Monday, April 21, 2008

According to an article from Saturday's Guardian, Scotland's national instrument, the bagpipes, are less than 200 years old.

In a new book to be published by the National Museums of Scotland, Hugh Cheape, a leading Gaelic historian and expert piper, argues that the origins of the instrument have been deluded by decades of mythology and deliberate deception.

Contrary to popular myth, the great Highland bagpipe never led Scottish clans into battle against the English, nor did kilted pipers carry them around the castles of Highland chieftains, playing laments to the fallen.

The article goes even further: "In fact, Mr Cheape states that the bagpipe was actually invented less than 200 years ago, primarily for urban audiences. And what's more, it was largely created using money from wealthy Scots emigres living in London".

First Kilts (which were also "invented" in the 1700s) and now bagpipes?! What's next, people? Whiskey and shortbread?

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