drums and bagpipes

Mark Harris mark_harris at quickmail.sps.mot.com
Mon Jul 24 11:54:48 PDT 1995

Several of you were discussing the use of the drum as a medieval
marching device. I found the following message in my instruments
file. Though not definative, it does give a source and one author's

The second message gives a summary of the history of the bagpipe
that some else here mentioned briefly.

Stefan li Rous

From: legowik at cme.nist.gov (Steven Legowik)
Date: 14 May 91 15:16:40 GMT
Organization: National Institute of Standards and Technology


I'm not really a very musically inclined person, but I was doing a
little research on the history of the flute and stumbled across some
history on drums as well.  My lady is much more interested in them
than I was.

The general gist seems to be that drums were not used much in Europe
until very late period.  The drum was basically a middle eastern
instrument and was considered an oddity in Europe.  (which also seemed
to be the case with flutes and fifes) The first drums were the naker
and tabor.  I don't remember the dates but I think it was after 1300.
They were originally pretty much confined to military music.  (ie.
marching music) The tabor was a pretty generic looking drum (like
you'd see in a colonial fife and drum picture) and nakers were sort of
bowl shaped drums.

Drums got into the regular musical scene in the renaissance.  The
notes I have listed three drums as components of a renaissance band:
the long drum, the kettledrum, and the side drum.  (from Musical
Instruments of the World)  They appear to be pretty generic drums.
The side drum is drawn as having a square cross section.

The other book I was reading was "The History of Musical Instruments"
by Curt Sachs.  I hope I remembered the essential details correctly.
You might want to try and find the book in the library.

Hope this helps a little bit.

Stephen the Devious                     Steven Legowik
Shire of Highland Foorde                Frederick, MD
Atlantia                                legowik at cme.nist.gov

From: GRS999910118 at stat.appstate.EDU
Date: 3 Jul 91 12:46:00 GMT
Organization: The Internet

Unto the Rialto, Does Niall MacFarlane send greetings!

      The Bagpipes started development originaly in India at about 3000 bc
. from India it slowly spread to the middle east where it picked up
the base drone. from here it was picked up by the Romans when they
conquered the area. From the romans it spread to damn near everyone else.

There are period examples of bagpipes ranging from the slavic peoples
in the east, to spanish bagpipes, french, german, and variations
of each within each country. The bagpipes that we know today
(the Irish and Scottish types) arrived on the scene at about
900 A.D. when the Irish developed a two drone set with a somewhat irregular
chanter. This was followed by the Highland Bagpipe developed by the scottish
peoples at about 1000 A.D. This example is the prototype of the modern
Great highland Bagpipes of today. From Scotland, suprisingly, it spread later
in late period to scandinavian countries and Poland, where Scottish
spread the highland bagpipes around.

As far as Northumbrian and Uillian pipes are concerned, I am not terribly
sure they are period.. I'll have to look that up.

If anyone needs any info on bagpipes, I can dig into my refernce library
(I would not, but my editor is not working, and its just too early in the
ing...) eeek... make that would now.. not would not..
and find info for you...

well got to go..
Ld Niall MacFarlane
Pipemajor of the Atlantian Guild for Bagpiping and Drumming
among other strange things

<the end>

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