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Bagpipes: A National Collection of a National Instrument
The National Museum of Scotland holds an important collection of Scottish bagpipes and pipe-related material. Hugh Cheape for many years worked as a curator in the museum and did a lot of good work to promote the Museum's musical holdings. This book both outlines the scope of the museum's collections and acts as a sweeping history of the pipe in Scotland.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this book is its emphasis on other types of pipe, not the most familiar Great Highland Bagpipe, and most controvertially perhaps the Union pipes, a sophisticated 18th century instrument which when taken to ireland became the modern Irish or Uillean pipes.
The old Gaelic learned systems are mentioned with reference to the old harpers, and there are also some interesting comments about the Museum's acquisition of the two medieval harps.
There are many colour illustrations of old instruments as well as antique photos, paintings and engravings. The book does concentrate on the actual instruments, with less on the people involved and very little on the music - there are no notated examples. The book does include a CD-ROM which has photos as well as archive audio recordings; however the CD-ROM uses a closed system which only works on certain specific types of computer & system. it is possible to rummage around inside the CD to view individual images, PDF files and audio clips but this is a major flaw of this book. However that is the only complaint I have about the book; it is written to the highest scholarly standards and is highly recommended.
£3.00 (UK only - select for overseas postage)
£7.00 (Airmail within Europe)
£10.50 (Airmail outside Europe)
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© Simon Chadwick
First published July 2008.