Forums and Chat for Indonesia's English-speaking community
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#65793 - 03 Dec 07 04:02 Bagpipes a threat to the environment (and we're not talking noise pollution)
flingwing Offline
Member++

Registered: 28 May 07
Posts: 188
Loc: Jakarta
After years of denying their part in raising the temperature of the earth's atmosphere with their incessant peat burning to make single-malt whiskey, we finally have have an open-and-shut case with which to nail the Scots. Below is an alarming story about "bag pipe wood" and the Scot's inexorable march to destroy our planet.

Perhaps now we can arrange to give them some carbon credits if they'll just lower the price of that damned whiskey.
drink
-----------------------------------------

MARC HORNE (mhorne@scotlandonsunday.com)
Full story at <http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1883502007>

THEY were once outlawed for being used as seditious weapons of war. Now, bagpipes have been blasted as an environmental menace.

Over-intensive logging means that the African wood used to make Scotland's national instrument faces being wiped out.

Conservation groups are letting out skirls of protest, urging musicians and instrument manufacturers to make sure their pipes come from eco-friendly sources.

As part of the campaign, Scots are being asked to fund the planting of "bagpipe trees" in a bid to atone for the environmental damage.

Traditionally the chanter on the bottom of Highland pipes, which is used to create the melody, was made from native woods such as bog oak.

But Scottish mariners who travelled to Africa in the 18th century returned with supplies of African Blackwood, which proved to be far more resilient and produced a sweeter sound.

Since then the species, known as Mpingo in Swahili, has been a staple component of most quality pipes.

Conservation group Fauna & Flora International (FFI) said urgent action is needed to prevent the species being lost.

"With its beauty, fine grain, durable structure and natural oils no other wood looks - or sounds - the same as African Blackwood," said its campaign co-ordinator Georgina Magin.

But pipe major and manufacturer David MacMurchie, who uses Blackwood, was less than impressed by the campaign.

"I for one am not going be made to feel guilty by a bunch of misguided environmental do-gooders," he said. "I am sure that the communities in Africa use a hell of a lot more Blackwood than bagpipe manufacturers".

"It is unfair and misleading to try to blame it all on us."

The pipes were outlawed as an "instrument of war" after the Hanoverian forces crushed the Jacobites at Culloden in 1746.

A SCOTTISH SYMBOL INVENTED ABROAD
The origins of the bagpipes are lost in the mists of time with both China and the Middle East staking claims. But what is certain is that the instrument that is synonymous with Scotland originated far outside [Scotland's] shores.

The oldest references to it appear in Alexandria, Egypt, in about 100BC. The instrument is believed have travelled west through Europe and both Roman and Greek writings mention it in about AD100. Pictish carvings from the eighth century confirm the pipes, which were probably made of sheep or goat skin, took hold in Scotland. They became increasingly popular and Robert the Bruce's troops were stirred by the tune Hey Tutti Taiti as they marched to battle at Bannockburn. The tune was later revived by Robert Burns' Scots Wa' Hae.

The British army later recognised that the skirl of the pipes was a formidable way of motivating troops, and bagpipers led the charge in conflicts from the Crimea to the Second World War.

Shakespeare also mentions the pipes in The Merchant Of Venice.

The bagpipes were a key part of the feared Highland charge technique used by clansmen and following the defeat of the last Jacobite rebellion they were banned as an instrument of war.

–end excerpt--

Top
#65794 - 03 Dec 07 04:23 Re: Bagpipes a threat to the environment (and we're not talking noise pollution) [Re: flingwing]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
Wha's like us!
_________________________
Menace to Sobriety


Top
#65804 - 03 Dec 07 13:42 Re: Bagpipes a threat to the environment (and we're not talking noise pollution) [Re: flingwing]
Orang Kanada Offline
Member*

Registered: 30 Sep 06
Posts: 621
Loc: Jakarta
Quoting: flingwing

Traditionally the chanter on the bottom of Highland pipes, which is used to create the melody, was made from native woods such as bog oak.

But Scottish mariners who travelled to Africa in the 18th century returned with supplies of African Blackwood, which proved to be far more resilient and produced a sweeter sound.


Can you imagine the sound produced by original wood if this one is sweeter???
_________________________
Spiderpig, spiderpig...

Top
#65825 - 03 Dec 07 19:02 Re: Bagpipes a threat to the environment (and we're not talking noise pollution) [Re: Orang Kanada]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
I'm sure it would be just fine!

I finished Saturday evening off with a few Pibroch's and a rake of whisky....

Sounded great to me!

(Fucking phillistines! Culture at its best is widely regarded as Scots enjoying themselves while being immersed in their own culture)

_________________________
Menace to Sobriety


Top


Moderator:  NetCop