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Full text of "The story of the bagpipe. [With illustrations, a bibliography, and a reprint of O'Farrell's Treatise on the Irish bagpipes, published in 1801.]"




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Story of the Bagpipe 


Wm, H. Grattan Flood 

Mus. Doc, National University of Ireland; 

Author ok " History op Irish Music," 

" Story of the Harp," etc. 


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









To most persons the bagpipe is associated with 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 
drum 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 mat 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 Egyptians 
employed the bagpipe 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 musette. 

And surely those who have read the histories of the 
Highland regiments will admit that the martial ardour 
inspired by the piob mor 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. 



October, 191 1. 





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 hydraulus 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 
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 7 



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

Story of the Bagpipe 




Pre-Christian Ireland— The Brehon Laws —A Saga of the seventh 
century — The tiiuic or cetharcoire — Gerbert's illustration — 
The bagpipe in church — Keeners vviih 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 Falkirk — Ihe piob inor at Crecy — 
Statute of Kilkenny— Pipers admitted to the Dublin 
franchise 19 



Irish colonists in Wales — Testimony of Kuno Meyer— Irish origin 
of the Eisteddfod — Bardic system borrowed from Ireland — 
Howell the Good — Battle of Carno — Eisteddfod at Caerwys 
— Prince Howell the poet— Brompton, Abbot of Jervaulx 
— Gerald Barry— Morris's Welsh collection - - - - 28 



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 piper — 
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 ... 




Scotland gets the bagpipes from Ireland — Fergus MacErc — 
Giraldus Cambrensis — Battle of Bannockburn — David II. 
employs bagpipers — Oldest dated bagpipe — Battle of Ilarlaw 
— James I. patronizes the bagpipe — Battle of Inverlochy — 
Angelic piper in Rosslyn 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 .... 



Extravagant claims — " Scots wha hae '"' — " The Battle of Ilarlaw " 
— "The Battle of Flodden Field" — "The Flowers of the 
Forest" — "The Souters of Selkirk" — "The Bonny Eirl of 
Moray " — " John Anderson my Jo " — " The Cockelbie bow " 
"Macintosh's Lament" — "The McKae's March" — "Adew 
Dundee" — " Ginkertowne " — Scotch tunes printed at Paris 
in 1554 — Braille W Escosse 



Pipers at the Scottish Court — George Buchanan — John Flastie — 
Scotch war-pipes in 1549 — The bagpipe in a religious pro- 
cession — St. Andrew's pipers — -The pipers of Stirling — 
James VI. and the bagpipes — Battle of Baltinnes — Highland 
pipes — Lindsay of Pittscottie — Highland warfare — Burgh 
pipers — Clan pipers 62 

Story of the Bagpipe 
chapter x. 



Town pipers of Vienna — Legend of the Pied Piper of Ilamelin — 
Guild of Minstrels — l'ipers in Paris — Pipers in Spain — 
Boccaccio's reference to the bagpipes — Calabrian pipers — 
Virdung describes the bagpipe — Schalmey and Sackpfiefe — 
Denis Koce — Albrecht Diirer — Luscinius's Musurgia — 
Martin Agricola — Statue of piper at Nuremberg — Bagpipe 
in church — Bulgarian and Servian bagpipes — The Volynka 
— Hungarian pipes — Olaus Magnus— Dance of Death - 69 



" 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 Polyolbion — Lincoln- 
shire pipers — Shakespeare's bagpipe allusions — Worcester 
and Lancashire pipers — Nottingham pipers — The Coventry 
Mysteries - - - Si 



Diner's Irish piper — The siege of Boulogne — The piob mor — 
Stanihurst's description — Father William Good, S.J- — State 
pardons to pipers — Camden's account — Vincenzo Galilei — 
Derrick's Image of Ireland — Shakespeare's "woollen" pipes 
— battle of the Yellow Ford— Dermot MacGrath— Battle of 
the Curlews — Rinnce fada — The sword dance — Fynes 
Morison 89 





Ben Jonson— King James's proclamation— Morris Dances— 
Britannia's Pastorals- London minstrels— An English bag- 
piper of 1637— The King's Band of Music— Howitt the 
piper— Lancashire bagpipers— Yorkshire pipers— Playford*s 
Dancing Master— The Restoration epoch— Butler's Hudibras 
— Thomas Oynion — Northumberland pipers — The Royal 
Voyage— Gxa.A\.\a\ disappearance of English pipers— Hogarth's 
" Southwark Fair " 99 



Drone bass— Pedal point— Faux Bourdon and Gymel— Progres- 
sions of thirds and sixths— Irish influence in Northumbria— 
Guido's Miao'.ogus — FitzwilHatn 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" - - 107 



State pardons— Ben Jonson's Irish Masque— War-pipes— The 
Confederate period—" Lament for Owen Roe "— " Battle of 
Knocknanoss"— "MacAIistrum's March "—Irish pipers in 
the Barbadoes— Pipers of the King's Company— The wolf 
and the piper— Siei^e of Derry— 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 Baptiste Lully — David's " Musette Player" 
— The Prince de Conde patronizes the bagpipe — Ilotteterre's 
Jlfet/iode four la Mtisette — Henri Baton— Philippe 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 Dun vegan — The MacCrimmons — " Lament for 
MacLeod" — Regimental pipers — Popularity of the kilt — 
"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 Mac Arthurs 128 



Legend of the Clach a phiobair — Battle of Killiecrankie — The 
Act of Abjuration — Union of the two Crowns — " Sheriff- 
muir March — "Up and warn 'em a', Willie" — "The 
Campbells are coming" — Seizure of Leith — Archer's 
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 Eaglesham ... - 137 






Improvements in the Uilleann pipes — Larry Grogan — " Ally 
Croker " — Pipers at social gatherings — 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 146 



Founding of the Highland Society — The first meeting in 17S1 — 
Glasgow gives support — Edinburgh follows suit — Com- 
petition of 1784 — 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 1859 — A second society formed in 1875 — The 
Highland Mod 157 



Fraser's regiment — MacLeod's Highlanders — Battle of Assaye — 
Concert by the band of the 58th Regiment — The Seatorth 
Highlanders — Siege of Lucknow — John MacLachlan at 
Ciudad Rodrign — The pipes in the Peninsular campaign — 
Battle of Vimiera— George Clark — Kenneth Maclvay — 


Story of the Bagpipe 


Scotch pipers at Waterloo — Angus MacKay — The Black 
Watch pipers — -The Cameron Highlanders — " March of the 
Cameron Men" — William Ross — Disbanding ol the Argyll- 
shire pipers — The Scots Guards disbanded — Pipe bands in 
the British Army — Govan police band - - - 165 



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 — Versatility of Lowland pipers • - 1/4 



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'Ours 1S1 



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 Pipes - - - . - - iSS 



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 - - 20S 

,, C. — Composers who have employed Pipe Music - 210 

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

,, E. — Pipe Bands in the Biitish Army - - - 214 

,, F. — O'Farrell's Treatise on the Irish Bagpipe (pub- 
lished in 1801) 216 

Index - - - 227 

List of Illustrations 

photogravure, "we praise thee, o god" Frontispiece 



A PORTATIVE ORGAN - - - - -22 











AN ENGLISH PIPER OF 1637 - - - - 103 



xix B 

Story of the Bagpipe 











Story of the Bagpipe. 



The Book of Genesis — Nebuchadnezzar's band — Chaldean sculplures — 
The Pandean pipe— The simple reed — Origin of the flute — The 
pipe with the bag — Primitive organ at Aries — The hydraulus or 
water organ — Various 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 

• • • ^L n £ P IDC 

rude rendering, though undoubtedly intelli- . , . 

. . in Uenesis 

gible enough in the sixteenth century, has 

been superseded by the revised translation of "such 

as handle the harp and organ. " At the same time it 

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

more satisfactory translation of the Hebrew itgab 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 sumphonia is erroneously translated 
Nebuchad- «, du i cimer » in the English Bible. Biblical , , , ,, , . 

g , scholars are now agreed that sumphonia 

means "bagpipe," not "dulcimer," 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 Vulgate translates it as psalterium — 
Chaucer's Sautrie. 

In a previous volume of this series 1 I adduced 

arguments to prove that the harp was the evolution 

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

_ a , pointed out that Mr. St. Chad Boscavven 

bculptures . . _, ., 

had examined 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 
1 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 god Pan), which was the develop- 
ment of the shepherd's pipe, or chanter, e * n " 
... „ . .. , ,, .. dean Ftpe 
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 _, 

i 1 iu I i e ■ c f A' Simple 

sheep along the bank or a river, first dis- t, j 

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, naturally, from the simple 

reed-pipe, blown at one end by the mouth, , 1, 
, n , , , 'the Flute 

the II ute 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, 

ipe wi 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 askanlos 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 
iimt lve t ^ e w j nc j j s evidently supplied by the lung 

. f power of the two blowers, who alternately 

Aries v ' 

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 
^ * u us the organ do not need to be told that to the 
~ mechanical genius of Ctesibius of Alexandria, 

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 1 
says that the hydraulus was "the earliest known wind 
instrument not blown by the human lungs," and he 


adds that " tha modern pneumatic organ is in reality a 
huge combination of the primitive Pan-pipe and Bag- 
pipe." Of course, the development of the pipe in the 

1 Story 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 cornemuse, musette, sackpfcife, 

Various sampogna, samponia, and the Irish Uilleann 

ames pipes, as will be seen in the following pages. 

o Other names for the bagpipe are surdelina, 

bignou (biniou), loure, comamusa, chevre, 
chevrette, saccomuse, piva, gheevifa, and ciaramclla. 



Ancient Ejypt — The Arghool — 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 F 

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. 1 This conclusion is based on the 
discovery of the straws or beating reeds belonging to 
the pipes, and which were found 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 

1 Prof. Garstang discovered a Ilittitc slab on which is sculptured 
a bagpipe player. This figure he dates as B.C. iooo. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

of Egyptian players on two unequal pipes— a short 
pipe (chanter) and a drone. The annexed figure of the 

Arghool will at once bear out 



the view that many 
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 Egyptians, Dr. 
T. Lea Southgate tells us 

..... that one of the 
Artificial ~ 

Reeds Egyptian 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. 1 

1 The modern Egyptian zummarah has a goatskin bag, into which 
the two pipes are inserted. 



Assyria and Nineveh 

The Persians, too, were acquainted with the bagpipe. 

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

Kermanshah there is represented a stace, on 

... c • Persian 

which are performers on various instru- „ 

i • oagpipes 

ments, including - a bagpipe: four of 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, employed a band cu p ure 
r . . .... . T . in Assyria 

or 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. Representa- 
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 — sfenuine reed pipes of the drone -., . 

. at 7 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 

tuating 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 

.traditions i, - 

hmperor 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 
the scale of twelve pipes. 

Double pipes are found in India, on sculptures of 

wood and stone. The Moshitg of Northern India is a 

form of bagpipe, whilst in Southern India 

Bagpipes of are found two instruments closely re- 

iNorthern sembling the chorus — namely, the S'ruli- 

_ , upanga and the Bhasanr-s'ruii. illustrations 

Southern * , . . 

T «. of which will be found in Uav s Anisic and 


Musical Instruments of Southern India and 
the Deccan. Engel tells us that the Hindoos were 
undoubtedly acquainted with the bagpipe, to which 


Biblical References 



they gave the name of poongi; also called toumrie and 

A peculiar form of bag-pipe 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 
its compass 
must have 
been limited, 
fridus Strabo, 
in the ninth century, de- 
scribes the chorus as "a 
single skin with two 
pipes." 1 

In addition to the previous 
references to the bagpipe to 
be found in the 
Book of Genesis 
and the Book of 
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 


chorus: from a MS. of the NINTH 


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, 1 

that the bagpipe, or pipe, was used as an 

emen o accompaniment for earlv Christian worship. 
Alexandria 1(T , t ' , ,. 

He says: — " lhough we no longer worship 

God with the clamour of military instruments, such as 

the trumpet, drum, and pipe, 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 SQ ^ as t j 1£ instrument he writes about 

„ . can only be the organ. However, the 

Bagpipe J * ' 

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 

_, r the master brush of Albrecht Diirer. The 

Christmas , , , . , , , 

T , legend has it that on the never-to-be- 

Legend . ° 

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 Music, vol. ii. p. 26. 

2 For the best account of Christmas and other carols see The Story 
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 " Pifa," or 
bagpipe melody, indicating that it was played by 



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

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

No doubt it was from Egypt that the 
Ancient . ,. c n . , 

„ musical culture or Greece was mainlv 


derived. The earliest 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 

Athens. 1 

But although numerous references to pipes and 

double pipes are to be met with, the first authority 

to definitely mention the bagpipe is Dion 

Chrysostomos, a Greek writer, about the _, 

. ™. ■ e „ . . .. Chrysos- 

year a.d. 100. Ihe folIowin°f quotation is 

. . . . 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 

auleo and askos, and it has previously been explained 

that askaulos or sumphonia 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. hi.), about the year 105. 

The word askaulos is invariably equated as Martial 

tibia titricularis, and is described as a pipe escnoes 

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. lxxvii.) as employed in the theatre. 

1 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 
over his shoulders. 

15 C 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Inasmuch as the Romans also employed the bagpipe, 

which they named tibia utricularis, it is not 

»rgi s surprising that many of their writers refer 
Reference ... 

. .. to it. Virgil tells us, at least such is 

the interpretation given by Montfaucon on 
the bagpipe, 1 that it was a favourite instrument at 

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

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

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

Vow to be . „ . 

r> • from his enemies he would figure at the 

public games as a performer on thehydraulus, 

the charaulos, and the bagpipe [utricularis).' 2 

Several writers would have us believe that the 

contorniates of Nero, one of which is 
Contorniate • ., T , ... , A/r . „ , 

„ in the british Museum, represent a bae- 

Represen- . , . ,, , 

tations P'P e > but * ne instrument is really the 

hydraulus. 3 
Bianchini tells us that there is an ancient Greek 
sculpture in bas-relief in Rome (casa di Principe" di 
Santa Cever) representing a Celt playing 

_ , on the Irish warpipes, or piob mor. Some 

sculpture . . 

„ writers call the instrument a pythaidns. 

in Rome , . , . , , , 

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 

1 Montfaucon, torn. iii. p. iSS. 

2 Suetonius, cap. liv. 

3 C. F. Abdy Williams, Story of the Organ. 


Roman Pipers 

instrument to be a " tibia Otriadarc, or Fagotto o Piva, 
or Comemuse." 

Apparently, judging' by the sculptured bronze found 
at Richborough Castle, in Kent, the Romans intro- 
duced the bagpipe into Britain. Pennant, 
in his Tour in Scotland, describes this pturcd 

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

sented as a Roman soldier in full 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 „ ,,. 

i? *• tu o ■ * u Gellius 

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 Quintilianus 
as an authority for the early use of 

the bagpipe in the Highlands, but the ~ . ... 

, , , ~ , r Quintilianus 

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 century, that the Z °P IUS s 
t-i r 1,- . . Testimony 

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 
invariably wore a phorbia or capistrum. This capistrum 
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 thine or cetharcoire — Gerbert'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 Falkirk — -The piob mor at 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 *■«,«• 

of the Roman civilization was due to the , f , 

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 

„ . • . , • i , • i .- • Brehon 

most ancient corpus special legislation is 

enacted as regards the bagpipe, or cuisle. 

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

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

J 9 

Story of the Bagpipe 

but primarily the vein, a blood-vessel, hence a pipe. 
At the great Feis (Assembly, or Parliament) of Tara 
the pipers occupied a prominent position, as we read 
that the cuisleannach, or pipes, were among the 
favourite instruments heard in the banqueting hall 
{teach miodhchuarta). 1 This Feis was held from pre- 
Christian days until the year 560, when King Dermot 
MacFergus 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 
Bruidhaen da Derga, a palace of Da Dersr, 
aga o t c a j. ]3 tj mr na Brnighne (Bohernabreena), 
Seventh ^ ~ ... , . . 

„ County Dublin, there is given an account 

Century J ' & , 

01 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 Ciallglind. 

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

called tinnc, whilst the band of pipers is designated 

cetharcoire, or the four-tuned. Whitley 

_ , , Stokes is of opinion that cetharcoire has 
Letharcoire r , . . ± , , .. 

reference to the tuning or the chanter, the 

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

1 Petrie's Antiquities of I lie Hill of Tara. 

2 In the Fair of Carman, dating from the 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 piob mar 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 chorus, 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. T „ 

TT ?-.*!, Illustration 

However, even a cursory examination or the 

illustration is sufficient to prove that it cannot be 

equated with the piob 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 crwtk. 

In the early Christian Church in Ireland the bagpipe 

was occasionally used either as a solo instrument or to 

sustain the sacred chant. 1 And, as before 

stated, the small organs used in the Irish , r f 1 f P ' P L 

churches in 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 

1 In one of the panels of the High Cross of Clonmacnois, dating 
Irom circa 910, there is a sculptured figure of a man playing the bagpipe, 
standing on two cats. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

round the player's neck, who worked the bellows with 
one hand and played on the keys with the fingers of the 

other. ... In some 

manuscripts the 
portative has the 
form of a little 
organ with a series 
of pipes, concluding' 
with two 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 bag-pipe 
was used in re- 
ligious processions 
there is ample 
Kccners evidence, and we have dozens of refer- 
with Pipers ences to the bands of pipers playing at 
tunerals. 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 



ADD. MSS. 18,192, F. 19.) 

in th 



Battle of Allen 

professional keeners (crossans) who assisted at the 
interment of Donnchadh, King- of Ossory, 1 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. On the night of 
the battle it is related that " the head of Donnbo raised 
the Dord Fiansa (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 uan 
,. , „,. „ " .-,, , . O'Lochain 
his beer, lhis Cuan O Lochain 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 

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

2 In the old Irish "Pot of Avarice 4 ' we read that while the poem 
was being sung the nine leading musicians of the company played 
music round the pot. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

is, the sustaining- of the key-note, or tonic, as an 

accompaniment to the melody. Guido gives 

_, . a specimen of this primitive form of harmonv 

Point .,.„.. , ,,, . . 

in his Microtogus^ 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 onlv makes 
Cambrensis * \. 

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 

, „. y 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 baq-pipe, though relegated to the 

the Piper , , , , ■,, r 1 r • 1 

humbler classes, still found favour with 

cultured amateurs — even as it does at present in 


1 See Chapter XIV. 

Irish Pipers in France 

Whilst King Edward I. was in Gascony during the 

vears 1286-89 he sent for some Irish troops, 

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

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

the train of the native and Ansrlo-Irish , 

soldiers to enliven them to deeds of daring. 1 Flanders 

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 Dinnseanchus — an 
Irish topographical history — in the British 
Museum, dated 1300, describing the Irish r *?, ar 
kerne who accompanied King Edward to r \ • 

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 

1 Previously, in 1243, King Henry III. had a large body of 
Irish troops in France, who, no doubt, had their war pipers with 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Falkirk on July 22nd, 1298, and probably the martial 
effect of the Irish pipes suggested to the Scotch 

_ the employment of the piob mor in battle. 

Battle of D ., ; ., r • u • 

jj .,, f Be that as it may, Irish pipers accom- 

panied the troops levied from Ireland in 
the Scottish campaign of the years 1297-1303. 

Thus from the thirteenth century we can trace the 
Irish piob mor as the military music of Ireland, the 

_ national outcome of the "bands of pipers" 

Piob Mor . , , , ... • « 

r at sacred and secular gatherings, especially 

at funerals. And be it understood that these 
brave Irish pipers marched always in the van of the 
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 
the success of the English King. 1 

The first blow struck at the popularity of the bagpipe 
in Ireland was the Statute of Kilkenny, enacted at a 

Parliament held in Kilkenny before Lionel, 

__,„ Duke of Clarence, Vicero\ r of Ireland, in 

Kilkenny «-.,->-. , r , • 

March 1366. Among the enactments 01 this 

infamous statute was one which made it penal to receive 
or entertain "pipers, story-tellers, rhymers, etc.," on 
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 
1 Irish pipers were also at Ilarfleur in 1418, and at Ruuen in 14 19. 

Statute of Kilkenny 

will, and the instruments of their agency shall forfeit to 

our lord the King." That this statute was not allowed 

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

Patent Rolls, dated October 25th, 1375, licensing- Donal 

O'Moghan, an Irish bagpiper, to dwell within the 

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

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

on the Irish enemies." 

From the Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin, 

edited by Gilbert, we learn that pipers were 

held in esteem in the capital of the Pale in -ripers 

the middle of the fifteenth century. Thus , ,,. « ,, 

,.„.,.„ . , . the Dublin 

in 1469 Richard Bennet, piper, was admitted p , ■ 

to franchise "by special grace." In the 

same year John Talbot, " pyper," was admitted "on 

having 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 — Brompton, 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 

Irish intercourse between the two countries. The 

. „, , Irish immigrants brought their minstrelsy 

in Wales . , ° , , * , » 

with them, and hence Wales got 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 

from Ireland. They were the result of those very raids 


Irish Origin of the Eisteddfod 

and conquests of which the Roman historians of that 
age 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 Pro ^ ssor 
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 subjugated by the Gaels and made to speak 
the language 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 Bardic 

of claiming a pre-Patrician origin for the ys CI " 

Welsh. Their whole system was modelled r 

J trom 

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 Feis of Tara as the real , * nsh 

origin of the Eisteddfod. We have seen ri £ in ° 

. the 

that the Feis of Tara was celebrated E - « , f , 

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 assign 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. Cynog, 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 

was being gradually developed at the close 

of the ninth century, and w r e have tolerable 

evidence that it received considerable attention during 

the reign of Howell the Good (915-948). 1 

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 
1 Crowest's Story of British Music. 

Bromptdtl on Welsh Music 

the martial tones of the Irish war-pipes, he gave 
special prominence to pipe performances. The 
bagpipe competition, as we read in the 
Welsh annals, resulted in an easy victory „ 

r t ■ i u • a t ~ v at Caerw y s 

for an Irishman, who received from King' 

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 1165. He TT ^f in f ce 
1 a c « * u u 4. Howell the 

ruled from 1169 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, namely, the crwth, the *??!? ° n 'r 
trumpet, and the bagpipes." However, he . . 

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, apparently having exhausted 
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 delights 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 „ The gong , of Morwydd - s pi pes ," a bagpipe 

£ «, . melody. 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. 1 

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 piob mor 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 pibconi, 
was also coming into favour at this epoch, and 
continued in use till the close of the eighteenth 

1 Miss Glyn's Evolution of Musical Form. 

3 2 



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 piper-Janino Chevretter 
— Strutt's illustration of early English bagpipes-The Kings 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 way, as may be evidenced from 
the place names, and from such words as CeIts in 
bard, druid, breeches, bog, kilt, reel, tartan, En & Iand 
clan, basket, coat, flannel, gown, cart, etc. It was not 
until a.d. 7S-85 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 bagpipe, but it 
must be borne in mind that the Celts in Roman 

Britain had the bagpipe a full century before Remain3 
the time of Caesar, and therefore the Romans merely 
popularized this martial instrument. 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Between the years 450 and 580 the Anglo-Saxons 
made a conquest of England, but the Irish Celts were 
the founders of Lindisfarne, Ripon, Durham, 
Sax g o°" Lichfield > Tilbury, Dunwich, Burgcastle, 

p. Bosham, Malmesbury, Glastonbury, etc. 

We are consequently not surprised to find 
the bagpipes 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 

__ ** to the pipes, and apparently no festive 

Normans , . r r , . , , 

gathering was complete without the in- 
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 Sports 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 lilling-horm, 
And pipes made of greene come." 

The old name of lilt-pipe now only survives in 

the term "lilt," which is merely singing- the syllables 

la. la. la to a given tune. "Liltin°f" is 

also known as "jigging," and is still quite ' "P'P" 

common in country districts in Ireland. .-, 

. ,,ii • Lorn-pipes 

"Corn-pipe, as alluded to in the above 

couplet by Chaucer, is another form of the simple 

reed, a shepherd's pipe, but the name only 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 the geige, 

or fiddle. 

Whether the idea of the bagpipe in church was 

borrowed from Ireland or from the continent, certain it 

is that in mediaeval England the pipes were 

employed in connection with church services, ~! pe ! f 
.... . , 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 beating a drum, 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Apart from these grotesque carving's, not uncommon 
on monastic stalls, there was formerly a painted window 

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


Chevrette and Chorus 

fine illustration of a monk playing- a bag-pipe with 
one drone in the Gorleston Psalter, dating from circa 

In the Minstrels' Gallery at Exeter Cathedral, dating 

from the early portion of the fourteenth 

century, there are twelve niches, each of _, ,, 

. . , . , , Gallery at 

which contains a representation ot an angel p 

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 16th, 1307, there is an entry 

on the Patent Rolls recording a pardon to , _, 
¥»i« tt r tt 1 r , , 1 r the riper 

hhas Hurre, or 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, 1 the 
name Chevrette meaning a bagpipe with a 
deerskin bag. This Janino was paid for Janino 

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, 
1 lie is also called Le Tregettour, or the joculator (juggler), 


Story of the Bagpipe 

chevrette, and bag-pipe were identical, and he quotes 
Strutt's Manners and Customs of the English in proof 
thereof. In Strutt's oldest series, taken 
Mrutt s ^ from a manuscript in the British Museum 
Illustration /^-i • \ .. . , 

. „ , (Tiber, c. vi.), there are two drawings 
of Early , , .„,.,. . s 

r, f . , or a baefpipe. Ine illustrations are not 

English t*r i ... 

Ba i very clear; but, fortunately, like Mark 

Twain's drawing 1 of a cow, there is an 

explanatory note stating what was intended by the 

painter. Underneath both drawings are the words: 

" Corus est pellis simplex cum duabus cicutis," or 

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

bearing out the definition 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 

r j t nee d De quoted than the fact that in 1327 it 

,, . . was included in the King's Band of Music 

Music in ___ ° . 

I3 , 7 under Edward III. In fact, five pipers 

were requisitioned, is quoted in Sir John 
Hawkins' History 0/ Music. 

From 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 

ar or and k eyonc j tne se a," he receiving the sum of 

Morlan , f , .„. ' , , **. r 

thirty shillings by way ol viaticum, hour 

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


Richard II. patronizes Pipers 

granted to Morlan, the bagpiper; 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 (1328-1400), ever with an eye on the 
social customs of the age, describes his Miller as a 
performer on the pipes: — 


"A bagpipe well could he blow and sound, M'tf 

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 

1?' 1-i A TT 

bagpipers, and in 1377 the English monarch * c ar , ' 

u 1 c • u- 4. • 1 *i • • Patronizes 

had four pipers in his train. In this reign, „. 

1 • o r • « Pipers 
too — namely, in 1380, a court of minstrels 

was established at Tutbury, and a charter was obtained, 1 

1 Warton's History of English 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 

w , , College, Oxford, in 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- 
Morris -J VI 1 •. A c 

siderable popularity. A piper was one or 

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- 
r ay 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, 
... . , , at u John Gate 

piper ', received a pardon on November 

15th, 1472. 




Scotland gets the bagpipe from Ireland — Fergus MacErc — Giraldus 
Cambrensis — Battle 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 
bagpipe in religious processions — Edinburgh Corporation band — 
The complaint of Scotland — James I, and the bagpipes. 

Much controversy has centred around the origin 

of the bag-pipe in Scotland. Some assign it a 

Roman importation, whilst others allege 

Scotland that it came frQm Norway> The trut h 

f, . is, that Scotland gfot the instrument from 

.Bagpipes . 

r Ireland as the result of two colonizations ; 

Ireland * ne nrs t> 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 


Giraldus Cambrensis 

well as the harp with them. 1 O'Donovan says :— 
" The present language of the Highlands passed from 
Ireland into the Highlands about a.d. 504 ; and a 
regular 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 previously alluded to the mention of _, 

I * . . , Cambrensis 

the chorus or bagpipe by Giraldus 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, 1298-1300, 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 1314, though 

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


Story of the Bagpipe 

the historical evidence only goes to show that the 

music on that great day consisted only of 

a e horns. Perhaps the music of the pipes was 

« beneath the dignity of the historian to take 

any note of, but, be that as it may, there is 

indisputable evidence as to the piob mor in Scotland 

thirty years after the Battle of Bannockburn. Both 

Robert and Edward Bruce were familiarised 

avi * with the martial tones of the Irish piob mor 

T, . durinsf their stay in Ireland. David II., 

Bagpipers & J ' 

son of Robert Bruce, certainly employed 
bagpipers in Scotland, as appears from the Exchequer 
Rolls. 1 

The late Mr. Glen, of Edinburgh, had in his pos- 
session a set of pipes with the date 1409 and the initials, 
"R. McD." This specimen of Highland 
" bagpipes has two small drones and chanter, 

D . but the make and ornamentation are de- 


cidedly Irish. The joint of one of the drones 

is modern, as are also the bag and blow-pipe. I am 
inclined to think that this valuable instrument, notwith- 
standing the date, " MCCCCIX.," is of the first decade 
of the eighteenth century. May not the date be an 
error for MDCCIX., or 1709? The annexed illustration 
will give an idea of the instrument. 

There is some doubt as to whether the bagpipe was 
played at the Battle of Harlaw, on St. James's Eve, 
141 1, but, at that date, the bagpipe was certainly 

1 At the Battle of Otterburn, in 1388, the martial music was 
supplied by horns, according to Froissart. 


Oldest dated Scotch Bagpipe 

popular in Scotland. However, the war-song at the 

commencement of this famous battle was recited by 

MacMhuirich (MacVuirich), the hereditary 

bard of Clan Ranald, and the MacMhuirichs B ^ ttIe of 

were descendants of Muiredbach O'Daly, 

of Lissadil, County Slig"o, a famous Irish minstrel. 


This O'Daly had lived so long in Scotland that he 
was known as albanach, or the Scotchman, but there 
is no doubt that he became the ancestor of the 


Story of the Bagpipe 

MacVuirichs (descendants of Muiredbach), 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 
writes. 1 

The musical powers of King James I. of Scotland 

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

credited with being, like Nero, no novice 

james . ^ ^ e b a p-pjpe. w e are definitely told that 

patronizes , , , ,, , , - , 

, B . he played well on the chorus or piob mor, as 

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 bagpipe : — 

" 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 

1 A Treatise on the Language, Poetry, and Music of the Highland 
Clans." Edinburgh, 1862. 


Angelic Bagpiper in Rosslyn Chapel 

in 1431. Not only is there a fine pipe melody 

commemorating 1 the event 1 (incorrectly 

ascribed to that period), but the pipes T , < 

... , , . . Invcrlochy 

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 Mus- 
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 bairadh 1 ; 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, 

cu ■? " re but it is with more probability of the mid- 
in Melrose cr , ., t-i • r ... 

A ,, fifteenth century. Ihis figure is given in 

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 

_, g , middle agfes, and, as we have seen, there 

Bagpiper . b ' . ' , . ' 

is a representation or 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 

1 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, 
Drogheda.— W. H. G. F. 


Sculptured Piper 


Story of the Bagpipe 

represents " a whole group of festive pigs likewise 
dancing to the performance of a senior, a musician of 
their own species " ; and he also mentions that " among 
the numerous carvings in Westminster Abbey is a 
woodland scene representing a group of monkeys, 
along with a bear playing on a bagpipe, all in high 

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 or gr an cou id not be thought of, a bagpipe 
e lg . furnished the music, but it was at outdoor 
religious functions that the pipe was of 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, 

Ldinburg being lodged by the various householders 

r " in turn. In i486 Edinburgh rejoiced in a 

corporation band consisting of 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 njd 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, including: , . " 

a a u • » « -AC P Iaint of 

— "Ane drone bagpipe, " ane pipe maid or o t j j »> 

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 Gray, a player "on the 

drone." In 1505, there is mention of a >^ mts 

roval dole to " lamie that plavs on „ 

J r J Bagpipes 

the drone," whilst in 1507 the royal 
pipers received New Year gifts. 




Extravagant claims — " Scots wha hae " — "The Battle of Harlaw" — 
"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 MacRae'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 or 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 tunc of " Scots 

wha 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 

5 2 

" Hey, tutti, tattie" 

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 , , „ 
. . ... , . wha hae" 

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, tutti, 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 Into f one." 

It is also alluded to by Gawin Douglas 1 in the prologue 
of the thirteenth book of his translation of Virgil, 

1 The song quoted by Gawin Douglas, as popular in Scotland in 
1510, commences : — 

" Hey, 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." 

Dr. Sic;erson 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 of the Gael and Gall, p. 30 


Story of the Bagpipe 

printed in 15 13. However, English 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 

Gude 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 Bums, 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 wha 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 fouerht, it is safe to say that it 

" Battle of , . . X » , e fiA . f / 

TT , „ does not bear the marks of nfteenth-centurv 
rlarlaw ,..,., ., , , . . 

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 Hawthornden, in his Polenio- 

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 Flodden Field" 

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

141 1), though decidedly old, is coeval with the events ; 

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

the bagpipe, 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. 1 

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," goes back to the time of the battle „, , , 

to 1 . , 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 

1 The air known as " Black Donald'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 given 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 Companion . 

Dauney was of opinion that the tune of "The 
Souters of Selkirk" was a genuine bagpipe-melody 
coeval with the battle of Flodden Field, but 
e « . ,,, this statement was merely borrowed from 
Tytler, who, in his Dissertation, sought 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 sufficient to add that the tune is not older than the 
first half of the seventeenth century, and it was first 
printed by Playford, in 1687, 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 learn that the words of "The Souters of 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 1^02, I fear the tradition 

(l R onnv ... 

_ 'is distinctly unsafe. Stenhouse, who had a 

Earl of . . 

„ „ wonderful inventive faculty for ancient Scots 

tunes, 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 Jo" 

first appearance in print was not until 1733, in the 

second edition of the Orpheus Caledonius. 

" But surely," some aggrieved 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 '° 

is distinctly of the mid-sixteenth century, or T ,, 

• . . . my 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, also in 

the Fitzwilliam 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 1713 it was 

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

in 1728 it was utilized by Charles Coffey, 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 

risrht to state that the Cockclbie Soiv, 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 vis believe that 
"Macintosh's •- , • c , ... . . 

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

Lament . . , . . ,, Tr ... 

ment is copied by Angus MacKay in his 

Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd or Highland Pipe 
Music (1838). The Macintosh himself, in 1835, says 
that its composition goes 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 general 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 century. The same mav be 
macKaes dicated of ,< The MacRae's March," said 
March , 

to be the oldest known pipe-tune, going 

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 Highland 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." 


" Ginker- 
toune " 

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., dating from about the year 1625, 
though the tune itself is of the mid-sixteenth ' , u 

century. Its first appearance in print is in 
Playford's Dancing Master, in 1688, and in 1719 
D'Urfey published the song and tune in his Pills, 
under the title of " Bonnie Dundee." 

Sir David Lyndsay, 1 in his Complaynt addressed to 
his royal patron, King James V., in 1529, alludes to 
the popular tune of " Ginkertoune " : — 

" Thau playit I twenty springs perqueir, 
Quhilk was great pleasure for to hier, 
Fra play thou let me never rest." 
But 'Ginkertoun ' thou lufiit best." 

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

" 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 1554. 

For this information we are indebted to Dr. Scotch 

Burney, 2 who writes as follows : — " John _ , . 
_,_. , . ...... Fans in 

D htree, a performer on the hautbois, in the 

service of Charles IX., published at Paris 

1 Sir David Lyndsay also makes reference to " Platfute," or 
"Ourfute" and " Backfute," two dance tunes in vogue in 1520. 

2 Burney, vol. iii. p. 262. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

four books of Danccries, 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 Branles 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 d'Escosse must be the 
" licht dances" alluded to in the Complaynt of Scotland 
(1548), and apparently some specimens were printed 
by Jean d'Estr^e. 1 

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 1589 — an ex- 
ceedingly rare book, of which a facsimile was printed 
at Paris in 1888. The real name of the author of this 
little volume was Jean Tabouret — whose 

„ anagram is Thoinet Arbeau — a Canon of 

Langres, and in 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: — 

1 Jean d'Estree published Quart re Uvres de Danserie.s in 1554. The 
Branle d'Escosse is also to be found in Susato's Premier tivre de 
danseries, published by Phalese in 157 1. 


" Branle d'Escosse " 







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 1489 and 1491, 

* * 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 
year (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 1508. Another entry for the year 


John Hastie 

1506 refers to a payment made to " the English piper 

with the drone." 

George Buchanan (1506-82) gives testimony as to the 

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

that the pipe as a domestic instrument was 

bein°f ousted in favour by the harp. In fact „ , 

,. _ . Buchanan 

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 151 3, 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, 1 in 

1 LHistoire de la Guerre d'Ecosse. Paris, 1556. 

63 F 

Story of the Bagpipe 

1549, describing the skirmishing 1 carried on near Edin- 
burgh in that year, mentions "fourteen or 
w° C ■ fifteen thousand Scots, including the savages 

pp ' that accompanied the Earl of Argyll." These 
m 1549 r . 

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

" encouraged themselves to arms by the sound of their 

Continuing chronologically, in John Knox's History 

of the Reformation, under date of 1556, there is an 

account of the indignity offered to the 

agpipes statue of St. Giles, patron saint of Edin- 

R .. . burgh, by the zealots, to mark their dis- 

Procession a PP rova ^ or " 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 

Franciscan Friars, and we read that "the procession, 

led by the Queen Regent, was 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 

. n rew tQ attenc j serrnon on Wednesday ; also to 

abstain from playing on the streets after 

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 1 : — " Playing the bagpipe and dancing on Sunday 

came so repeatedly under ecclesiastical censure as to 

show very evidently the general preval- 

ence of the instrument." Under date of J? . ,. 
._ , , , . Mining 

November ioth, 1574, a serious complaint 

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 am " * • 

had two pipers playinsr before him. This, „ 

, «. 1. u 1 .• Bagpipes 

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 Scotland 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 
1 Dalyell's Musical Memoirs of 'Scotland, p. 34. 


Stoiy of the Bagpipe 

bagpipe 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 „,, . . , , .. 

lhe paucity or documents dealing with 

Scottish social life in the first half of the sixteenth 
century may explain the scant references to the bag- 
pipes during that period, yet it is an undeniable fact 
that the pipes are mentioned in the time of King 
David II., son 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. 1 
Dr. Leyden quotes from the Banantyne MS. an unedited 
poem written by Alexander Hume, minister of Logie, 
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 : — 

" Caus michtilie the warlie nottes breike 
On Heiland pipes, Scottes, and Hybernicke." 

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 an£ j yer y ruc j e an£ j 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 manner, going bare-legged 

1 In 1574 allusion is made to Edward Brown ats " ane Hieland 
pyper" (Acts of the Privy Council). 


Burgh Pipers 

to the knee." It is well to note that the truis, generally 
regarded as of Highland origin, was really introduced 
from Ireland, and this view is corroborated by Skene. 
The kilt or phillabeg cannot 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 they cover ^ * 
their bodies in time of 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 they use a bagpipe." 

With reference to the burgh or town pipers, 1 whose 

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

writes as follows : — " About springtime and 

harvest the town pipers were wont to make „" rs 

1 1 • ,• 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 

1 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 chief's establish- 

n . ment. These clan pipers, like their brethren 

.ripers r 

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 Diirer 
— Luscinius's Musurgia — Martin Agricola — Statue of piper at 
Nuremberg — Bagpipe in church — Bulgarian and Servian bagpipes 
— The Yolynka — 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 OWI * 

town pipers or waits. No doubt, the popu- Jl. 
larity of the bagpipe was due to the fact 
that by the charter of foundation of the monastery of 
Vienna (the famous Schottenkloster), in 1158, 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 Vienna from 11 58 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. 1 

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 

Legend of j g SU pp 0se( j to date from the close of the 

„. . thirteenth century — the locale beine Hamelin, 

Piper of . . & 

Hamel'n province of Hanover, in Prussia. The story 

goes that in June 1284 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 

1 Hormayr's History of Vienna^ p. 139. 

Pipers in Paris 

be thought of the tradition, one fact stands out in 

relief — 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. No 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 meistersingers. 
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 l P^ * 
Confrerie des Menetricrs at Paris, in 1321, 
incorporated by royal letters patent, in 1 331 , 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 c 

1407. 1 The bagpipe was likewise a popular 
instrument in Spain, and in Don Quixote allusion is 
made to " the bagpipes of Zamora." 

1 In 1572 Jean Girin, of Lyons, issued a Traiti de !a Musette. 

Story of the Bagpipe 

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

Italy, was the bagpipe a popular instrument. We learn 

from Boccaccio that, in the year 1348, when 

Boccaccio s pi orence W as visited with a plague, a basr- 

e crence p|p er accompanied the fugitives who retired 

B . from the plague-stricken city to the country. 

The reader will remember that Boccaccio 

introduces Pindaro as attending with his bagpipe, 

to the accompaniment oi which merry dances were 


In particular, Calabria was celebrated for its bag- 
pipers. Blunt, in his Vestiges of Ancient Manners and 
Customs, tells us that even in the last 
century the Calabrian pipers had preserved 
their old reputation. He adds that, a month 
previous to the great festival of Christmas, the Cal- 
abrian shepherds repaired to the towns, and performed 
folk melodies before a statue of the Blessed Virgin and 
the Infant Saviour. In a beautifully illustrated manu- 
script, Horae Beatae Meriae Virginus, dating from 1445, 
there are twelve exquisite miniatures, one of which 
represents the angel 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 n kj s j\f us ; ca g e futscht und auszgezogen, 


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

g • utmost rarity, is written in dialogue form, 

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


German Sackpfeife 



Among the wind instruments described by Virdung 
are the schalmey and the sackpfeife — in other words, 
the shawm (a primitive oboe, 
having a conical tube with double 
reeds), and the bag- 
pipe. 1 Many writers SchaIr 
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 chalu- 
meau is of the single beating reed 

One of the finest woodcuts of 
the early sixteenth century is the 

title-pagfe of a work _. . „ 

uv u a 4. r> • • Dcnis Roce 
published at Fans in 

15 10, 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 

1 Praetorius, in i6iS, 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 e\>', b\j ', and 
#', and a chanter having a compass up SACKPFEIFK (GROSSKR B fck>. 
to ( . From Prwtorius's Syntagonia (1618). 


A frF l, 

i 43?* 3Q{wms Bmtajjou* fonaiffimi 
1 26lafu agontfao puone Dc cowmv 

fe yiCMGF^JiPOllH^ jo 


tsienum erponutur a Btonffto K o 
cio moiagerentefubtwttftgnto&wi 
&)3rtmu3n luco fanctt 3Jaco&u 

II ———. . . i . i. .. . . p , IJ jl_. i. ,i. .mLU ' UM imizgMMFawTOaaiK n iiii wum iiiiii 

W mbbb """'"i»" i "'""™'"' t1 "'""' a i nagaMBHBaaBHBaBB 






Martin Agricola 

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 _.. 

. . Durcr 

Diirer, dated a.d. 1514. I subjoin 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 

I535- 1 

Many writers quote the Musurgia of Ottomar 
Luscinius, published in 1536, as a work of the ex- 
tremist rarity, and as second only in ... 
, .,,.,, . .. c Luscinius's 
importance to Virdunq: s. As a matter or _„ 

. . Musurgia 

fact Luscinius's book was in great part 

merely a Latin translation of Virdung's Musica 
Getutschl. Another great work dealing with medi- 
aeval musical instruments is Musica Instrumentalis 
deudsch, printed at Wittenberg by George 
Rhaw in 1529. The author, Martin Agri- . . 
cola — whose real name was Sohr — is best 
known as the inventor of a new tablature for 
the lute. 

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


Story of the Bagpipe 


German Shepherd 

GERMAN SHEl'HERD. A. V. 1555. 


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 

, T , used as an accompaniment for the folk 
Nuremberg r 

songs and hymns that were so much in 

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 

. E? « effectively used for religious services, 
in Church .... , , , 

especially in 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. 1 

Niebuhr highly praises the Bulgarian bagpipes, 

which were of exceeding sweetness. The Servian 

1 In Lacroix's Vie Militaire et Religiense an Moyen Age (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 BuI ga«an 

was brought to the church in a car drawn «, 

■ , rr i , , , , bervian 

by two buffaloes, headed by two stalwart Raenioes 

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 volynka, also known as pilai. 
Guthrie, writing in 1795, describes it as 
consisting of "two tubes and a mouthpiece 
all apart, inserted in a raw, hairy goatskin. Guagninus, 
in his Rerum Polonicorum, 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 (18 15), was much 
taken with the dudelsack, 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 
dndelsack 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, 1 relates that the shep- 
herds employed a bagpipe with 
two drones, so that their flocks 
might 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 Polyolbion— Lincolnshire pipers — Shakespeare's bag- 
pipe allusions — Worcester and Lancashire pipers— Nottingham 
pipers — The Coventry Mysteries. 

In the accounts of the Lords High Treasurer of 

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

entry of £8 8s. as payment to " Inglis 

pyparis that came to the Castel [Edinburgh] "Inglis 

and playit to the King," and in August 1491 Pyparis" 

seven unicorns were paid to three English „ * f 
a am., ? Scottish 

pipers. Again, on April 14th, 1506, a c 

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 

j£y 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 

/ there is a record of 6s. 8d. being paid to 

" Pudsey, piper on the bagpipes," 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 

1 v t York we find a payment made to "a piper 

that played upon a drone " before the 

Queen at Richmond. 1 

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. fi Eyen ag Duke of York he had a ban£j Qf 

. 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. {Hist. MSS. Com.) testify to the popu- 
larity of the bagpipe — e.g. : — "Oct. 1539: Item, in 

1 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 Decembre, 
to a drone bagpiper that plaed and song before the 
lades, Vlld." From an inventory of the musical in- 
struments in St. James's Palace at the death of Henry 
VIII. 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 

, • , , c r j Richard 

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

equal to about ^120 of our present money. 1 
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- 
larity of May games in the fourteenth and _, ay 
,« . r , . ... , Games 
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 

1 Richard Woodward was also royal piper to Queen Mary and Queen 
Elizabeth. He 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, 1 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 2 in his 
Anatomic 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 Lnte 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 Fitzwilliam 
Virginal Book. But of all the tunes connected with the 
May games the song of "Come, Lasses and Lads" — 

1 English Music (" Music Story" Series). 

2 See also Gosson's School of Abuse. 


" Drone of a Lincolnshire Bagpipe " 

which appears in Westminster 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 reign of Queen Elizabeth the 
bagpipe still maintained its popularity. Elizabeth's 
band of music in 1587 consisted of sixteen 
trumpets, nine minstrels, eight viols, six ^ uee " 

sackbuts, three players on the virginals, R , f 
two rebecks, lutes, harps, and a bagpipe. Music 

There is an illustration of an English 
bagpiper in the title-page of Drayton's Poc?ns, 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 Polyolbion, the 
first part of which was published in 1613. ^JJ 3 ? S 
After mentioning the various stringed in- „ . „ 

struments he continues: — 

"So there were some again, in this 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 

inco n- allusion to frogs croaking in the marshes 

•r,. of Lincoln, but the acute Irish scholar 

ripers .' 

Malone pointed out that the reference was 

to be taken literally, quoting as follows from Robert 

Armin's Nest of Ninnies 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 minstrels for the great chamber, the bagpipe for the 
hall; the minstrels to serve up the knight's meat and the 
bagpipe for the common dancing." 1 

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 

qi * o it r » 

Merchant of Venice (Act iv., Sc. 1) in two 

J? . places. The allusion to a " woollen bag- 

Bagpipe .... ...,, T • I J 

• ft ■ P'P e 1S to (Juleann, 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 

1 Drayton in his Polyollnon (1613) tells us of the "Lincoln swains 
in shepherds' guy and girls in Lincoln green ": — 

" 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 moris 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 „. 

r r Pipers 

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 1 
(Eclogue v.) thus writes : — 

" I saw a shole of shepherds outgo 
With singing, 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 folks make such jouissance 
Made my heart after the pipe to dance." 

A writer in the first few years of the reign of James I., 
under date of 1609, sa y s : — " The Courts of Kings for 

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


Story of the Bagpipe 

stately measures, the City for light heels and nimble 
footing- ; Western men for gambols, 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 
centurv, when the rhythm as now danced was changed 
tof ' 

In addition to Worcestershire and Lancashire the 

pipers of Nottingham were also celebrated, but none 

of them excelled Lincolnshire, so lauded 

o ing am ^ y Elizabethan writers. From the Rutland 
iripers . . 

papers it would seem that pipers trom 

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 

oven ry vear j:Sa, a bagpiper named Cochrane, 

Mysteries ' 

played at the Coventry Mysteries. 




Diirer's Irish piper — The siege of Boulogne — The piob mor — Stani- 
hurst's description — Father William Good, S.J. — State pardons 
to pipers — Camden's account — Vincenzo Galilei — Derrick's Image 
of Ireland — Shakespeare's "woollen" pipes — Battle of the 
Yellow Ford — Dermot MacGrath — Battle of the Curlews — Rinnce 
f ada — 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 f 

indulged in as to the circumstances under -,,-,, 

. • 1 <n... r j 1 • , • »*• Irish riper 

which Durer 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 

_, , Power. Holinshed writes that in May 1=544 

Boulogne T . . „ , , / °. ^ 

the Irish troops "passed through the city 

of London, in warlike manner, with bagpipes be/ore 

them, 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 piob mor (or Irish war pipes) was heard in 

Scotland in the campaign of 1542, as Ireland con- 

„, f „,. tributed 2,000 kerne to assist in the Border 
Piob Mor ___ ' , , . . 

Wars. beven years later — namely, in 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 



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 

u j-i-Lt-j a- ■ • " l j ■ Stanihurst's 

bound with bands. A pipe is inserted in 

the side of this skin, through which the 

piper, with his swollen neck and puffed up cheeks, blows 

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 different 

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 Maimers and Customs of 
the Wild Irish, written at the request of *, r 

Camden, in 1566, thus writes of the piob „ . „ . 
mor: — "They love music mightily, and of 
all instruments, are particularly taken with the harp. 
. . . They use the bagpipe in their war instead of a 

From official records we learn that State pardons 
were granted to the following pipers between the 
years 1550 and 1585 : — Hugh buidhe and Cormac 
the piper, in 1550; John O'Doran and Morgan the 

9 1 

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; 

„ a ? Thomas reagh, in 1582; Morgan the piper 

Pardons to , T , „. ., ,. c . . , 

p, and John Piers, " chief musician and piper 

to Sir Gerald Fitzgerald of Dromana," in 

1584; 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 

Account a a 11 * a » 

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 1! J. f C ? 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. With it also they accom- 
pany their dead to the grave, making 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, 
though more or less caricatures, are of interest. 
The first of these is from John Derrick's 
Image of Ireland, " made and devised 
anno 1578," and dedicated to Sir Philip j - . 
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 sweale, 
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 plaie, 

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 1581. 


Shakespeare's " Woollen >J Pipes 

was an event 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 {piob mor) and the comparatively 

modern Uillcann pipes. Dalyell, in his 

Musical Memoirs \ says that " nothing can be z ~ 

less consonant with the loud tumult of war ,.—,,« „ 

t • , , • ,, "Woollen" 

than the present Irish bagpipe. A more Pines 

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 piob 
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 bee» 
puzzled over the term " woollen " pipes in the Merchant 
of Venice (Act. iv., Sc. 1), 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 we 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 H 

Story of the Bagpipe 

depicting - — very rudely it must be confessed — the rout 
of Tyrone and O'Donnell at Ballyshannon in 1595, is in 
the British 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 nior was heard effectively at the great battle 
of the Yellow Ford on August 14th, 1598, when Marshal 

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

was utterly defeated by the Irish forces 
p , 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. 1 

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 
ermo recorded in the Fiants of Elizabeth, pardon 

was granted to him " at the suit of 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- 

1 An Anglo-Irish contingent fought in France and Picardy 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 English officers, 

thus writes: — "They were brave men, these 

pipers. The modern military band retires . .. 

as its resfiment gfoes 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 Irish 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. Lender the name of the Faddy, or Furry 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Dance the Rinnce Fada is annually footed on the 8th of 
May at Helston, in Cornwall. 1 

The sword dance was also tripped to the bagpipe. 
This dance, in the Elizabethan epoch, was most popular 
in Ireland, and is thus described by Fynes 
wc 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." 

Fynes Moryson, from whom the above quotation is 

made, lived some years in Ireland as secretary to Lord 

Mountjoy. He thus describes the amuse- 

,7 ments of the Irish : — " They delieht much in 

Moryson . . . , 

dancing, using no arts of 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 clpin. 

1 The tune of the "Furry" dance is the Irish An Maidhrin ruad/t, 
subsequently published as "Jamaica," better known as " Let Erin 

9 8 



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

The popularity of the bagpipes in England in the first 

quarter of the seventeenth century is attested by Ben 

Jonson, and references to the subject are 

scattered throughout his works. In his 

r* • • n t 771 1 r Jonson 

Lripsies Metamorphosed he makes one 01 

his characters say : " We'll have a whole poverty of 
pipers ; call checks upon the bagpipe." In Bar- 
tholomew Fair (161 4) 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 I., who had granted a new charter to the 

Company of Musicians of the city of London, on July 

8th, 1604, issued a proclamation in 1618, 

n £ in which the "wisest fool in Christendom" 

lf m , laid down the specific sports and pas- 

Proclama- . , , , _ , , ,.««■« 

times regarded as lawful for his English 

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 
orrice Marian. There were usually only two 

musicians. One of 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- 
games. This is evident from scores of contemporary 

Thus, William Browne, in his Britannia's Pastorals, 
published in 1625, says: — 

" I have seen the Lady of the May, 

Set in an arbour on a holy day, 
Built by the Maypole, where the jocund swains 
Dance to the maidens 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 London 
years 1604-40 may be described as quite a Minstrels 
gala time for the minstrels. Bartholomew 
Fair and Smithfield Fair proved happy hunting grounds 
for the pipers, to which must be added Stourbridge 
Fair at Cambridge. In 1630, owing to the plague, 
King Charles I. forbade the holding of these three 
fairs, but the revels in other years went on gaily till 


Story of the Bagpipe 

1649. A fine pipe melody of this epoch is " Jack a 

Lent," printed by Playford in 1670. 

We asre, fortunately, able to reproduce an illustration 

of an English piper of the year 1637, which gives 

an excellent idea of the instrument of 
An English that period- It ; s taken from the tit]e 

6 page of Drayton's Poems, as published by 

John Smethwick in 1639, 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 
M , 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 tQ Belvo ; r) as were a i s0 these of Edward 

ip Brock, a blind harper. But, apparently, 

as we learn from other sources, the Lancashire pipers 
were held in very great esteem under King Charles I. 
The following reference to the bewitching 
Lancas ire p 0wers f a Lancashire bagpipe is to be 
found in Heywood's Lancashire Witches 
(Act iii., Sc. 1), in 1634: — " She has spoke to purpose, 
and whether this were witchcraft or not, I have heard 



Story of the Bagpipe 

my aunt say twenty times that no witchcraft can take 
hold of a Lancashire bag-pipe, for itself is able to charm 
the Devil, I'll fetch him." 

It would seem that as late as 1641 bagpipes were 
requisitioned to lighten the labours of the harvesters, 
v , and in Best's Rural Economy in Yorkshire in 

p. 1641 (Surtees Society, 1857), there is an 

entry that " at my Lord Finche'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 
Playford's Dancing Master, in 1651, which went 
jyr „ through fourteen editions between the year 

1651 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. 1 Again were 
es ora ion seen t j ie M orr j s dances, 2 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 

1 On February 23rd, 1663-64, William Toilet was appointed " Bag- 
piper-in-Ordinary" to King Charles II. (see The King s Mustek). 

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


Northumberland Pipers 

Dutchman's fig), 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 in his Hudibras .— "Hudibras" 

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

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

Between the years 1674 and 1684 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 £1 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, Northum - 

^1 xt ,, , • , • , ,- • berland 

the Northumbrian bagpipes became distinc- -n. 

»r r Pipers 

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 Highland, 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 Highland pipe is blown by 
the mouth, whereas the Lowland and Northumbrian 
pipes are inflated by bellows ; but I shall deal with the 
subject in a succeeding chapter. 

Under King James II. several dramatic writers 
allude to the bagpipe as the prevalent instrument for 
the masses, and it is certain that at rustic 
v ' gatherings the piper still held sway. In 

a tragi-comedy, entitled The 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 

"Southwark ° f a ba £P ! P er P ,a } rin &; This dates from 
p . „ 1733- Hogarth also introduces 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 
Micrologus — 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 

.. r r , Drone Bass 

most rudimentary torm or 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 p e ,' 

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 

Organum, 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 

, r T 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), 
generally 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 

1 08 

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 harmony, apart from the •tyogres- 

harmonies produced by counterpoint, or the _,, . A . 

,. . r r , ,. », • Thirds and 

combining - of melodies. . . . Alternative Sixths 

drones of this nature were found in the 
Northumbrian bag-pipe, 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, ' 

the Apostle of Northumbria, and his Irish ' 

monks must have taught Irish sinsrin&r, as ., . . 

& . & ° ' thumbna 

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 Micrologics. 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 Bagpipe 



" Fitz- 
Book " 

But the most interesting sixteenth-century specimens 
of pedal point are to be found in the Fitzwiliiam 
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, 

t there is a wonderful piece of programme 

R r * yr s music called "Mr. Byrd's Battle." Three 

of 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 

r ... , in the Fitzwiliiam Virginal Book, is Byrd's 

Galliard, which is beyond any manner of 

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. Naylor's Elizabethan Virginal 
Book: — 


(showing Drone Bass) 

circa 1596. 

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 TT nc . Ire 
j , i- , , / * . r- Hornpipes 

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 1 were given. 

1 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 

Pastoral , . , , , T . , 

o « on a 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 
rls , 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, 

" '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 loure, especially popular 


Spohr's " Piffero " 

in Normandy, gave its name to an old dance, in J 
rhythm, somewhat slower than the gigue or jig. 



From the fact of the dance being invariably 
associated with the loure, or bagpipe, the 
name loure came to mean a musical phrase 
played in the style of the bagpipe melodies, 
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 ^th, 1816, quotes a piffero or bag- 

,-,,j? 1 • r> Spohr's 

pipe tune, which had been popular in Rome, Piffero 

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. no tod by Spohr. 




State pardons — Ben Jonson's Irish Masque — War-pipes — The con- 
federate period — " Lament for Owen Roe" — Battle of Knockna- 
cross — " MacAlistrurrj's March " — Irish pipers in the Barbadoes — 
l'ipers 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 

MacHugh na bralie, an Irish piper ; and in the 

following month there is a record of State 
State . 

pardons to John intlea, a wandering piper 

from County Cork ; Cosney MacClancy, of 

Cloonanna, County Limerick ; Bryan MacGillechrist, 

Fergus O'Farrell, Donal O'Farrell, and Patrick 

O'Farrell, four pipers from County Wexford ; Daniel 

and Conor O'Cullinane, of County Cork ; and Richard 

buidhe Macjames, of County Wexford, pipers, were 

pardoned in May. Turlogh the piper, Owen and 

Dermot O'Delaney were pardoned in J une I and in 

August a similar mark of favour was extended to 

John O'Tracy and Donogh O'Cullinane, pipers. In 

September 1601 pardon was granted to Cathal O'Kelly, 

Donogh buidhe 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 MacDonagh, piper ■, was taken into 

favour on February 28th, 1603. Under King - James, 

in 1603, Bryan buidhc 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 n 

.... , , Jonson s 

six men and six bovs dancing - to the bag- .. T . f 

™ . c ' r . , Irish 

pipe. This fact, apart from other evidence, Masaue" 

implies that it was then customary to dance 

country dances to the accompaniment of a bagpipe. 

The piob ?nor, or the Irish war-pipes, continued in 

favour whenever the Irish engaged in battle, and the 

brave pipers always led on the army in __ _, 

\v 3-T x IPCS 

warfare. Fynes 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, 


Story of the Bagpipe 

from 1642 to 1648, that the bagpipe was in all its 
glory, especially the piob mor. On the Thursday 

before Ash Wednesday 1642 Richard 
- j " Stephenson, High Sheriff of Limerick, 

p . , was shot at Kilfinny, "as he came up in 

the front of the army, with his drums and 

pipers'''' (Diary of Lady Dowdall, as quoted in Gilbert's 

History of the Irish Confederation}. 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. 

Having 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 Lament 
" Lament . 

. _ was composed, and the Irish war-pipers 

tor Owen 
R „ 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- 
Donnell on November i-;th, 1647, whose 
Knockna- . « . , 

remains were attended to at the grave by 
noss ( ° J 

a band of Irish war-pipers. Dr. Charles 
Smith, writing in 1750, says: — "There is a very odd 


(i 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 ac ~ 

the remains of 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 Insh f'P" s 

O'Brien, an Irish piper, who had been „ , A 

, T ^ ^ 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 inciting- to rebellion." 

The Irish regimental pipers at this epoch had 28s. a 

month, almost equal to ^20 of present value. When 

the Irish Regiment of Guards was formed 

in 1662, we find provision made for a drum , *L., , 

e , . the King's 

major, twenty-four 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 Je sts 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Refitted and Enlarged (1684): — "In Ireland, a bag- 
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 

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 Jests, 
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 , 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 went 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 draeoons were allotted -° 

° . Derry 

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 

g, 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 sie^e of 

Limerick many of the war pipers went to er ^ C p U Ion 

the continent with the "Wild Geese," and ( ,,.. 
1 , , rr 1 , under King 

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 1st, 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 




Praelorius and Mersenne — Cornemuse — Musette — Destouches, the 
royal piper — The Band of the Grand Ecurie — Borgon's Traite dc 
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 — Hotteterre's 
Meihode pour la Musette — Henri Baton — Philippe Chedeville — 
Jean Fery 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 early years 

c .1 .. . ,,, • Praetorius 

or the seventeenth century. Mersenne, in 

1636, deals at considerable length with the -^ 

five classes of pipes. Of these the most 

popular in France were the cornemuse and the 


I have previously alluded to the cornemuse, or 

cornamusa, which was a primitive form of bagpipe. 

It may be described as a pipe blown by the 

mouth, with a chanter of eight finger 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 uilleann, or 

elbow, pipes, blown from a bellows, and having- double 

, T reeds throughout. 1 Musenne, in i6-?6, de- 

Musette .. ° ,,.,'. ° 

scribes it as a most delightful instrument. 

Originally consisting of "one chanter with apertures 

lor 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- 

., -c ' meau. In the hands of Destouches, the 

the Royal , ' 

Piper 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. 2 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 from/' 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 

1 Musette is the diminutive form of Muse. In 950 St. Wolstan uses 
the word Musa for an organ pipe. Giralt de Calanson, in 1210, gives 
the Muse as among the nine instruments that a Jongleur played. 

2 In 1575 there was but one musette-player in the Court Band, but 
the number had increased to four musettes in 1649 (Ecorcheville, Sam. 
I.M.G., ii. 4). 


French Bagpipes in 1 640 

in number, are all fitted into one cylinder, being brought 

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 B *f d °! 

the band of the Grand Ecurie, and was Y : 

1 • , r 11 , rxurie 

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 M T . 
Charles Emmanuel Borgon, a French , ™ „ 

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, 

But perhaps the most extraordinary development 

of the musette cult at this period was that it became 

the fad of titled ladies of fashion. Tust as 

in the case of the harp in the eighteenth T rcnc 

century so was musette the favoured instru- _, , 

' _ , , rr . T Play the 

ment of French dames under Kin<r Louis tj 

» bagpipe 

XIV. On this account the most costly 
materials were employed for the higher grade French 


Story of the Bagpipe 

bagpipes, 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 tc 
mention here that, in 1659, John Francis O'Farrel! 
(Jean Francois Ferrel), a native of Anjou, of 
'° n , Irish descent, published at Paris a remark- 

~,p TJ able pamphlet on the rights of French 
dancing masters, whose chief, the roi des 
menetriers, 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 
^f an , French opera. This set a hall-mark, so to 

t ft speak, on the musette. Louis XIV. made 

Lully master of the Petits Violons, who 
soon surpassed the famous Les Vingt-quatre Violons 
dn Roi ("Four and twenty fiddles all in a row"). 
His Acts et Galatce was produced on September 6th, 
1686, and he died on March 22nd of the following 
year. 1 

It will doubtless be of interest to reproduce a drawing 
David's °^ tne m usette — namely, C. David's illustra- 
Musette tion of " A Player on the Musette," engraved 
Player by Leblond. 

1 Though the musette was introduced into the French orchestra in 
1670, the contra basso was not employed till 17 16. 




Story of the Bagpipe 

All through the seventeenth century the musette con- 
tinued fashionable, and at a remarkable fete given by 
the Prince de Conde at Chantilly in 1688 in 

rince honour of the Dauphin the host appeared 

de Cond6 „ ,, . , , c 

as Fan, "accompanied by a train of 
patronizes ... , , , . 

the Ba^oioe sne pherds 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 Corelli), 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 terre ' s Methode pour la Musette. Hotteterre 
" Methode , , -,. , .. * . . .. . 

* (whose Christian name is incorrectly eiven 

pour la 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 17 11-25. 

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 Philippe 
Chedeville, a member of the opera orchestra 
from 1725 to 1749. Almost equally dis- *7* , *JJ e 
tinguished 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 ' ean ' * y 
Les Plaisirs champetres, which opens with a 
delightful Musette as follows: — 




But though the perfected instrument partially dis- 
appeared in the second half of the eighteenth 
century, the primitive form of the musette French 

was retained in the French army; in fact, Re £'™ entaI 
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 bagpiper at Perth was 

prosecuted for playing on the great pipe, as 

- a ^!^F ° n appears from the Kirk Session Register, 
the "Great F ^ , . r ~ . , ., . S . . ' 

p. „ . under date of October 30th, quoted by 

jg 2 , 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 
gmana j g corro b or ated by contemporary evidence. 
A Also it was deemed essential to have bag- 

pipes in the newly-formed regiments. Thus, 
when Alexander MacNaughton was commissioned to 


Clan Pipers 

raise some two hundred men for service in the French 
wars, he took care to provide a piper. Writing to 
Lord Morton from Falmouth under date of January 
15th, 1628, he informs him that "the bagg pypperis 
and Marlit Plaidis " proved very serviceable. He adds 
that Alaster Caddil, the piper, and his gillie, 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 regular 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 rejcc _ 
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 form to be used within sic a 
famous burgh, and being of te?i found fault with, as well 
by sundry neighbours of the town 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 
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 • ,1 at • j t j e tr 

n married Maurice, second Lord of Kerry, 

Dunvegan . _ ' _ . , , , J , 

who was one ot the Irish nobles summoned 

to attend King Edward I. 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: " Ufo 
JohannisMich 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 
MacCrim- ^ MacLeods until the death of Donald 

MacCrimmon in 1845. 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 ??wr f was sent to 



Ireland to learn the pipes, as is admitted by all 
authorities. This 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 great that 
no one was considered a perfect player who had not 
been instructed or finished by them. Donald mor 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 year of his 

In a previous chapter I alluded to the exaggerated 
claims put forward for certain old Scotch tunes. Even 
the probable dates assigned for some 
pibrochs do not stand close scrutiny, and ament 

none of them can with absolute certainty be „ T . ,, 
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- 
ence, in 1628, to the employment of bag-- Re gi™ entaI 
• 4-u • 4, r- t. 1 Pipers 

pipers in the war against France. Twelve 

years later we come across another reference as to the 
pipes in the Scottish regiments. Lord Lothian, in 1641, 

I 3 I 

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 ive are well provided of 
■pipers. I have one for every company in my regiment, 
and I think they are as good as drummers." 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, 16S0, 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 
opu ari y recent wr ;t er j n the Athenceum (1906) 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, 1768. 
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 Moray, 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 other 1693, and there is no doubt but it was worn 
long before the time of the ingenious Rawlinson. 

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 T , f ,. 

\ au i- wi «■ «-• ti Invc rIoch y 

unsupported by any reliable testimony. 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 mor MacCrimmon , 

about the year 1661, composed a pibroch entitled : 

" Fhuair mi pog a laimh an Righ," or " I 

got a Kiss of the King's Hand," the _ " I sot a 
, . • .. ... , • . Kiss of the 

occasion being a visit with his master, bir „.. , 

Roderick MacLeod of MacLeod, to King Hand " 

Charles II. However, the structure ot the 

tune is distinctly eighteenth-century, and, probably, the 

tradition confused King Charles II. 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 , , 

of the tune. The dates range from 1644 to March" 

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 Ban 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 
f is very Irish in its characteristics. In his 
~ . Short History of the English Rebellion, in 

1648, Needham savagely denounces the 
Presbyterians 1 for their opposition to the royal cause, 
and he concludes his acrimonious satire as follows : — 

" The Scotch 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 Warriston : — "Poor Sir 

Archibald Johnston, woe is me for thee, for 

,r thou hadst thought to be a muckle laddy, 

, , but now the piper of Kilbarchan will laugh 

Johnston , •.»-••«.. t,- 

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 

'., Semple wrote a quasi-humorous poem in 

Kilbarchan _, . , _ - ,, 

Scottish metre. One of the verses quotes 

two favourite pipe tunes as played by Habbie : — 

" Now who shall play the Day it Daws ? 
Or Hunt's Up when the cock he craws ? 
Or who can for our Kirktown cause, 
Stand us in stead ? 

1 In 1649 it was enacted by the Edinburgh Presbytery that hence- 
forth " ther could be no pypers at brydels." 

J 34 

Skye College of Pipers 

Our bagpipes now no body blaws 
Sen Habbie's dead." 

A third satirical allusion to the great Highland bag- 
pipe is to be found in A Modern Account of Scotland, in 
1679, by an Englishman, Thomas Kirke. 
Writing of the music of the Highlands, he K , , 

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 tlon °* thc 

from the Lowland instrument, and from that ~ 

of Northumbria. However, I 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 J? 

& . .ripers 

hall-mark of 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 

J 35 

Story of the Bagpipe 

time only taught by "pattern" playing - and chanting 

forth the air in a language peculiar to the hereditary 

pipers. Dalyell, in his Musical Memoirs, 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 time of memory, a 

college of pipers, under the direction of MacCrimmon, 

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 ., c -. „ . , ., , 

pupils of 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 Clack a phiobair — Battle of Killiecrankie — The Act of 
Abjuration — Union of the two crowns — " Sherrifmuir 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 1st, 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 Lc £ end of 

Highlanders across the hill, but a wounded , , < , ,, 

• 11, r , r 1 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 

Chich 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 

f . in Atkinson's MS. in 1694, although it is only 

crankie . . . y ^ a . J 

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 

... , passing word may be said as to the Act of 
Abjuration \,. **. . _,. A i „ . „ 

Abjuration in 1701. This 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 ,. TT . T ... 

„ numerous anti-Union songs. In particular 

Crowns .■,,.,, . , TT • 

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 bag-pipe tune known as the " Sheriff - 
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 »» . „ 
in 1547, though the words to which it is 
sung were only written in 1645, or later. The battle of 
Sheriffmuir was fought on November 13th, 171 5, 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 

*' TT A 

battle. The name of the song has been p an , 

corrupted to " Up and waur them a'," from ■,?,.... ,', 

• 1 i- r 1 , Willie 

a misunderstanding of the C7-antara, and 

hence we find a song in The Charmer \\\ 1752, the first 

verse of which is as follows : — 

" When we went 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', Willy." 

The music for this song will be found in Oswald's 
Caledonian Pocket Companion in 175 1 , 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', Willie." 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. 1 

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 "Au Seanduine" ("The Old Man"). It 

passed over to Scotland earlv in the 
arc . 

■„» eighteenth century, and at once became 

coming ° J / 

popular. The earliest reference to it is in 
the Wodroiv Correspondence (Vol. XI., 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 

1 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 1 " 


Archers' Meeting in 1715 

of it out of the windows, which mortified the Jacobites." 
This reference shows that the tune 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 Lornonds 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 
generals were asleep the rebels marched ei " re . ° 
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 1 at 

Edinburgh, the bagpipe was in evidence. From a letter 

preserved among the manuscripts of the 

Duke of Montrose there is an account o-iven * c c * s 

, . , , • • Meeting 

or 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 

1 A procession of the Royal Company of Archers at Edinburgh in 
1734 was 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 i • 
_, , „ doned, and he contiuued his career as a 
Kob Koy r . , - 

freebooter during the years 1715-16, creating 

no small sensation by capturing Graham, the deputy 
Sheriff, in November 1716. At length, on June 3rd, 
1 717, he surrendered at Dunkeld, and was imprisoned 
at Logyrate, but escaped three days later. Rob Roy 
died 1 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 

,, y composed by her on the occasion of 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 
u-w-t account says that the young 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 

1 Just before he died he asked to have " Chatil me tulidk" 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 
got swelled to the century for poetic effect in the 
song " Wi' 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 Mustek'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 1 that it 
was regarded as an "instrument of war." 
This point is amply proved by the fact that R . , 

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 suffered death at York, on 
November 6th, 1746, as is reported in the contemporary 
Caledonia?i Mercury. 

As a matter of fact, Prince Charlie himself was a 
tolerable performer on the bagpipes, and, according to 

1 The tune of "Over the water to Charlie" is now admitted 
to be of Irish origin. It was printed under a corrupt Irish title in 

143 L 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Sir Walter Scott, had several sets of pipes. His 

favourite bagpipe was sold at the sale of effects of 

his brother, Prince Henry, Cardinal of York, 

~" inc< ; f who died at Frascati, in 1807, and was 

„ . acquired by Mr. Richard Lees of Gala- 

rsagpipes . 

shiels, from whom the instrument passed 

to his granddaughter, Mrs. Stewart of Sweethope. 

Rob Roy's son, James MacGregor, was also a good 

pipe player. After the '48 debacle he went to Paris, 

where he spent the remainder of his days 

MacGregor endurin S man y hardships. In 1754, about 
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 belonging to it, I would put them 
in order, and play some melancholy tune, which I may 
now in safety, and in real truth. Forgive my not going 
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 Culloden put an end to the 
hopes of the Jacobites, and, not long afterwards, the 
clan system of the Highlanders was corn- 
Dispersal plete i y broke,, up# with the dispersal of 

,-,, clans, the distinctive dress, the social 

Clans ' 

customs, and the bagpipe 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 things, the principal records of our 
ancient Piobaireachd were the 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 „ ar ° 
. . .. , . , . . . Marischall 

tunes then existing, " 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 ar 7 

fame as a maker of bagpipes was celebrated ™ , 
for a quarter of a century, and his daughter 
was even more famous, who 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 ~ , , 

... c t- 1 1 . , , iiaglesham 

said town of Eaglesham, to play through 

the town morning and evening every lawful day." 




Improvements in the Uilleann pipes — Larry Grogan — " Ally Croker" 
— Pipers at social gatherings — Matthew Hardy — The piob mor at 
Fontenoy — Wind band replaces the pipes — Handel admires pipe 
music — " Der arme Irisch junge" — Rev. Dr. Campbell — The 
Bishop of Kilmore as a piper — Parson Sterling — Dr. Burney's 
appreciation of the Uilleann pipes — The Irish bagpipe in 1751 — 
Piper Jackson — 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 1715 the Uilleann pipes were improved 
somewhat, and became very popular. 
Improve- Many distinguished amateurs took up the 
merit in the r ,, . , 

__,„ pipes in preference to the harp, and con- 

p. sequently the instrument had quite a 

vogue, "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., 

arry ^ 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 vagaries 

of a disappointed suitor of Miss Alicia 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 1720, it was 

. . " Ally 

introduced into Love in a Riddle, subsequently c . ;, 

acquiring a greater vogue from the singing 
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 turf, 
as we learn from Faulkner's Journal that on August 
31st, 1743, Puree Creagh's horse, Larry Grogan, won 
the ^10 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 ip * rS . a t 

matches of the early eighteenth centurv r lt . ' 

• , , ..,**.. . , J 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 

Templeogrie dances, where Irish jigs — notably "The 

Major" and "The Best in Three" — were merrily 

footed to the accompaniment of the bagpipes. 

From gay to grave the bagpipe was requisitioned, 

and no important Irish funeral took place unless headed 

by a band of war-pipes. A contemporary 

TT , notice of the burial of Matthew Hardy, a 

Hardy . 

remarkable Irish piper, in 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 
Piob Mor May iithj J745? when the Irish Brigade 

tt turned the tide of victory for the French 

fontenoy . ~, 

against the Fnglish troops. The two tunes 

played on the pio b 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, 1 but as late as December 1759 Lieutenant Colonel 

1 There is a good specimen of the Irish piob mor in the Musee de 
Cluny, Paris, said to have belonged to one of the pipers of the Irish 


Irish War-pipers in New York 

Morgan, of the Irish Light Infantry, advertised in 

the Cork Evening Post that "good Irish pipers will 

meet with particular encouragement" as "gentleman 

volunteers." 1 

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 zl . 

.. • '• . • r- Replaces 

the ancient instrument in 174^. rrom if n . 

. ^ the Fipes 
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 Armatas (1683) thus 
writes: — "In some places a piper is allowed to each 
company; Ihe Germans have him, and I look upon their 
pipe as a warlike instrument. 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 

1 Lord Rawdon formed a corps of the "Volunteers of Ireland'' 
(400 strong), at New York in 177S, and he had a hand of Irish war- 
pipers, with Barney Thomson as pipe major. In 17S0 this corps 
merged into the 10.5th Regiment. Rawdon became Earl of Moira 

in 1793- 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Whilst the great Handel was in Dublin in 1741-42 he 

was much interested in Irish folk music. 

Handel jj[ e wag not on jy taken with the harp, but 

admires w . fch t ^ bagpipe, anc j it is on record that he 

Pipe Music . or . ' T , , 

sometimes sat in Sam Lee s music shop in 

the Little Green listening- to an itinerant piper. His 
Sketch Book, now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, 

"? C , rme Cambridge, contains an interesting Irish 
air, which he calls " Der arme Irische 
Junge," or "The Poor Irish Boy." I here 

give it in Handel's notation: — 

Junge " 


Taken down by HANDEL In 1748. 

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, 
ev " r ' 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 Tippcrary, 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." 


lt Parson " Sterling 

Dr. Campbell, Catholic Bishop of Kilmore (owing 

to the severity of the Penal Laws) went 

about in the «-uise of a basrpiper; and to T ' s °^° 
...... . j • , . • Kilmore as 

this day there is preserved in the palace in p. 

Cavan a portrait of the Bishop, who was 

a skilled performer, dressed in the garb 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 " 

Sterling, and composed many popular tunes. „ 

His wife was the Irish actress Miss Lydell, 

the first Dublin Polly of the Beggars' Opera in 1728, 

who retired from the stage in 1732. He published his 

poetical works at Dublin in 1734, and received Peg 

Woffington'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. Barney s 

It is satisfactory to be able to quote no , , 

1 1 • % t-» « • ■ °* tne 

less an authority than Dr. Burney in praise Tjjff eann p: oe 

of the Irish Uilleann pipes. 1 Burney, 

writing to Joseph C. Walker (author of Historical 

Memoirs of the Irish Bards) in 1775, says: — "The 

instrument at present used in Ireland is an improved 

1 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 tivo 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 "well in tune, 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- 

" s , piper, who, every fine evening after working 

sP P- hours, collects all the young men and maids 
in 1751 . . 

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 piper," who lived at Jackson's 

Turret, near Ballingary, County Limerick. 
* He was always known as " Piper Jackson," 

to distinguish him 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" 



Brush " 

will he left a sum of ^60 a year to the poor of Ballin- 
garry 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 lightning in 1826, but it 
had been derelict since the last decade of the 
eighteenth century. Perhaps the best example of his 
style is the well-known Jackson's " Morning Brush," 
which O'Keeffe introduced into his Agreeable Surprise, 
arranged by Arnold in 1781. I here subjoin the melody 
from a MS. collection of the year 1776: — 


circa 1770. 

Another remarkable "gentleman 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 
in great style — two houses, servants, 
hunters, etc. His pipes were small and of ivory, tipped 
with silver and gold. 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- 

oore ea p OSer Another son, Alexander, was leader 

t-, ., 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 Uilleann pipes 

in the Dublin Museum, the oldest of which 

Uilleaun j fi ^ated 1768, and is said to have belonged 

~ , ,. to Lord Edward Fitztrerald. Another very 

Dublin _ , r t , , 

Mfine set dates from the year 1770, made by 

useum * ' ' ' J 

the elder Kenna, of Dublin, a famous maker, 
another of whose instruments, dated 1789, is also in the 


a k o 



T > a 
r w b 
E a o 

u 2 3 

h " - 

t, a 

O « . 

- K Q f- 

- 5 a < 

: j 

^ Ll. ~ 

: ^ C Z 
: * ? z 


f" I s 

Maggie Pickins " 

Museum. 1 Subjoined is an illustration of the Fitzgerald 

Although a Tutor for the Highland Bagpipes had 
been issued in 1784, it was not until the year 1799- 
1801 that O'Farrell's Tutor appeared. This 

author, O'Farrell, was an excellent player 

, ..... . , . , Tutor 

on the Uilleann pipes, and in 179c 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. 2 

One of the popular pipe melodies of the mid- 
eighteenth century was " Maggie Pickins," which a 

tourist in I7s6 heard in County Doneeal. 

t. i- / • • «■ • "Maggie 

Its earliest appearance in print was in „ 

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 Museum, 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 

1 John Wayland, of Cork, has a fine set, made by the elder Kenna, 
dated 1783. 

2 This treatise is very interesting, and is printed in Appendix F. 

J 55 

Story of the Bagpipe 

known as a cotnposer 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. 1768. 

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 

native of 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 

£ v * Irish bagpipes — that most ancient and per- 

jy, ... feet 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 17S5 — " Failte a l'hrionsai" — 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 1778, a number of enthusiastic Scotchmen in 
London, anxious for the encouragement of the bag- 
pipe, determined to found an association 

T7 A' 

in which yearly competitions on the great bounding 
pipe should be the outstanding feature. „, . 

Thus was founded the Highland Society of Societv 
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 

tions. Dalyell tells us that "the competitors were 

most properly removed from view, per- 

ll . forming- in a court, while those who were 

„to determine their qualities remained in 
1 78 1 M 

an apartment." The winner of the first 

prize (a bagpipe) was Patrick MacGregor, 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 

, asgow meetings. The date of all three gatherings 
sfivcs ■ • r 

was arranged 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 

Edinburgh cu i t i vat i on f t h e bagpipe. But, not content 

with this, a committee was formed which 

three years later developed into the Highland 

Society of Edinburgh. 

The second and third competitors at Falkirk were on 

the lines of the first gathering, but, instead of three 

days, the performance was limited to one 

ompc 1 ion ^^ from 9 a.m. to 5 P.M. John Mac- 

Allister (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 MacDonald of Clanranald, at which "Professor'* 
Mac Arthur assisted. The competition of 1784 was 
held at Edinburgh, under the auspices of the High- 
land Society of Edinburgh, and the first prize was 
awarded to John MacGregor, sen., of Fortingall. 
The number of prizes given at each gathering from 
1781 to 1809 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 
1784 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 ^ dam 


Wealth of Nations, was present at the per- 

_ J , , . r . r present 

formance, and to him we owe the account 

furnished by the great geologist, whose guest he was. 

As this work, published in 17S4, 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 arid an aeitated _ rap . IC 
• 11 ■ u- ■ > * * Ti j- Description 

air, blowing his noisy instrument, the dis- u tj\ a 

cordant sounds of which were enough to rend g t p onc j 

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 
r 8 of Clanranald, when twenty-five competitors 

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 Phrionsa " 

as Dalyell tells us that one pipe tune, "Failte a 

Phrionsa," was played by twenty-four competitors 

consecutively. MacDonald in 1806 adds that from 

1785 to 1805 " there had not been above a dozen of 

different tunes played at the annual competition of 

pipers in Edinburgh." 

In Major-General Thomson's Ceol Mor, a magnificent 

collection of about two hundred and seventy-five 

pibrochs, "Failte a Phrionsa," or "The „ 

Prince's Salute," is ascribed to Tohn Mac- _, . ,, 

T . .. _ , Phrionsa" 

lntyre, in 17 15, on the landing or the 

Pretender. Anyhow, it is remarkable that the prize 
winner at the 17S5 meeting was Donald Maclntyre, of 
Rannoch, age seventy-five. It is equally remarkable 
that at the 1788 meeting this pibroch was only given 
twice, whilst it disappeared altogether from the pro- 
gramme of 1796. 

There is no gainsaying the fact that from 1781 to 
1831 there was a great want of variety in the pieces 
selected for competition, and, indeed, in the 
programme generally. We have seen that , an . 

"The Prince's Salute" was actually per- .. J 

c . .. the Com- 

tormed twenty-four times at one competition. 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 

meetings in 1827 and 1828 — took place on July 29th, 

1829, when John MacNab, of the 72nd 

**? . Highlanders, obtained first prize. The 
Triennial ... ,, „ *" , , , 

■.„ w gathering was unusually well attended, and 

Meeting ^ s . .' ' 

both music and dancing were considered 

to be an advance on previous years. 

An added interest attaches to the 1829 meeting by 

reason of the fact that Mendelssohn and Chevalier 

Neukomm were present. To this Scotch 

f" e s " visit is due the famous Hebrides overture, as 

-j. , also the Scotch symphony, and it is easy to 

Present 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. As far back as 1633 King 
Charles I. was entertained at Perth with the 
Sword 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. Dalyell 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 champion of the 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), yet the standard was regarded as ,_ 

. . Meetings 

inferior. Dalvell states that "neither in . tQ „ 

J in 1 044 

1841 nor in 1844 did any competitor of 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 1859 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 ^ cvlva at 
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 1876. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

In order to stimulate a love for the piob mor, a second 
society was established in 1875, known as the Argyll- 
shire Gathering. This meeting was held 
° under the same conditions as the Inverness 

. Z . Gathering, and a gold medal was presented 

formed in . r 

.o 7l . by the Highland Society of London as first 

prize. The Argyllshire Gathering continued 
from 1875 to 1899, and it is remarkable that Murdoch 
MacKenzie, who won the gold medal at Inverness in 
1898, also won the gold medal at the Argyll Gathering 
in 1899. 

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 
m < the Oireachtas in Ireland; and while pri- 

marily 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. 




Fraser's Regiment — MacLeod's Highlanders — Battle 01 Assaye — 
Concert by the band of the 58th Regiment — The Seaforth High- 
landers — Siege of Lucknow — John MacLachlan at Ciudad Rodrigo 
— -The pipes in thePeninsular 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 
Fraser's Regiment did good 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 
in 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 

TT . , . , Coote, in 1780, was of opinion that the 
Highlanders , . , , 

bagpipe was or no great use; but at the 

battle of Port Novo, in 1781, 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 

„ a c ° also heard to advantage, and there is no 


denying the fact that the skirl of the piob 

mor invariably roused the ardour of the Scottish 


In 1786 there was a "Grand Military Concert" 

given in Edinburgh, in which the pipes were 

Concert by not f or g- ot ten, although the programme, as 

„ < performed by the band of the s8th Req^i- 
of the 58th K . \ r ' ° , & 

t, . . ment, mainly consisted or "the most 
Regiment . 

approved Scots, English, and Italian airs 

and marches." 

At Pondicherry, on August r2th, 1793, the Scotch 

bagpipes were responsible for a curious incident in 

military warfare. We read that Colonel 

T T ea ?) < Campbell, in command of the trenches, as 
Highlanders , f ... ,. .... 

the fire was thickest trom a neighbouring 

fortress, suddenly ordered the pipers of the Seaforth 

Highlanders to play up some popular pibrochs. Strange 

1 06 

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 T , 
, . ..^^ ., ? . Lucknow 

drooping spirits or those hapless victims 

confined in the Residency. 1 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 name John MacLachlan. Being one J° nn 

of the foremost to scale the walls, he M " L Q h j*J 

played "The Campbells are coming" R . . 

with much verve, until a stray shot 

1 In all there were 140 pipers attached to the four Highland 
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 

21st, 1813) the 92nd Regiment were conspicuous by 

their valour. In fact, all through the 

Pipes Peninsular Campaign the pipers contributed 

_ , , in no small decree to rouse the requisite 
Peninsular ... . ° __ . * _, 

n . military ardour. Napier writes: — " lhe 

Campaign J r 

pipers headed the charge, 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 Vimiera (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 

bleeding on the ground," as Dalyell 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 1815 came off, but it is evident from 
Dalyell that George Clark only got "placed," . 
receiving, however, a substantial amount " , 

of bawbees, by way of solatium, as the 
piper-hero of Vimiera. 1 

At Quatre 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 __ T _ 
„. , „ ... TTT _, ... r . .. , MacKay 

Sith (" 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, Scotch 

j ■.. • -j a u • u Pipers at 

and it is said that one brave piper, when ™f , 

, , . , , , r , . . 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, 78th, 79th, and 93rd 


Queen Victoria set a hall-mark on the Scotch pipers 

hy selecting Angus MacKay as her first piper in 1837. 

Not only was MacKay an excellent performer 

on the bagpipes, but he rendered a distinct „„ "f u 

. . . . IWacKay 

service to pipe music by the publication of 

his Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd in 1838, of which 

1 He was subsequently given Ihe 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 broilinsr sun in 

ac India, they managed to keep the music 

„, sroinof for fully four miles — quite a remark- 

Pipers » r- j ~i 

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 difficult marches. 

In connection with the Black Watch, it may also 

be added that they distinguished themselves in the 

Ashanti War, 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 

TT . , Y - chronicled by Mr. W. L. Manson, tells 

Highlanders . _. , ~ . , ... , 

that riper 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 suggests a query as to 
the age of the melody. Some writers would 
have us believe that it is an early eighteenth 
century pipe melody, and that it was actually _, 
played by the pipers of the Cameronians when jyj „ 

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, 1 in succession to Angus MacKay. 
In 1869 he published a collection of 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 1890, as royal piper, and was succeeded by Pipe 
Major J. C. Campbell." 

Notwithstanding the recognized value of the bagpipe 
in Highland regiments, the 91st lost their pipes in 

1 At Queen Victoria's funeral, in February 1901, her two pipers 
took part in the procession. 

3 King George V. inherits Queen Victoria's love for the bagpipe, 
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 Argyllshire 
Highlanders (91st) landed at Dover, they were in- 
spected by the Adjutant General, Major- 
Disbanding General Brown, who ordered the pipers to 

. „ , , be disbanded. The abolition of the time- 
Argyllshire , , . , 
t> ; honoured instrument was much resented, 
i ipers t m ' 

and an agitation was got up by enthusiastic 
admirers of the piob mor, 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 

31st, 1906. The ceremony took place in 
,. « < . 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 originally 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, 

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. 1880. 

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 
also be made of the Govan Police Band, 
formed in 1885 — remarkable as being the 
only pipe band in the Scottish police force. 
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 — Falkirk a pipe centre— Lowland regi- 
mental pipers — Border pipers — Dalyell's criticism — Northumbrian 
pipes— James Allan — Eulogistic verses — Modern Northumbrian 
pipes — The Northumbrian Small Pipes Society — Versatility of 
Lowland pipers. 

Much misconception has existed in regard to the Low- 
land bagpipe as distinct from the Highland. Some 
writers allege that the two instruments are 
ow an totally distinct, and that the Lowland bag- 
pipe is rather of an inferior 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 Highland 


Dr. Leyden gave it as his opinion that the Lowland 

pipes came into vogue about the close of 

the sixteenth century. Certain it is that r '~^. e . ns 
1 i 11 i i i i t i 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 SimiIari *y 

no hesitation in sayingf that the Lowland TT .„ 

J & Uilleann 

pipes were borrowed from Ireland, for, as Pices 

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 

supposition that the Highland pipes are * Jj 

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 

175 N 

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 difficulty 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 



Border Pipers 

of 1783 Dalyell writes: — "The whole concluded with 

a grand procession to the churchyard of Falkirk, where 

the victors in the three competitions — 

viz., M'Gregor, Macalister, and Maclean, 

marched thrice round the tombs of 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 Highland regiments. 

More remarkable still, Falkirk can assert its , ow a 

claim to have had five regimental pipers in —. 

. . Pipers 

the one regiment, the 42nd, in 185 1, 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 ° r er 

. . . Pipers 

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. 

Yet 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 j? . ^ , S 
viewed rather contemptuously by the ad- 
mirers of the warlike bagpipe, because its music merely 
imitates 'the music of other instruments' — meaning 


Story of the Bagpipe 

that it is not devoted to perform what they deem the 

criterion of perfection, the piobrach." 

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 

°f " are clearly borrowed from the Irish Uilleann 

umbnan . ¥ r * . . , . 

p. pipes. In fact, 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- 
/uT eS 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, 1 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. 

1 Percy, in his Reliques, tells us that the Duke of Northumberland 
had three household minstrels, one for the barony of Prudhoe and two 
for the barony of Rothbury. These minstrels were invariably per- 
formers on the Northumberland bagpipes. 

I 7 8 

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 very original, being apparently borrowed ** 

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 ^^I" 

the end, and are provided with keys, thus . . 

r . . . umbrian 

furnishing semitones and increasing the P'nes 

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. 1 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 

1 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 

Rosina in 178-5 he introduces the tune 


known as " Auld Lang Syne," to be played 

o 11 tv by the oboe, accompanied by bassoons "to 
bma.II Pipes . . , : ,, J., . 

Society imitate the bagpipe. This fact was 

pointed out, in 1897, by Dr. W. H. 
Cummings, at a meeting of the Northumbrian Small 
Pipes Society. At the same time, Dr. Cummings 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 Lowland . , , , , 

p. to sing, dance, and play at the same time. 

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 L'Ours. 

As seen in a previous chapter, Jean Baptiste Lully 

fully appreciated the musette or bagpipe, and he 

introduced the instrument into his Court 

ballets, in which King Louis XIV. him- 'f an 

self danced. The musette was also intro- T .. 

. .... Lully 

duced into the ballets which, in conjunction 

with Moliere, he composed between the years 1668 

and 1671. 

Bach in his English suites (Nos. 3 and 6) makes use 
of the ''musette" form; no small com- Bach's 

pliment to the vogue of the bagpipe and English 
its appropriateness for pastoral dances. Suites 

The musette form is also successfully used Handel's 
by the great Handel in the sixth of his Grand 

grand 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 Rosi7ia, in 1783. This he 
,< R • n does in the overture, in which he scores 
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 bagpipe accompaniment to the 
" The Poor , . „ ~ . , &F V . , . K T „, , 
„ , ., ,, duet, " Out or mv si°fht, or 1 11 box your 
ooldier . ■ " 

ears." This 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» a t0 many of the Irish airs by orchestral imita- 

ut. Arnold . .. T -i« • * 111 

tions or the Irish bagpipe. Arnold does 

this effectively in The Agreeable Surprise (1781) and 

in the better known Castle of Andalusia (1782), as 

well 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 Malvina, in 1791, the 



Irish bagpipe was given prominence. Shield had been 
commissioned to compose the music for this ballet- 
pantomime, and had written a good portion 

of it, but owing to some differences with _„ , . 

. . . Malvina 

Harris he resigned 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, 1 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 20th, 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.' 1 

Passing from the Irish and English musical school 

the name of Francois Adrien Boieldieu must 

be held in esteem by lovers of bagpipe . , . 

J or r Adrien 

music. Although the musette had practic- g . ... 

ally gone out of favour at the close of the 

eighteenth century, Boieldieu must have occasionally 

1 Courtney spent many years in England and Scotland, and was not 
only a good performer but a good teacher. lie also composed 
many popular dance-tunes, including "Lady FitzgibbonV Jig," and 
" Lady Charlotte Kawdon's Fancy," both of which were published in 
Mountain's Collection of New Country Dances for 1793, in Dublin. 

a At a performance of Oscar and Malvina at Crow Street 
Theatre, Dublin, on March 51I1, 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 ioth, 
1825, Boieldieu makes striking - use of the bag-pipes ; 
and certainly the introduction of the pipes 
dj - „ 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 Dinorah, or Le 

, Pardon de Ploermel, introduces the bagpipe 

u r»> < 11 hi order to give the requisite colour to a 
Dinorah " , . , . & _ . n _ , . 

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 

Schubert's hag bgen treated by Schubert in his Rosa- 

, ,, munde. The following passage, with a 
munde" . r , \ -r 

drone bass, is taken from the beautiful 

" Hirten-melodie " : — 


Schubert's " Die Tanzmusik " 




" Winter- 

reise " 

Schubert, that delightful master of orchestration, 
employs the bagpipe effect with advantage 
in his charming " Legermann," in Winter- 
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 

ordinary interest in Die Tanzmusik, al- , 

, • c^- i i- i j "DieTanz- 

though it may more fittingly be classed ., „ 

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. 1 

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 Dictionary (1907) 
Modern j s apropos : _ « when both Tonic and 

•r, . . Dominant are simultaneously sustained 


we have a Double Pedal, an effect 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 LOurs, being the 
t Finale of his famous Symphony, composed 
; n „ in 1785. The passage gives a marvellous 
imitation of the cornemuse or bagpipe, sug- 
gesting a bear-dance : — 

1 Beethoven uses the Irish air of "Nora Criona : ' with good effect in his 
7th 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.) 


" L'Ours " 


Vivace assai 





P — 





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 pipes. 

Perhaps at no period of the history of the bagpipes 

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 

J-.JI three Bagpipe Tutors were published — viz., 

p. O'Farrell's, Fitzmaurice'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 

1800 to i860 — the period of decay setting 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 enay, c ram pton was also a brilliant performer, 
Crampton, , ... . , , .. r 

, ,, but did not have the gift of composition, 

and Crump . ° r 

He died early in 1811. 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 
vt u m September 181 1 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 181 5 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 
1 Iam 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 mun 

to a local piper. In 1812 he formed the TT f f 
r r _ _. _ , „ . Hyland 

acquaintance or bir John Stevenson, from 

whom he received some lessons in musical theory, and 

in 182 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 

of " 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 

" For 

Hyland's performance of it was unrivalled. ' 

. , . , , , ,. Chase 
borne writers have imagined that he actually 

composed this piece, but he merely added some varia- 
tions. 1 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, Fit *P atr * ck 
1821, when King George IV. was present. -, IV 

Fitzpatrick performed "St. Patrick's Day" 
and " God Save the King " with applause, although, as 

1 This piece was printed by O'Farrell in his Bagpipe Selections (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, 

_.,.. . and became blind at the age of eleven, in 

U rtannigan , _ . . ° , . r 

the year 1817. 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 1863 at Bray from an attack 

of apoplexy. 

O'Connell's famous piper Paddy O'Sullivan, better 

known as Paddy Goskure, must not be omitted, more 

especially as he was an excellent performer, 

_,_ £, but yet never could be induced to leave the 

O'bullivan . . . _, r> u • 

vicinity or Derrynane. lhe name 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 1825 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 


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I 05 

Paddy Coneely 

" Kingdom of Kerry," and was unrivalled for tone 
and execution. Visitors to Killarney from 1820 to 
1850 made it a point to hear Gandsey, one 
of whose favourite tunes was "The Day James 

we beat the Germans at Cremona" (an old 
Irish pipe melody composed in honour of the victory 
at Cremona on February 1st, 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 Minister. Several of his com- 
positions have survived, but it is as a per- y 
former 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 1828 is a fine specimen of a pipe melody. 
A 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 


"Gentlemen" Pipers 

piper as well as harper, and one of the last of the 
household pipers was Daniel O'Leary, piper 
to the O'Donoghue of the Glens, in the Daniel 

'forties and 'fifties of the last century. He O'Leary 
was regarded as little inferior to Gandsey. 

Another famous Kerry piper was Michael Whelan. 
Many professional performers came from 
different parts of Ireland to hear him play, Michael 
but he ruined his career by unsteadiness Whelan 
and died in poverty. 

In the 'fifties and 'sixties flourished quite a number 
of capital performers on the Uilleann pipes. It is 
rather invidious to single out any one in 
particular, but we are assured by competent r " p 
judges that Sheedy, Ferguson, Taylor, 
Garret Quinn, Cunningham, Hicks, David Quinn, Dow- 
dall, and Hogan worthily maintained the best traditions 
of 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. 

Nor 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 p 
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, R.H.A. (1794-1S64). 

airs on the Uilleann pipes, and I never forgot 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 1859, and some years 

later Colonel Cox, commanding the 87th 

Roval Irish Fusiliers, supplied eight sets of m r>- 

' . . . war Pipes 

war-pipes (with two drums) to eight Irish 

pipers in his regiment. These eight pipers were 

attached to companies, and their pipes were modelled 

on the lines of the piob mor of the sixteenth century. 

After the famine period (1847-49) gaiety seemed to 

have disappeared from the " masses," and what between 

the depression of the times and the exodus 

to America, the decline of the Uilleann Decline 

pipes set in. This decline continued until TT ,«, 
11 r ,-> Uilleann 

the close of the last century, and in 1894 P'nes 

scarce a dozen good pipers could be found 
in Ireland. Of these Robert Thompson, Martin 
Reilly, Turlogh MacSweeney, Denis Delaney, Michael 
O'Sullivan, John Flanagan, and John Cash were the 
most famous. No doubt the starting of the Gaelic 
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 Uilleann Pipes — Inauguration of an annual Irish Festival — 
Establishment of a Pipers' Club in Dublin — Irish National Music 
— Irish War-pipes. 

As has been seen in the preceding- chapter, the outlook 
for the Uilleann pipes at the close of the last century 
was gloomy in the extreme. Yet, 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 Oireachtas, in 1S97, 
in which prizes were given for the war-pipes as well as 
for the Uilleann pipes. Yet the sad fact remains, that 
now, in 191 1, after fourteen years' propaganda work for 
Irish music, the position of the bagpipes is by no means 
of a roseate character. 

The establishment of a Pipers' Club (Ciimann na 
bpiobaire) in Dublin, on February 17th, 1900, gave 
promise of great things, and several successful concerts 


Bagpipe Influence 

were organized. Pipe-playing", pipe-making", and the 
subsidizing of poor pipers were encouraged, as also 
traditional Irish dancing to pipe music. But after an 
existence of six years the club got into financial 
difficulties, and now (191 1) it is in a moribund 
condition. 1 

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 piping 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 

1 The Cork school, established in March 1898, still lingers on under 
the enthusiastic directorship of Seaghan O'Faelain. I regret to add that 
Seaghan was forced to emigrate to Perth (W. Australia) in Sept. 1911. 




Revival of Irish War-pipes 

here, therefore, a circumstance (independently of the 
plain chant, 1 where the omission of these notes is so 
frequently observable) to which we may ascribe the 
origin of this peculiarity in our music." 

But whether we believe that the bagpipe, with its 
peculiar scale, has been a factor in the marked character- 
istics of Irish folk-songs, 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 
ajid Celtic airs. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

chromatic scale — manufactured by Mr. Henry Starck 
(London), is in much favour. 1 

And who knows but that in the near future the 
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. 

1 Mr. R. M. O'Mealy, of Bel r ast, manufactures both Uilleann and 
war-pipes. He is also an admirable performer on both instruments. 



A. Chronological List of Eminent Pipers of all 


B. Glossary of Terms and Pipe Mechanism. 

C. Composers who have employed Pipe Music. 

D. Bibliography of the Bagpipe. 

E. Pipe Bands in the British Army. 

F. O'Farrell's Treatise on the Irish Bagpipes. 


Appendix A. 

Chronological List of Eminent 
Pipers of all Ages. 

36-68. — Nero, Roman Emperor. 

1206. — Geoffrey the Piper, of Dublin. 

1376. — Daniel O'Moghan, Irish piper. 

1469. — Richard Bennet, 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. 

1674-84.— Henry Oynion, English piper. 

1695. — Destouches, French Court piper. 

I7 2 5- — Colin Charpentier, musette-player. 

1730- — Jacques Hotteterre, musette-player. 

1730. — Henry Baton, musette-player. 

173S- — Charles Baton, musette-player. 


Story of the Bagpipe 

1735. — Philippe Chedeville, musette-player. 
1735. — ^ an & u yi musette-player. 
1745. — James Reid, Scotch piper. 
1760. — James MacGregor, Scotch piper. 
1730. — Lawrence Grogan, Irish piper. 
1740. — Edward Sterling, Irish piper. 
1760. — Walter Jackson, Irish piper. 
1770. — John MacDonnell, Irish piper. 
1780. — Patrick MacGregor, Scotch piper. 
1790. — Neil MacLean, 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. 
1S00. — P. O'Farrell, Irish piper. 
1 8 10. — William Talbot, Irish piper. 
1820. — Edward Keating Hyland, Irish piper. 
1820. — Kearns Fitzpatrick, Irish piper. 
1825. — Thomas O'Hannigan, Irish piper. 
1830. — Patrick O'Sullivan, Irish piper. 
1835. — James Gandsey, Irish piper. 
1S00. — George Graham, Scotch piper. 
1810. — John MacGregor, Scotch piper. 
181 5. — 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. — William Ferguson, Irish piper. 

i860. — Garret Quinn, Irish piper. 

i860. — William 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. 

Cruinneachadh. — 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. 

Urlar. — The groundwork of the pibroch. 


Appendix B 

Piofa 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. 

Andre-Cardinal Destouches (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 1740-175 5. 
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 17 18-1728. 
D. B. MacCrimmon, circa 1745-1750. 
John MacArthur, circa 1750-1785. 
William Shield (1748-18 17). 

Appendix C 

Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1809). 
Louis Spohr (1784-1859). 
Franz Schubert (1797-182S). 
Francis Adrien Eoieldieu (1775-1834). 
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770- 1827), 
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864). 

21 1 

Appendix D. 
Bibliography of the Bagpipe. 

Bianchini, De tribus generibus instrumcnlorum. Rome, 1742. 
Fetis, Biographic Universelle des Musiciens, 10 vols. Paris, 

1875-1885. \ 

Walker, Hist. Memoirs of the Irish Bards. Dublin, 1786. 
Mersenne, Harmonie Universelle. Paris, 1636. 
Stanihurst, De rebus in Hib. Gestis, 15S4. 
Brown and Stratton, British A/us. Biog., 1897. 
Grove, Diet, of Music and Musicians. New edition, by 

Fuller Maitland. London, 1904-10. 
Eitner, Quillen Lex ikon, 1900- 1904. 
Flood, Hist, of Irish Music. Second edition, 1906. 
Crowest, Story of British Music, 1S96. 
Duncan, Story of Minstrelsy, 1907. 
Dalyell, Musical Memoirs, 1849. 
Engel, Musical Instruments. New edition, 1909. 
Jusserand, Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages, 1901. 
Strutt, Sports and Pastimes. New edition, 189S. 
Brenet, Musique et Musiciens, 191 1. 
Brenet, Les Concerts en France, 1900. 
Schlesinger, Instruments of the Orchestra, 2 vols. London 

Galpin, Old English Instruments oj Music, 19 10. 


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 Iustrumcntalis, 1529. 

Warton, Hist, of English Poetry, 1774-78. 

Bunting, Irish Music, 1796, 1809, 1840. 

Stainer, Music of the Bible, 1879. 

Chouquet, Le Muse'e du Conservatoire, 1884. 

O'Neill, Irish Folk Music, 1910. 

Dauney, Ancient Scoiish 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 1st battalion of the same regiment 
formed a pipe band in 1908, and the 2nd battalion followed suit 
in 1910. 

The 2nd battalion of the Dublin Fusiliers have a pipe band, 
as have also the 3rd battalion of the iSth 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 XXL, 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 
effective 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'Farrells Treatise on the Irish 
Bagpipes (published 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. 

Gentlemen, 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 R 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 -vt 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 $ before any note makes it half a tone 
sharper or higher. A flat, marked thus (7, makes it half a tone 
lower; and a natural, marked thus fcl, 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 j j , rm .n -jyjv 


y » j i v : =¥=^~^- 

16 Semiquavers or 

32 Demisemiquavers 

f JBJJ l Aft i J ffHf JBB -fJJi-J 

fc ffi^ » y ; 



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 J 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: |, |, g, V J > I> I. or I. I > and a11 
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 


rrr rrr ccc 

Appendix F 



J. J. J. J. „.,,l . ,!.,!. -J. J. J 






A dot following any note, thus J. J J*. # 5. 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. 


r rr urw 


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 :||: 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: — 





Appoggiaturas J H are little notes which borrow their time 
from the notes before which they are placed. For example — 

Mark'd Play'd Mark'd PW^ 

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. 


ff tir J*£8¥ 3ffi% m gtf0f&ft 

Example of Tipping 

Other Examples of Tipping 

OJJ llljijujjjij 


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 


Example 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 the 
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 lower 
of which is F, and 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 
B, 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 Ej ^ jJ f 1 J^ gj ^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. 



Aberdeen rejects the town pipers, 

Aberfraw, Eisteddfod at, 30 
Adam, Adolphe, 1S4 
" Adew Dundee," 59 
Agricola 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," 1 15 
An Comunn Gaidhealach, 164 
" An Cruiscin Lan," 57 
Anet, Baptiste, 126 
Angelic bagpiper, 47 
Anglo-Saxon pipes, 34 
Arbeau's Orche'sographie, 61 
Archers' meeting at Edinburgh, 141 
Arghool (Egyptian flute), 4, 8 
Argyllshire gathering, 164 
Aristides Quintilianus, 17 
Aries, primitive organ at, 4, 5 
Armin's Nest of Ninnies, 86 
Army pipers, 172, 214, 215 
Armstrong, Robert Bruce, 213 
Arnold, Dr., 182 
Artificial reeds, 8 
Askaulos, 15 
Assaye, battle of, 166 
Assyrian bagpipes, 9 
Aston, Hugh, 88 

Augustine, St., II 

"Auld Lang Syne," 1S0, 182 

Aulus Gellius, 17 

Bach's "Loure," 113 
Bach's English suites, 181 
" Balruddery," 98 
Ballet's Lute Book, S4 
Bannockburn, battle of, 44, 53 
" Ballinderry," 112 
Barbor (piper), 38 
Bartholomew Fair, 99, 104 
Baton, Henry, 126, 205 
Baton, Charles, 126, 205 
Battle of Balrinnes, 65, 66 
" Battle of Flodden Field,'" 55 
Battle of Harlaw, 44, 54 
Beethoven's Hirtengesang, 1S5 
Beggar's Wedding, 57 
Bennet, George, 65 
Bennet, Richard, 27, 205 
Beverley Minster, 35, 48 
Bianchini, 16, 212 
Biblical references to bagpipes, 

II, 12 
Bigger, F. J., 201 
Bignou (biniou), 6 
"Black Donald's March," 55 
Black Watch pipers, 170, 171 
Boccaccio and the pipes, 72 
Boieldieu, F. A., 1S3, 1S4 
" Bonnie Dundee," 59 
" Bonny Earl of Moray," 56 


Story of the Bagpipe 

Border pipers, 177 

Borgon's Traits de la Afiisette, 1 23 

Boston Parish Church, 35 

Boulogne, siege of, 89, 90 

Braemar Gathering, 164 

Brandt's Ship of Fools, 82 

Branle d ' Escosse, 60, 61 

Brehon laws, 19 

Brenet, Michel, 212 

Brian Boru war-pipes, 200, 201,215 

Britannia's Pastorals, 101 

Brown, Edmund (piper), 65 

Bruce the traveller, 9 

Bruce, Robert, 43, 44, 53 

Buchanan, George, 63 

Bulgarian pipes, 78, 79 

Burgh pipers, 67 

Burns, Robert, 53, 155 

Butler's Hudibras, 105 

Byrd, William, no 

Byrd's pipe music, no, in 

Caerwys, Eisteddfod at, 30, 31 
Calabrian pipers, 72 
Calais, Irish war-pipes at, 25 
Caledonian Pocket Companion, 53, 

56, 139 
Campbell, J. C. (pipe major), 171, 

Campbell, Rev. Dr., 150 
Cambrensis,Giraldus,2i, 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, Geoffrey, 2, 34, 35, 39 
Ceol-Mor, 161 

Chedeville, Philippe, 127, 206 
Chinese legend of bagpipe, 10 
Chevrette, 6, 3s, 43 


Chevretter, J., 37 

Chorus, 11, 37, 38, 43 

Ciudad Rodrigo, 167 

Ciaramella, 6 

Christmas carols, 12 

Christmas legend, 12, 13 

Chrysostomos, Dion, 15 

Clach a Phiobair, 137 

Clan pipers, 68, 129 

Clark, George (piper), 168, 169 

Clarke, Sir Ernest, 84 

Clement of Alexandria, 12 

Cochrane, a piper, 88 

Cockelbie Soiu, 57 

Colclough, Dudley, 1S9 

Company of Musicians, 100, 101 

Complaint oj Scotland, 51, 65 

Coneely, Taddy, 193, 194, 207 

Cork pipe school, 199 

Cornemuse, 6, 121 

Corn pipe, 35 

Courtenay, Patrick, 183, 189, 190, 

Crampton, John, 1S9, 190, 206 
Cremona, battle of, 119, 193 
Crecy, battle of, 26 
Cronan, Irish, 112 
Crowest, F. J., 30, 212 
Crump, John, 1S9, 190, 206 
Ctesibius of Alexandria, 4 
Cuisle, 19 
Cuisleannach, 20 
Culloden, battle of, 144 
Curlews, battle of the, 97 
Cummings, Dr. W. PL, 180 

Dalyei.l's Musical Memoirs, 47 t 

48, 64, 6S, 136, 158, 159, 161, 

162, 177 
"Dance of Death," 80 
Dauney's Ancient Scotisk Melodies, 

37. 43. 53. 56, 58, 59, 60, 97, 

129, 199 



Danguy (musette-player), 206 
David, King of Scotland, 66 
David, Jacques, 126 
David's " Musette Player," 124, 


Delaney, Denis, 197 

Dempsey, Rev. John, 156 

" Der arme Irische Tunge," 150 

Derrick's Image of Ireland, 93, 94 

Destouches the French piper, 122, 

Derry, siege of, 119 
D'Estree, Jean, 59, 60 
Dick's Songs of Robert Burns, 54 
Donal the Piper, 114 
Douglas, Gawin, 53 
Dow's Ancient Scots Music, 134 
Drayton's Polyolbion, 85, 86 
Double Tipping, 224 
Drone, 108, 109, 217 et seq. 
Drone bass, 107, no, Hi 
** Drone of a Lincolnshire bag- 
pipe," S5 
Dowdall, T., 195 
Dublin Fusiliers pipe band, 214 
Dudelsack, 79 
Duncan, Edmonstoune, 12 
Dunvegan drinking cup, 130 
Diirer, Albrecht, 75, 76, 77, 89 

Eaglesham, village piper of, 145 
Early English bagpipes, 38 
Ebner Gasse at Nuremberg, 78 
Edinburgh Castle, pipers at, 81 

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' Virginal Book, 57 
English court pipers, Si, 82,83, io 4 
English shepherd pipers, 87 
English Music ("Music Story 

Series"), 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 

Highland society at, 157, 15s 

Falstaff's reference to the bagpipe, 


Farnaby, Giles, 57 

Faux Bourdon, 10S 

Feis Ceoil, 198 

Feis of Tara, 20, 29, 30 

Fergus MacErc, 42 

Ferguson, William (piper), 195, 

" Fhuair mi pog a laimh an 
Righ," 133 

" Finger Lock," 161 

Fitzgerald, Lord Edward, 195 

FitzJohn, i-ineen, 96, 205 

Fitzmaurice's Tutor for the bag- 
pipes, 188 

Fitzpatrick, Fineen, 96 

Fitzpatrick, Reams (Irish piper), 
191, 206 

Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, 1 10 

Flanagan, John (piper), 197 

Flodden Field, battle of, 55, 63 

Florence, Boccaccio's reference to 
pipers at, 72 

" Flowers of the Forest" (music), 


Fontenoy, 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, 98 

Gaelic colonization of Wales, 28, 

Gaelic League, 197, 198 
Oalilei, Vincenzo, 97 
Gandsey, James (Irish piper), 192, 

Garstang's Hittite slab with 

sculptured piper, 7 
Gate, John (English piper), 41 
Geoffrey the piper, 24, 205 
Geoghegan's Bagpipe Tutor, 1S8 
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 Metamorphosed, 99 
Glen's Historical Sketch of the 

Bagpipe, 44, 45, 67 
Goodman, Rev. James, 196 
Good's account of Irish pipers 

(1566), 91 
Gorleston Psalter, 37 
Gordon Highlanders, 214 
Gosson's School of Abase, 84 
Gounod's pedal point, 186 
Govan Police Band, 173 
Graham, 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 
Guido's Micrologits, 24, 109, no 
Gymel, suggested by the bagpipe, 

Glide and Godly Ballads, 54 
Guild of Musicians at Vienna, 69 
of Minstrels, 71 

Handkl takes down a pipe tune, 

Handel s Grand Concerto, 181 

Pastoral Symphony, 13, 112 

Hardy, Matthew (Irish piper), 48 
Harlaw, battle of, 44, 46, 54, 55 
Hastie, John, 63 
Helston Furry dance, 98 
Haydn's " L'Ours " (music), 1 87 
Henry VIII. 's bagpipes, S2, 83 
Henry VII. patronizes bagpipes, 

Hereford Morris dancers, SS 
Hebrides Overture, 162 
Hey wood's Lancashiie 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 

Highland Vocal Airs, 165 
"Hirlen Melodie" (Rosamunde), 

"Hirtengesang," by Beethoven, 

Hog bagpiper, 48 
Hittite sculpture of bagpiper, 7 
Hogarth's " Southwark Fair," 106 
Hotteterre, Jacques, 126, 205 
Howell the Good, 30 
Howitt (English piper), 102, 205 
Hurre, Elias (English piper), 37 


Hydraulus, or water organ, 4, 5 
Hungarian pipes, 79 
Hyland, Edmund Keating (Irish 
piper), 191, 206 

" I got a kiss of the king's hand," 


"Inglis pyparis" at Edinburgh, 81 
Inverness Gathering, 163, 164 
Inverlochy, battle of, 46, 133 
Irish influence in Northumbria, 

Irish pipes in pre-Christian days, 


Irish March, the, by Byrd, I IO 
Irish Masgite, by Ben Jonson, 1 15 
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, 114-120 

"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 bagpipe, 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 
Jonson, Ben, 1 15 
Jubal, " tire father of pipers," 1, 2 

Keeners, 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, 38 
Kirke, Thomas, 135 
Knocknanoss, battle of, 116 
Knox's History of the Reformation, 


Lacroix's Vie Militaire, 78 
La Dame Blanche, 184 
" Lament for Owen Roe," 1 16 
"Lament for Myles the Slasher," 

Lancashire hornpipes, 111 

pipers, 87, SS, 102, 104, 106 

Lancashire Witches, 102 

Leicester minstrels, 40 

Leith, water of, 65; seizure of, 

Leslie, Shane, 201 
"Les PlaisirsChampet res "(music), 

Lichfield, Irish Celts at, 34 
Lilt-pipes, 34, 35 
Limerick, siege of, 119 
Lincolnshire pipers, 85, 86, <SS 
Lindisfarne, Irish Celts at, 34 
Lindsay of Pitscottie, 66 
"Literary Dustman, The, "(music), 

London minstrels, 101 
"Lord Breadalbane's March," 133 
"Lord Leven's Lament," 172 
Lothian, Lord, 131 
Lowland bagpipes, 174-1S0 
Louis XIV., a patron of the 

musette, 123, 124 

Story of the Bagpipe 

Louie, 112, 113 
Lucknow, siege of, 167 
Lully, Jean Baptiste, 124, 181 
Luscinius's Musurgia, 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), 

156, 160 
MacBeth, John (Scotch piper), 206 
MacCahir, Redmond, 90 
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 Clanranald, 159, 

MacDonald's Highland 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 

MacHugh, Owen (Irish piper), 

" 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, 1 7 1 

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, 158 

MacLeod's Highlanders, 166 

MacLeod of Dunvegan, 130 

Sir Roderick, of MacLeod, 

l 33 
" 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 Pickins" (music), 155, 

Maguire, Prince of Fermanagh, 130 
Malmesbury, Irish Celts at, 34 
Manson, W. L., 38,95, 11S, 132, 

133. 170 
Manns the Piper, 92 
"March of the Cameron Men," 

170, 171 


Marsden, Thomas, hornpipe col- 
lector (1705), in 
Martial describes the askqulos, 


Mary, Queen, retains a royal piper, 

8 3 
Maspero, the Egyptologist, S 

May Day Revels, 32, 40, 83, 84, 

Maypole dances, 83, S4, 85, 101 

Melrose Abbey,, sculptured piper 
at, 43, 48, 49 

Mendelssohn pYesent 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 

Dinorah, 1S4 
Meyer, Professor Kuno, 2S, 29 
" Miller's Wedding," the ("Auld 

Lang Syne "), 180 
Minstrels' Gallery at Exeter, 37 
Mod, Highland, 164 
Moneypennie 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, IOO, 

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, 101 

Napier's History of the Peninsular 

War, 16S 
Naylor, Dr. E. W., 95, ill 
Nebuchadnezzar'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'Cullinanes, the (Irish pipers), 

O'Curry, Eugene, 112 
O'Daly, Muiredbach (ancestor of 

the MacVuirichs), 4; 
O'Delaney, Dermot (Irish pipei), 

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 

J 33 

Story of the Bagpipe 

O'Farrells, the (Irish pipers), 114 
Treatise on (he 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 bagpipe (illustration), 

44. 45 
Old Testament allusions to the 

bagpipe, II, 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 

Pandean Pipes, 3 

Paris, pipers in, 71 

Parker, Martin, 143 

Pastoral Symphony by Handel, 13, 

Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven, 

Peacock's Collection, ijg 
Peblis to the Play, 46 
Pedal point, 24, 107, no, 1S6 

Peninsular War, 167-169 

Persian pipes, 9 

Percy's Reliques, 178 

Pfeife, 2 

Pied Piper of Hamelin, 70 

Picardy, Irish pipers at, 96 

Pig as a bagpiper, 4S 

Piers, John (Irish piper), 92 

Piob A/or at Fontenoy, 148 

Pifferari, 13 

" Pilfero" (music), 1 13 

Pipe bands in the British army, 

172, 214-215 
Pipers' Club in Dublin, 19S 
" Piper of Kilbarchan," 134 
Tipers of the King's Company, 

Piva, 6, 17 

"Platfute" (Ourfute), 59 
Playford's Dancing A/aster, 59, 

Playford's Afttsich's Recreation on 

the Lyi-e Viol, 143 
" Polyolbion," by Drayton, 85 
Pondicherry, battle of, 166 
Portative organ (illustration), 22 
Porto Novo, battle of, 166 
" Pot of Avarice," 23 
Powlett, George (bagpiper), S3 
Prretorius, 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 Irish Ground, 112 
" Put in all," 57 
Pyrrhic dance, 40 

Quatre Bras, the pipes at, 169 
(Quebec, battle of, 165 

2 34 


Queen Elizabeth's band of music, 

Quinn, Garret and David (Irish 

pipers), 195 
" Quodling's Delight," 57 

RALPH the piper, 37 
Kavenscroft, John, hornpipe com- 
poser, 1 1 1 
Rawdon, Lord, forms Irish pipe 

band, 1 49 
Rebel, Jean Fery, 127 
Reed pipe at Thebes, 9 
Regulator and chanter, example 

of (music), 226 
Reid, James (Scotch piper), 143 
Reilly, Martin (Irish piper), 197 
Richard II. patronizes pipers, 37 
Richborough, sculptured bronze 

at, 17 
Kinnce an cipln, 98 
A'inuce Fada (Long Dance), 97 
Ripon, carvings of piper at, 35, 48 
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), 171 
Rosina, Overture to, 180, 1S2 
Rosshire Luffs, pipers of, 166 
Rosslyn Chapel, carvings in, 47 
Rossmore, Lord (amateur piper), 

Royal Inniskilling 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 

Bede, 42 

Blaise, MSS. at, 11 

Brecan, 30 

Fond, M. de, at a Highland 

gathering, 159 

Giles, 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, battle 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," 184, 


Scots Guards disbanded, 172 

Scots Musical Museum, 141 

" 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 
Sheriffmuir, 139, 142 
Shield, William, 179, 1S0, 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 

2 35 

Story of the Bagpipe 

" Souters of Selkirk," the, 56 
Southgate, Dr. Thomas Lea, 8 
Spain, pipers in, 71 
Spohr's "Piffero" (music), 1 13 
Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar, 87 
" Staines Morris,'' 84 
Stanihurst's Description 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 Music, 30 

of English Music, 84 

of the Carol, 12 

of the Harp, 2 

of the Organ, 5 

Slraloch MS., 54 
Strutt's Sports, 34, 38, 39 
Stubbe's Anatomie of Abuses, 84 
" Sumer is icumen in," 108 
Sutherland, Duke of, 140 

Rifle Volunteers, 173 

Suetonius, 16 
Sword dance, 98, 162 
Symphony (sui/iphonia), 2, 15 
Synagogue, bagpipe in the service 

of the, 38 
Syrinx, 6 

Tafouret, Jean, 60 

Talbot, John (Irish piper, 1469), 

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 daywe beat the Germans at 

Cremona" (music), 120 
"The White Cockade," 1 15 
" The Woods so Wild," by Byrd 

(music), ill 
Thomason's Ceol Mor, 161 
Thompson, Barney (pipe major), 


Robert (Irish piper), 197 

Tibia utricular is, 15, 16, 17 

Tinne (a set of pipes), 20 

Toilet, William (English Court 

piper), 104 
Tournay, Irish pipers at, 89 
Truis, introduced from Ireland, 

Turlogh the piper (Irish), 1 14 
Turner, Sir James, 149 
Tutbury, court of minstrels at, 39 
Tyrone Fusiliers, 197 

Earl of, 96 

Tytler's Dissertation, 56 

" Ugab " (Hebrew pipe), 1 
Uilleann pipes, 86, 95, 122, 146, 

154-156, 174, 175, 188-201 
Ulva, college of pipers at, 136 
Union pipes {see Uilleann pipes) 
" Up and warn a', Willie," 139, 


Vaelkeke, Ludvvig van, 107 
Victoria, Queen, patronizes the 

pipes, 169 
Vienna, town pipers of, 69 
Vimiera, battle of, 168 
Virdung's Mttsica gelutscht, 72, 75 
Virgil's reference to the bagpipe, 

Vittoria, battle of, 168 
Volunteers of 1782 (Irish), 156 



"Volunteers of 

York), 149 
Volynka, 79 

Ireland" (New gets the bagpipe from 
Ireland, 19, 29 

Wallace, Alexander ("Piper 
Major"), 132 

Warton's History of English 
Poetry, 39 

Warwick, 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 

Af ay -games, 84 

School, 40 

Winterreise, by Schubert, 185 
Wodroiu Correspondence, 1 40 
Wogan, Sir John, 25 
Wolf and the piper (16S4). 11S 
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, IOO 
pipers, 104 

Z amor A, the bagpipes of, 71 
Zummarah (modern Egyptian bag- 
pipe), 8 


' HH