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December 06, 2007


David Lynch

Two things:

1. Penultimate actually means "second to last".
2. I would love to see an installment of this series focused on the hurdy-gurdy, which I feel is a wonderful and underutilized instrument.



The "problem" with the bagpipes is that you can't really be subtle with them, the drones are too damn loud and the chanter isn't really open to "jazz phrasing." But then I guess they were designed for performance during battle anyway-- loud and forceful all the time.

The hurdy-gurdy is a great idea, Mr. Lynch. Thanks. And yeah, "penultimate," "lastly" minus one and one of my favorite words.

And yessir to you, Mr. Illich. They're just damnably loud, aren't they? Although Matthew Welch (another piper who should have made the post) does some interesting things with broken reeds and such to quiet and disable the sound.

Thanks for reading!


Eyvind Kang on his "The Story of Iceland" album uses Irish uillean bagpipes (played by Philip White) on "Circle of Fair Karma".
Uillean pipes are nice, domestic instruments of peace; you can play them indoors.
(Likewise Northumbrian smallpipes.)

David Lynch

Whoops. Apologies for my inappropriate grammar pedantry- I totally missed your last paragraph there. To make up for it here is a Youtube video from mwowm23's always worthy collection of Youtube vids, A Love Supreme played on the bagpipe:

Dan DelMain

The sound of the bagpipes can be both sweet and melodic on the ears. The unfair perception of the Highland Bagpipe being obnoxiously loud and piercing stems from the fact the majority of bagpipers don't have a proper understanding and handle of their instruments. Listen to a musical piper and an unskilled one and you will quickly notice bagpiping music can be very charming and underwhelming.

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