Recording Studio: Scotlands national instrument, the Bagpipe or in Gaelic “piob-mhor” (the great pipe) is not, contrary to popular belief, an instrument which has its origins in and has diffused from Scotland. The bagpipe is an instrument of great antiquity, an instrument which has its origins in the Middle East and traveled through and evolved in Europe alongside the diffusion of early civilization.
Recording Studio: History of the Bagpipe
The “Oxford History of Music” makes mention of the first documented bagpipe being found on a Hittite slab at Eyuk. This sculptured bagpipe has been dated to 1,000 B.C. Biblical mention is made of the bagpipe in Genesis and in the third Chapter of Daniel where the “symphonia” in Nebuchadnezzar’s band is believed to have been a bagpipe. These early pipes or “Pan” pipes, without the bag or reservoir, were probably the second musical instrument to evolve. Musical history dictates that pipers have to take a back seat to percussion instruments in this case. These early pipes used materials with a natural bore (hollow reeds, corn stalks, bamboos, etc.)
The recording studio Roman bagpipes or “tibia utricularis” represented a major innovation, the addition of the reservoir. Historians have noted that Roman coins depict Nero playing the bagpipe, not the fiddle.
Recording Studio: Other Bagpipes
The early “Dudel-Sack” gave rise to a number of European, Asian and African folk bagpipes, namely, the Volynka (U.S.S.R.), the Bock (German), the Zukra (North Africa), the Gaita (Portugal and Spain), the Zampogna (Italy), the Cornemuse (France), the Moshug (India), the Zumarah (Egypt), and Flemish, Polish, Greek and Hungarian examples. An extensive and thoroughly documented collection of these instruments can be found in the Musical Instrument section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In addition, examples of early folk bagpipes can be found in the paintings of Breughel, Teniers, Jordaens and Durer.