Set of miniature Highland bagpipes

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possibly by R.G. Lawrie of Glasgow, 1930s

Postcard of Set of miniature Highland bagpipes.
© National Museums Scotland

Set of miniature Highland bagpipes

Set of miniature Highland bagpipes possibly by R.G. Lawrie of Glasgow, 1930s. Made of cocus wood mounted with ivory and consisting of a bass drone, two tenor drones and stocks including reeds, blow pipe, chanter stock and green silk tuning cord. The chanter is missing. Formerly stock of J. and R. Glen, Edinburgh, or from the collection of the firm's proprietors.

In its origins, the Highland bagpipe in common with other European and World bagpipes is a prehistoric wind instrument. Its main elements are the melody pipe or 'chanter' on which the music is played with the fingers (usually on a scale of nine notes) and with an accompanying fixed note or chordal accompaniment from the drone or drones, all of which are held in stocks tied into an animal skin bag (now coming to be replaced by synthetic materials). The player blows into the bag to supply a constant pressure and flow of air onto the reeds which are set into the chanter and drones and which make the sound. The air flow is controlled by a simple non-return valve on the blowstick.

The Highland bagpipe of Scotland is a universally recognised musical instrument but historically, in the last 2-300 years, only one in a variety of bagpipes growing out of the rich piping and musical traditions of the British Isles. Though its precise origins are still obscure, it seemed to arrive in the Highlands in the 15th or 16th centuries and was adopted as the principal musical instrument after the clarsach of the Gaelic clans. By the late 18th century, the Highland bagpipe had emerged in more of less fixed form with chanter and three drones, the style and embellishment becoming a matter of fashion as well as standardisation with a uniformity being required for band playing and competition. By the early 19th century professional bagpipe makers were offering different sizes of Highland bagpipe such as 'Full-size', 'Half-size', 'Reel' or 'Lovat Reel Pipe' and Miniature.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-779-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  K.2002.1160
Date: 1930s (date of manufacture)
Material: Cocus wood, ivory and silk
Dimensions: Bass drone 406 mm L x 40 mm Dia; bass drone stock 115 mm L x 28 mm Dia; tenor drone 229 mm L x 40 mm Dia; tenor drone stock 102 mm L x 26 mm Dia; blowpipe 378 mm L x 36 mm Dia; chanter stock 95 mm L x 27 mm Dia
What: Miniature Highland bagpipes
Who: Andrew Ross (successor to John and Robert Glen)
Glen and Ross Collection (musical instrument collection)
John and Robert Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers (manufacturers and collectors of musical instruments)
R.G. Lawrie (manufacturer)
Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh (place of display)
Where: Scotland, Glasgow (place of manufacture)
Description: Set of miniature Highland bagpipes made of cocus wood mounted with ivory and a green silk tuning cord.
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