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Scottish musical instruments: what do we know except bagpipes?

When it comes to Scotland, then immediately come to mind men in plaid wool skirts, gloomy mountains, heathlands, piercing the icy wind, strong whiskey and, of course, loud and loud bagpipes. She annoys, disturbs and disturbs some people, her sounds remind others of something elusive, but very close, native. For Scots themselves, the sound of bagpipes is an echo of history, of the past, of the connection with the roots, which is not lost in the centuries, but becomes stronger with each new generation. For a simple man in the street there is always one thing - the Scottish bagpipe does not leave anyone indifferent.

Scottish bagpipes

Bagpipe is the most popular and iconic element of Scotland. Although it is not originally a Scottish musical instrument (bagpipe was brought by Vikings), it was this "bag with tubes" that glorified Scotland on a par with the kilt.

Like all Scottish musical instruments, bagpipes are made from improvised materials. Most often it is made from goatskin or sheepskin, turned inside out. From the skin make a kind of sack, which is tightly sewn with five tubes inserted into it. Through the upper one, air is fed into the bagpipe. On the bottom there are holes for changing sounds. The top three of these same sounds and publish.

In its sound, the bagpipe is unlike any musical instrument. Maybe that's what makes it so unique.

In the olden times, each clan had its own bagpiper, who accompanied all the holidays, events and campaigns of the leader.

Medieval Scottish bagpipers reproduced the long melodies with a subtle form. This kind of music is still called Pibroich (Pioborech), and today it is a textbook material written specifically for Scottish bagpipes.

Through the ages

Not everyone knows, but Scottish musical instruments are not limited to one bagpipe. This tool is only more popular, advertised and more often used on national holidays. It is logical to assume that the population of this region invented other musical instruments that raised not only fighting spirit during the battle, but also possessing signal and entertainment properties.


A rare Scottish folk musical instrument is the carnix. Unfortunately, they do not play on it now. The last time he sang almost 2000 years ago. Now the exhibits found by archaeologists are stored in the national museum of Scotland. Carnix, like bagpipes, is very melodic sound. But if the bagpipe sometimes irritates with its "squeakiness", then the carnix has a very gentle, velvety sound. He is just as sad, but he can hear the sound of the wind dwelling in the Highland mountains, the smell of the fire and the taste of the salt northern sea. Just like the bagpipes, the carnix was made from natural materials, or rather from a deer horn. Its main purpose was to provide a combat signal.


Another Scottish wind musical instrument is a whistle. In appearance, and in its sound, more like a flute. The time frame of its origin is not known exactly. It seemed that he was always. Unlike the Karnix, the whistle is still used. He is especially fond of Irish folk art. Whistle is a very original Scottish musical instrument. Its name in translation means "tin whistle".

What unites the winds of Scotland?

Unusual magic of sound is possessed by all Scottish musical instruments. The famous burdon (taut) tone was formed as a result of the use of natural materials. And the age-old transformation of both appearance and material led to the fact that, for example, the same bagpipes became so native to the Scottish population that for the past 300 years without it there have been no military parade or any significant event.

Scottish musical instruments, including bagpipe, occupy a dominant position, are distinguished by their simplicity and melodic sound. In addition, they all had a practical purpose. They sent signals, raised morale, or simply rejoiced in moments of despair.

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