 

Bagpipe, 44, 45, 67 
Goodman, Rev. James, 196 
Good's account of Irish pipers 

(1566), 91 
Goriest on Psalter, 37 
Gordon Highlanders, 214 
Ciosson's School of Ahise, 84 
Gounod's ]iedal point, 1S6 
Govan Police Band, 173 
Ciraham, George, 206 
Gray, Nicholas, player on the 

drone, 51 
Great drone, introduction of, 135 
Gregorian chant, 108 
Greek bagpipes, 14, 15, 16 
Griffith, Prince of Wales, 30, 31 

Grogan, Lawrence (piper-com- 
poser), 146, 147 
Gmdo's Micrologiis, 24, 109, no 
Gymel, suggested by the bagpipe, 

Glide and Godly Ballads, 54 
Guild of Musicians at Vienna, 69 
of Minstrels, 71 

Handel takes down a pipe tune, 

Ilandel s Grand Concerto, 181 

Pasloral .Symjjhony, 13, 112 

Hardy, Matthew (Irish piper), 48 
Harlaw, battle of, 44, 46, 54, 55 
Hastie, John, 63 
Helst(jn Furry dance, 98 
Haydn's " L'Ours " (music), 187 
Henry VIII. 's bagpipes, 82, 83 
Henry VII. patronizes bagpipes, 

Hereford Morris dancers, 88 
Hebrides Overture, 162 
Hey wood's Laiicashi>e Witches, 

" Hey now the day dawes," 53 
" Hey tutti, tattie," 53 
Highland pipes, 66, 67, 128 

Mod, 164 

society founded, 157 

Society of London, 164, 169 

Hic;hlaud Vocal Airs, 165 
"Hirten Melodie" (Rosamunde), 

" Hirtengesang," by Beethoven, 

Hog bagpiper, 48 
Ilittite sculpture of bagpiper, 7 
Hogarth's "Southwark Fair," 106 
Hotteterre, Jacques, 126, 205 
Howell the Good, 30 
Howitt (English piper), 102, 205 
Ilurre, Elias (English piper), 37 


Ilydraulu";, or water organ, 4, 5 
Hungarian pipes, 79 
Ilyland, Edmund Keating (hisli 
piper), 191, 206 

" I GOT a kiss of the king's hand," 

"Ingh's pyparis" at Edinburgh, Si 
Inverness Gathering, 163, 164 
Inverlochy, battle of, 46, 133 
Irish influence in Northumbria, 

Iiisli piiics in pre-Ciiristian days, 


Irish March, the, by Byrd, iio 
Irish A/asi/ttc, by Ben Jonson, 115 
Irish pipers in Gascony, 25 
Irish origin of the Eisteddfod, 29 
Irish ancestry of the MacCrim- 

mons, 130, 131 
Irish ancestry of the MacMhuiricks, 

Irish bagpipes in the seventeenth 
century, 11 4- 120 

"Jack a Lent," 102 

Jackson, Walter (piper-composer), 

102, 153 
Jackson's " Morning Brush " 

(music), 153 
James I. patronizes the bagpipe, 

46, 47 
James IV. and the Ijagpipe, 51 
James VI., royal piper and patron 

of pipes, 65 
Janino Chevretter, 37 
" John Anderson my Jo," 57 
"John, come kiss me now," no 
Johnson, Dr., on Scotch pipers, 

Johnston, Sir Archibald, 134 
Junson, Ken, 1 15 
Jubal, " the father of pipers," i, 2, Irish, with pipers, 22 
Kenna of Dublin, pipe-maker, 

,154, 155 

Kermanshah, sculptured piper at, 9 
Kilbarchan, the piper of, 134 
Kilkenny, Statute of, 126 
Killicrankie, battle of, 138 
Kilt, introduced in 1625, 67 
King's band of music in 1327, 3S 
Kirke, Thomas, 135 
Knocknanoss, battle of, 1 16 
Knox's History of the Reformation, 

Lacroix's Vie Militairc, 78 
La Dame Blanche, 184 
"Lament for Owen Roe," 116 
"Lament for Myles the Slasher," 

Lancashire hornpipes, 1 1 1 

pipers, 87, 88, 102, 104, 106 

Lancashire Wi/ches, 1 02 

Leicester minstrels, 40 

Leith, water of, 65; seizure of, 

Leslie, Shane, 201 
"Les PlaisirsChampct res "(music), 

Lichfield, Irish Celts at, 34 
Lilt-pipes, 34, 35 
Limerick, siege of, 119 
Lincolnshire pipers, 85, 86, SS 
Lindisfarne, Irish Cells at, 34 
Lindsay of I'itscottie, 66 
' ' Literary Dustman, The," (music), 


London minstrels, lO! 
" Lord Breadalbane's March," 133 
"Lord Leven's Lament," 172 
Lothian, Lord, 131 
Lowland bagpi]ies, 1 74-1 So 
Louis XIV., a jiairon of the 
musette, 123, 124 

2 -J I 

Story of the Bagpipe 

LoJive, 112, 113 
Lucknow, siege of, 167 
Lully, Jean Baptiste, 124, iSi 
Luscinius's Musiirgia, 75 
Lyndsay, Sir David, 59 
Lyng-Lien, inventor of Chinese 
scale, 10 

" MacAi.istrum's March," 117 
MacAllister, John (Scotch piper), 

MacArthurs, the (Scotch pipers), 

155, 160 
Macl?eth, John (Scotch piper), 206 
MacCahir, Redmond, Qo 
MacClancy, Cosney (Irish piper), 

McCormac, Donogh (Irish piper), 

Macleod, Captain, of Gesto, 136 
MacCrimmons, the, 129-133, 136, 

MacCrimmon's " Lament for 

MacLeod," 131 
MacDonagh, Donal (Irish piper), 

MacDonald of Clanranaid, 159, 

MacDonald's Iliglilafid Vocal 

Airs, 165 
MacDonnell (Colkitto), Alastair, 

116, 117 
MacDonnell, Lord, bagpipe be- 
longing to, 154 
MacDonnell, Irish piper, 153, 154 
MacDougall, Duncan, "champion 

of champions," 163 
MacFergus, Dermot, 20 
MacGregor, James, 144 

Patrick, 15S 

John, 159 

MacGrath, Dermot (Irish piper), 


MacGrath, Harry, of Laarg 
(harper), 129 

MacIIiigh, Owen (Irish jiiper), 

" Macintosh's Lament," 58 

Macintosh, The, 5S 

Maclntyre, bard to The Mac- 
intosh, 58 

Donald, 161 

John, 161 

MacKay, Angus, piper to Queen 
Victoria, 58, 168, 171 

Kenneth, 169 

MacKenzie, John Bane, 163 

MacKie, George, 175 

Macklin, Rev. Charles, 156 

MacLachlan, John, at Ciudad 
Rodrigo, 167, 168 

MacLoughlin, Conor (Irish piper), 

MacLean, Neal, 15S 

MacLeod's Highlanders, 166 

MacLeod of Dunvegan, 130 

Sir Roderick, of MacLeod, 


" MacLeod's Lament," 131 
MacLennan, John, 163 
MacLure, Robert, 68 
MacMhurrichs (MacVuirichs), the, 

45. 46 
MacNab, John, 162 
" MacRae's March." 58 
MacSweeny, Turlogh (Irish piper), 

"Maggie Fickins " (music), 155, 

Maguire, Prince of Fermanagh, 130 
Malmesbury, Irish Celts at, 34 
Manson, W. L., 38,95, 118, 132, 

133. 170 
Manns the Piper, 92 
"March of the Cameron Men," 

170, 171 


Marsden, Thomas, hornpipe col- 
lector (1705), I II 
Martial describes the as/catilos, 

Mary, Queen, retains a royal piper, 

Maspero, the Epyptolocjist, S 
May Day Revels, 32, 40, S3, 8:], 

Maypole dances, 83, 84, 85, lOi 
Melrose Abbey, scu'ptured piper 

at, 43, 48, 49 
Mendelssohn present at a High- 
land gathering, 162 
Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture, 

Mersenne's description of the pipes, 

121, 122 
Meyerbeer's use of the bagpipe in 

Dhiorah, 184 
Meyer, Professor Kuno, 28, 29 
" Miller's Wedding," the ("Auld 

Lang Syne '"), 180 
Minstrels' Gallery at Exeter, 37 
Mod, Highland, 164 
^loneypennie on Highland war- 
fare (1612), 67 
Montfaucon, on the bagpipes, 16 
Moorehead, John, 154, 210 
Morgan the Piper, 9 
Morlan, English bagpiper, 39 
"Morning Brush," by Jackson 

(music), 153 
Morris Dance, 40, 84, SS, loo, 

Morris's Welsh collection, 32 
Moryson, Fynes, on Irish social 

customs, 98 
Moshug (Indian bagpipe), 10 
Mull, College of Pipers at, 136 
Musette, 6, 122-127, 181, 136 
Musicians' Company of London, 

100, lOI 

Napier's History oJ the Peninsular 

IVar, 1 68 
Naylor, Dr. E. W., 95, in 
Nelnichadnezzar's band, 2, 9 
Needham's satire on the bagpipes, 

Neilson, Fergus, *' toune pyper," 

Nero, Emperor and bagpiper, 16 
Neukomm, Chevalier, at a High- 
land gathering, 162 
" Nora Criona," used by Beet- 
hoven, 186 
"Northern Meeting," 163 
Northumbrian pipes, 105-6, 177- 

Norwich, St. James's Church, 36 
Nottingham pipers, 88 
Nottingham, Court of Minstrels 

at, 40 
Novogorod, Archbishop of, 79 
Nuremberg, statue of a bagpiper 
at, 78 

O'Brien, Cornelius (Irish piper 

in the Barbadoes), 117 

Murtough, Kingof Ireland, 31 

O'Byrne, Donogh (Irish piper), 

O'Casey, Donogh (Irish piper), 92 
O'CuUinanes, the (Irish pipers), 

O'Curry, Eugene, 112 
O'Daly, ]Muiredbach (ancestor of 

the MacVuirichs), 45 
O'Delaney, Dermot (Irish piper), 

O'Donnell, Prince, at Ballyshan- 

non, 96 
O'Donovan, John, 43 
O'Doran, John (Irish piper), 91 
O'Farrell, P., composer, author, 

and performer, 155 


Story of the Bagpipe 

O'Fairells, the (Irish pipers), 114 
Treatise on the Irish Bag- 
pipes, 216-226 
O'Faelain (Wayland) Seaghan, 

155. 199 
O'Grady, Standish, 93, 95, 96, 97 
O'Hannigan, Thomas, 192, 206 
O'Keefe, John, 153 
Olaus Magnus, 79, 80 
Oireachtas (Irish Festival), 164 
O'Leary, Daniel, 195, 207 
Oldest dated l)agpi|)e (illustration), 

44. 45 
Old Testament allusions to the 

bagpipe, 11, 12 
O'Lochain, Cuan, King of Ireland, 


O'Moghan, Donal (1375), 27, 205 

Orestes of Euripides, 14 

Organ at Aries — a form of bag- 
pipe — (illustration), 5 

Orpheus as a bagpiper, 75 

O'Sullivan (Goshure), Paddy, 192, 

Osiris, fabled inventor of the flute, 

O'Tracy, John (Irish piper), 114 
" Over the Water to Charlie," 143 
Owen the piper, 92 
Oxford jests (1684), 118 
Oynion, Thomas (English piper), 

105. 205 

I'ANDEAN Pipes, 3 

Paris, pipers in, 71 

Parker, Martin, 143 

Pastoral Symphony by Handel, 13, 

Pastoral Symphony liy Beethoven, 

Peacocks Collection, 179 
Pel'h's to the Play, 46 
Pedal point, 24, 107, no, 1S6 

Peninsular War, 167-169 

Persian pipes, 9 

Percy's Reliaiies, 17S 

Pfeife, 2 

Pied Piper of Ilamelin, 70 

Picardy, Irish pipers at, 96 

Pig as a bagpiper, 48 

Piers, John (Irish piper), 92 

Pioh Mor at Fontenoy, 1 48 

Pifil'erari, 13 

" Piffero" (music), 113 

Pipe bands in the British army, 

172, 214-215 
Pipers' Cluh in Dublin, 198 
" Piper of Kilbarchan," 134 
Pipers of the King's Company, 

Piva, 6, 17 

"Platfute" (Ourfute), 59 
I'layford's Daiicijig Master, 59, 

Playford's AIiisifk''s Recixation on 

the Lyre Viol, 143 
" Polyolbion," by Drayton, 85 
Pondicherry, battle of, 166 
Portative organ (illustration), 22 
Porto Novo, battle of, 166 
" Pot of Avarice," 23 
Povvlett, (jeorge (bagpiper), 83 
Piojtorius, 73, 121, 166 
Preston pipers, 106 
Prince Charlie, 143 

de Conde, 126 

Henry, Cardinal of York, 144 

Howell the Poet, 31 

Procopius's testimony, 17 
Pudsey the piper (English), 82 
Purcell's /;7.f/^ Groti)id, 112 
" Put in all," 57 
Pyrrhic dance, 40 

QuATRE Bras, the pipes at, 169 
Quebec, battle of, 165 



Queen Elizabeth's band of music, 

(^)uinn, Garret and David (Irish 

pipers), 195 
" Quodling's Delight,'" 57 

Ralph the piper, 37 
Ravenscroft, John, hornpipe com- 
poser, 1 1 1 
Rawdon, Lord, forms Irish pipe 

band, 149 
Rebel, Jean Fcry, 127 
Reed pipe at Thebes, 9 
Regulator and chanter, example 

of (music), 226 
Reid, James (Scotch piper), 1.43 
Reilly, Martin (Irish piper), 197 
Richard II. patronizes pipers, 37 
Richborough, sculptured bronze 

at, 17 
Riimce an c//<Iii, 9S 
RiiDicc Fada (Long Dance), 97 
Ripon, carvings of piper at, 35, 4S 
Rob Roy, 142 
" Rob Roy's Lament," 142 
Robertson, Hugh, pipe-maker, 145 
Robin Hood pageants, 40 
Roce, Denis (illustration), 73, 74 
Rose, Algernon, 100 
Ross, William (piper), 17 1 
Rosiiia, Overture to, I So, 1S2 
Rosshire Buffs, pipers of, 166 
Rosslyn Chapel, carvings in, 47 
Rossmore, Lord (amateur piper). 

Royal Inniskiliing Fusiliers, 197 

Irish Fusiliers, 197 

Scots Fusiliers, 132 

Russian bagpipes, 79 

Sackpfeife (bagpipe), 73 
Saga of the seventh century, 20 
St. Aidan, 109 

St. Andrews, 64 

Augustine, 12 

Kede, 42 

■ Klaise, MSS. at, 11 

iirecan, 30 

r'ond, JM. de, at a Highland 

gathering, 159 

Oiles, 64 

Jerome, 12 

Nicholas of Lyra, 37, 43 

" St. Patrick's Day in the Morn- 
ing," 148, 191 
St. Werburgh's, Dublin, 24 

Wolstan, 122 

.Salamanca, liattle of, 167 
-Samphonia (sumphonia), 2, 6 
Scale of the Scotch bagpipe, 
Schalmey (shawm), 73, 81 
.Schlesinger, Miss Kathleen, 7 
Schottenkloster at Vienna, 69 
.Schubert's " Rosamunde," 1S4, 

.Scots Guards disbanded, 172 
Scots Alusual jMitscuiii, 14 1 
"Scots wha hae," 53 
Scott, Sir Walter, 55, 130, 142, 

.Seaforth Highlanders, 166 
Servian bagpipes, 79 
Shakespeare, 86, 87, 98, 97 
Shakespeare's "Woollen" piper, 95 
Sheedy, W. (Irish piper), 195 
Shepherd's pipe, 3 
Sherift'muir, 139, 142 
Shield, William, 179, iSo, 1S2 
Sigerson, Dr. George, 53 
Simson, Habbie, 54, 134 
" Sir Roger de Coverly," 97 
Skene MS., 55, 56, 57, 138, 173 
Skye, College of Pipers at, 135, 

136, 175 
.Smith, Adam, at a Highland 
gathering, 159 

Story of the Bagpipe 

" Souters of Selkirk," the, 56 
Southgate, Dr. Thomas Lea, 8 
Spain, pipers in, 71 
Spohr's "Piflero" (music), 113 
Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar, S7 
" Staines Morris," 84 
Stanihurst's Deseripiioii of Ireland, 

(1575). 91 
Starck, Henry, 201 
Sterling, Rev. Edward, 151 
Statute of Kilkenny, 26 
Stevenson, Sir John, 191 
Stirling, pipers of, 65 
Stewart, Donald, 206 
Story of British Musie, 30 

of English Music, 84 

of the Carol, 12 

of the Harp, 2 

of the Organ, 5 

Straloch MS., 54 
Strutt's Sports, 34, 38, 39 
Stubbe's Anatomic of Abuses, 84 
" Sumer is icumen in," 108 
Sutherland, Duke of, 140 

Rifle Volunteers, 173 

Suetonius, 16 
Sword dance, 98, 162 
Symphony {suinphonia), 2, 15 
Synagogue, bagpipe in the service 

of the, 38 
Syrinx, 6 

Tabouret, Jean, 60 

Talbot, John (Irish piper, 1469), 

27 . . 
William (Irish piper), 190, 

" Tara's Halls," 23, 29, 30 
Tarsus in Cilicia, 9 
Templeogue dances, 148 
Thebes, reed pipe at, 9 
" The Campbells are coming,'' 140 
" The day dawis," 54 

"The king shall enjoy his own 

again," 141 (music), 193 
" The day we heat the Germans at 

Cremona " (music), 120 
"The White Cockade,'' 115 
" The Woods so Wild," by Byrd 

(music), III 
Thomason's Ceol Mor, 161 
Thompson, Barney (pipe major), 


Robert (Irish piper), 197 

Tibia iitricularis, 15, 16, 17 

Tinne (a set of pipes), 20 

Toilet, William (English Court 

piper), 104 
Tournay, Irish pipers at, S9 
Triiis, introduced from Ireland, 

Turlogh the piper (Irish), 114 
Turner, Sir James, 149 
Tutbury, court of minstrels at, 39 
Tyrone Fusiliers, 197 

Earl of, 96 

Tytler's Dissertation, 56 

" Ugab " (Hebrew pipe), i 
Uilleann pipes, 86, 95, 122, 146, 

154-156, 174, 175, ISS-20I 
Ulva, college of pipers at, 136 
Union pipes ^see Uilleann pipes) 
" Up and warn a', Willie," 139, 


Vaei.beke, Ludwig van, 107 
Victoria, Queen, patronizes the 

pipes, 169 
Menna, town pipers of, 69 
Vimiera, battle of, 168 
Virdung's Miisica getiitscht, 72, 75 
Virgil's reference to the bagpipe, 

Vittoria, battle of, 168 
Volunteers of 17S2 (Irish), 156 



"Volunteers of Ireland' 

York), 149 
Volynka, 79 


Wales gets the bagpipe from 
Ireland, 19, 29 

Wallace, Alexander ("Piper 
Major"), 132 

Warton's History of English 
Poetry, 39 

W\irwick, court of minstrels at, 40 

Waterford Artillery, Irish war- 
pipe band of, 214 

pipers in 1544, 90 

Waterloo, battle of, Scotch pipers 
at, 169 

Wedderburn's Complaynt of Scot- 
land, 51, 65 

Welsh bardic system, 29 

Westminster Abbey, 35, 50 

Westminster Drollery, 85 

William of Wykeham, 40 

William the Piper, 24 

Williams, C. F. Abdy, 5, 14, 21 

Whelan, Michael (Irish piper), 

" Whip of Dunboyne," 98 

" Whistle o'er the lane o't," 155 

" Wi' a hundred pipers an' a' an' 

Winchester, Bishop of, forbids 

Alay-i^aines, S4 

School, 40 

IVinterreise, by Schubert, 1 85 
IVodrow Correspondence, 140 
Wogan, Sir John. 25 
Wolf and the piper (16S4), 118 
Woodward, Richard (English 

court piper), 83 
" Woollen " pipes, 95 
Worcestershire pipers, 87, 88 
Wright, Daniel, in 

York, James Reid executed at, 

— — Elizabeth of, 82 
Yorkshire Morris dance, 100 
pipers, 104 

Zamora, the bagpipes of, 71 
Zummarah (modern Egyptian bag- 
pipe), 8 


JBlNDiNG o. jMN3ll9Za 



'ijOj Flood, 'William Henry Grattan 

980 The story of the bagpige