Instruments | Bagpipe | Medieval Era | Classical
The medieval bagpipe consisted of an animal-skin bag and a series of wooden pipes. The player held the bag under the arm and inflated it by blowing down one of the pipes. A second pipe, the ‘chanter’, contained a series of holes on which to play a melody, while the remainder, the ‘drones’, maintained a continuous, unvarying background chord. By keeping a steady pressure on the bag, the player was able to pause for breath without interrupting the continuity of sound. Once widespread, bagpipes survive best where industrialization has least disturbed traditional ways of life or where there has been a post-medieval folk revival, which is why they are often associated with Scotland.
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