Set of bellows-blown Union bagpipes

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British, late 18th century

Postcard of Set of bellows-blown Union bagpipes.
© National Museums Scotland

Set of bellows-blown Union bagpipes

Set of bellows-blown Union bagpipes, late 18th century, with bellows of wood and leather, silver mounts, and a black velvet bag cover over a leather bag. The drones include a Regulator with five keys, providing a chordal accompaniment to the chanter. The long or 'flat' chanter, with a 'foot joint', is made probably to tune to Concert A; it includes a tuning rush which can be used to flatten the top notes on the chanter. Collected by Dr Duncan Fraser.

The Union Bagpipe was developed for chamber music and light opera performance in the early 18th century. It is a form of bellows-blown chamber bagpipe which survives today in the versatile Irish Uilleann pipe.

Dr Alexander Duncan Fraser MD (1849-1920), born in Lochgilphead of an Inverness-shire family, graduated in medicine from Edinburgh University in 1874 and subsequently practised in Northumberland, Skye and Falkirk. His lifelong hobby was playing the pipes, studying the history of the bagpipe and its music, and collecting ancient and modern bagpipes 'of all nations'. In 1906 he published a book, Some Reminiscences and the Bagpipe, in which many of the instruments in his collection were illustrated. Some of his collection was donated to the Royal Scottish Museum in 1947.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-531-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1947.106 (1)
Date: Late 18th century (date of manufacture)
Late 18th century (date of manufacture)
Material: Wood, leather, silver and velvet
Dimensions: 1067 mm L
What: Bellows-blown Union bagpipes
Who: Dr Duncan Fraser (collector)
The Museum of Piping, Glasgow (place of display)
Where: England (possible place of manufacture)
Scotland (possible place of manufacture)
Description: Set of bellows-blown Union bagpipes with wood and leather bellows, silver mounts and a velvet bag cover over a leather bag.
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