What is it?
The bagpipes are a egyptian instrument designed around 1000 BC and later brought to Scotland.
Not to be confused with
You may hear about it with other names. Pronounced /ˈbaɡpʌɪp/, from the english meaning literally “bags with pipes” and called gaita in spanish, cornamuse in french and gaita de fole in portuguese. A person that plays it it’s called a piper or bagpiper.
The instrument it’s from the Wind family meaning the sounds comes by blowing air in a mouthpiece into a tube(resonator).
The types of bagpipes are determined by their origin: :
- Bulgarian kaba.
- England northumbrian smallpipes.
- Estonian torupill.
- German hummelchen.
- Greek Tsampouna.
- Hungarian duda.
- Indian Sruti upanga.
- Irish uilleann.
- North Italy baghèt.
- Macedonian gaida.
- Polish pipers.
- Portuguese galician.
- Romanian Cimpoi.
- Scottish great highland.
- Serbian piper.
- South Italy zampogna.
- Swedish säckpipa.
- Turkish tulum.
Besides their origin their also different for the material they are made and the parts they have like the amount of pipes, but to simplify the most common is the scotish great highland bagpipe.
In terms of materials the options are usually animal skin (goats, sheeps) or leather & synthetic fabric, with the pipes being wood, metal & plastic. It doesn’t affect sound (our article here) but it does in price and durability.
Before you buy
Getting bagpipes for sale? as a gift? If you do, here’s all you need to know.
The price of the instrument is around $35 – $2,000 USD , the cheapest I found was a mini bagpipe for kids and the most expensive was a blackwood used bagpipe.
In the middle we have something like a Dunfion blackwood bagpipe for $840 USD.
The size goes around 13 x 6 x 4 In (33 x 15 x 10 Cm) – 21 x 6 x 6 In (53 x 15 x 15 Cm) and has a weight from 1.75 Lbs (0.8 Kgs) to 5.5 Lbs (2.5 Kgs).
There are a lot of accessories for example:
- Mouthpiece protector: made of rubber,so you can blow without damaging the mouthpiece..
- Bag & Case: Bag for transportation and case for safety and transportation. If you don’t get one with your instrument check the sizes section to get a perfect one.
- Cleaning kit: a complete one should have brushes (short and extremely long), oil, microfiber and germinicide
How to learn the bagpipes
We recommend learning to read sheet music, play notes and learn the tricks playing songs.
For learning to read sheets we try a lot of resources to help you choose.
The tips & tricks are all the details that combined make a big difference.
They way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions and techniques.
Here are some book and courses:
- Bagpipes tutorial: free youtube playlist for theory of different channels.
- Instruction for beginners: paid udemy course on the first 5 steps.
- Method & songbook: paid book with cd for theory & practice.
Remember,the bagpipes are easy to learn and relatively fast too (around 1 year),, we hope this helps, we’ll keep working on this article.