Scottish fact of the week: International Bagpipe Day

A bagpipe maker in Peebles.  Picture: JP
A bagpipe maker in Peebles. Picture: JP
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TODAY marks the recently established International Bagpipe Day where the pipes are celebrated around the globe.

The event, first held in 2012, is organised by the Bagpipe Society and is held on March the 10th each year.

The organisers say the day allows the world’s bagpipes and piping traditions to be celebrated.

Pipers from across the globe are encouraged to organise events - including talks, lectures and concerts - to mark the event.

Bagpipes have been played for centuries throughout large parts of Europe, Turkey, and Northern Africa.

The first clear reference to the use of the Scottish Highland bagpipes is from a French history, which mentions their use at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547. George Buchanan (1506–82) claimed that they had replaced the trumpet on the battlefield.

During the expansion of the British Empire, spearheaded by British military forces that included Highland regiments, the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe became well-known worldwide. This surge in popularity was boosted by large numbers of pipers trained for military service in World War I and World War II. The surge coincided with a decline in the popularity of many traditional forms of bagpipe throughout Europe, which began to be displaced by instruments from the classical tradition and later by gramophone and radio.

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