Although synonymous with Scottish history, the origins of bagpipes is unclear. There is some evidence of their existence as far back as 1000 BC, but records are unclear.
The connection with Scotland began with the surge of British military expansionism in the 19th century, with Highland pipe bands at its core. At the time bagpipes were declining around the rest of the world in favour of other instruments.
During WW1 and WW2 this contemporary vision of the Highland piper was further perpetuated.
Scotland and bagpipes are inseparable.
The Anatomy of Bagpipes
Bagpipes are a woodwind instrument.
The bagpipes lends its construction to a number of influences throughout Europe and the Middle East.
The chanter which creates the melody is the French word for sing.
The bag was traditionally made from sheep skin but these days are often synthetic. The Drones were traditionally made from blackwood but are now often made from Polypenco.
Over the past few years there has been an increasing number of bagpipes made with composite materials including Delrin, Acetyl and Polypenco. These composite plastics have approximately the same density of the traditional material for bagpipe making, which is African Blackwood. However, materials like Delrin are more robust, and will not split, which can be a problem with traditional blackwood pipes. Delrin pipes also produce and excellent bagpipe sound.
African Blackwood is now a protected species and there is a growing sensitivity around the use of this increasingly rare and endangered wood for the making of Bagpipes.
Where to buy
Here at WA Music we have a large range of bagpipes for sale. Please visit any time to view our range.
WA Music is not an “online only” business working from a private house, as some customers have asked. WA Music is a large Bona Fide retail business with two large shops in Innaloo, and a warehouse in Osborne Park. Unlike an online only business working from a private house, people interested in bagpipes do NOT need an appointment to visit WA Music and view the range of piping products. Bagpipes can also be demonstrated in-store.
Although WA Music has a large range of products, the owner and director of the company (who is Scottish) has a special interest in bagpipes and played as a boy in Scotland. We would very much like to reach out to the bagpipe community in Australia and we will try to match (or better) any prices on bagpipe products. This is in line with our company philosophy of low prices and high level of customer service, which these days is an essential prerequisite in the Darwinian struggle of Australian music retail.