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Getting to know the bagpipes

Bagpipes? Hmmm.

I drew this up when I was in middle school, right around the time I started playing. I’d always loved Calvin & Hobbes, so I guess this was quite the natural pairing for me … the resultant image has always made me chuckle.
Drawing is a derivative of Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson.

For the time being, I’m not going to get into the extensive and vast history of the bagpipes. For more info of that nature, I’ll provide some links to a plethora of good articles that are already out there.


To sum up … while Highland Pipes are often what people think of when someone mentions “bagpipes,” they are not the only ones out there.

In fact, there are tons of various kinds of bagpipes in the world from all sorts of cultures and regions. Highland pipes simply became the most frequent bagpipes seen and heard because they were eventually incorporated into the British military. Here’s a good list of some of the many pipes one might encounter around the world—more than a hundred.

For more details on the parts of the bagpipe and the main types of pipes that I work with, head on over to the following pages in this section:


Learn more about:

Bagpipe Anatomy
All the parts of a bagpipe, what they do, and why.

The Highland Bagpipes
All about the unique properties and music of Scotland’s “loud one.”

Smallpipes & Border pipes
Scotland’s other bagpipes … how they’re different, and why you should look into them at some point.



And here are some good articles regarding the history of bagpipes in general, if you’d like to read more into it:


A good article at Dojo University, which is a great resource for pipers of all skill-levels. Good reading here. Click on the image/headline above, or on the url below to check it out.
https://learn.dojouniversity.com/a-very-brief-history-of-the-bagpipes/

Another good article, this one more focused on the Highland Bagpipe. Click the image or url to check it out.
https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofScotland/The-Piob-Mhor-or-the-Great-Highland-Bagpipes/

This is the site of a buddy of mine, Brian McElhinney. He has a nice, brief rundown of the history of the bagpipe. Click the image or the url to check it out.
http://www.akronpiper.com/
bagpipes.htm