How many people listen to bagpipes for the pleasure of it on a regular basis?
Probably not many. I’m sure that most people turn down the very thought of it based on the hacks that insist their ill tuned pipes, and/or poor musicianship on the general public.
When I was younger I never dreamed of listening to pipes for pleasure, even when I was starting to learn the pipes. Then, my dad brought home a cassette tape of a prominent Scottish pipe major (Robert Matheson’s Ebb Tide). Totally cheese ball now, but I’d heard nothing like this before. I couldn’t stop listening to it. It was full of catchy tunes, played in a manner I’d never heard before.
Then, Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band released “Debut”. I know now that bands were recording music like this before, but I’d never heard before. I ruined that cassette from overuse.
I had to have more and more piping recordings, and I started listening to top pipers and bands playing on perfectly tuned instruments. I’d bought Gordon Walker’s “Pipers of Distinction” three times due to the cassette breaking, then the C.D. scratching beyond playability (I actually need to get this one again, as I ruined my last copy before I bought an iPod).
I don’t think I would have liked any of these recordings any less if I weren’t a piper. I actually think this stuff inspired me to pay more attention to all music. I wanted to play music.
I have to wonder if people probably don’t dislike the bagpipes. They may just dislike bad piping. I’m sure I would dislike the piano if my only exposure to it was some oblivious schmuck, banging loudly on ill tuned keys, with no musicality.
F.Y.I. my must have piping albums are (in no particular order):
Gordon Walker “Pipers of Distinction”
Angus McColl “Live”
Roddy MacLeod “Pipers of Distinction”
Willie McCallum “Hailey’s Song”
And, Gordon Duncan “The Circular Breath”.
Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band “Live in Motherwell”
Simon Fraser University Pipe Band “Alive in America”