OT: 24 June 1911 – Charles Bannatyne “The Great Highland Bagpipe and Its Music”



The Oban Times, 24 June, 1911

The Great Highland Bagpipe and Its Music

Salsburgh, by Holytown

9 June, 1911

Sir,–It was not my intention to say more on this subject, but the persistency with which “Morag” tries to fasten on my devoted head an expression I never uttered, and which has formed the text of all his rodomontade, forces me to do so.

I did not report my lecture t0, nor condense it for, your columns, and if it makes me say that the bagpipe was unknown in the Highlands till the 16th-century, then it is so far incorrectly reported.

I know a little about bagpipes, and hoped to learn more from your correspondent, but have only received, in response to my request for information, personal attack. While the public is to be the judge of the truth or otherwise of my letters, “Morag” is the judge of his own. He pats himself on the back, roundly abuses me, and finally claims a great victory. So let it be!

It may surprise him to learn that the Highland bagpipe differs in nowise from the modern Spanish instrument, except that the latter has but one tenor drone instead of two. The sounds of the instruments are identical. Nothing can get outside of the fact that there are no records extant to prove the existence of the bagpipe in the Highlands from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. –I am, etc.,

Charles Bannatyne, M.B., C.M.

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