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Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts

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j0_77 11 Mar 99 - 08:16 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 11 Mar 99 - 08:52 PM
j0_77 11 Mar 99 - 09:18 PM
Bruce O. 11 Mar 99 - 09:36 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 11 Mar 99 - 09:58 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 11 Mar 99 - 10:19 PM
j0_77 11 Mar 99 - 10:21 PM
j0_77 11 Mar 99 - 10:28 PM
Bruce O. 11 Mar 99 - 10:29 PM
Bruce O. 11 Mar 99 - 10:41 PM
j0_77 11 Mar 99 - 10:42 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 11 Mar 99 - 10:52 PM
j0_77 11 Mar 99 - 11:00 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 11 Mar 99 - 11:04 PM
j0_77 11 Mar 99 - 11:29 PM
Lonesome EJ 12 Mar 99 - 12:32 AM
Hank 12 Mar 99 - 08:38 AM
Philippa 12 Mar 99 - 11:34 AM
12 Mar 99 - 05:14 PM
Ian Kirk (inactive) 13 Mar 99 - 09:42 AM
Philippa 13 Mar 99 - 09:46 AM
catspaw49 13 Mar 99 - 09:50 AM
j0_77 13 Mar 99 - 11:56 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 13 Mar 99 - 06:15 PM
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Subject: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: j0_77
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 08:16 PM

Gaelic spoken in Ireland before English - Until 1800s Union is an English word. Uilleann is a Gaelic word.

Pipes developed in Ireland from a Pib Mor(Bag Pipe like the Scottish Pipes) to the Cuislean Pipes(Primitive Uilleann Pipes) in response to laws prohibiting the playing of the Pib Mor in Ireland. The English Government feared further union between the Irish and Scots. They said the Pib Mor was 'seditious' It was. (grins)

Pipes developed in secrecy - by the NATIVE Irish. over 300 years. Up till 1850s. These were very low volume and sweet powered by bellows not blow stem. They were pitched at C or below some as low as Bb.

If the people who invented the darn things called them Uilleann and they had to do it secretly for fear of the hangman then the name is good enough for me. :)


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 08:52 PM

I am curious as to how strenously these bans were enforced, and if there are any documented cases of a piper being hanged or transported for playing the pipes.

In Scotland, Boswell and Dr. Johnson went to the Highlands and the Hebrides in 1773. Boswell mentions dancing to reels played on the pipes, but doesn't say that there was anything unusual or dangerous about it. These pipes were also being played in the best houses, often by a piper who held his position by hereditary right. He also mentions these facts in his published journal, which he presumably would not have done had he thought he'd have got his hosts into any trouble. The ban was apparently still on the books in 1773 though. In fact, it appears that some people were also wearing some form of kilt, perhaps the Great Kilt, because Dr. Johnson poohpoohed it as an impractical mode of dress.

There is a difference between a law being on the books, and being enforced. There is a law on the books in my city against spitting on the sidewalk, enacted in the days of the flu epidemic, but I would be surprised if anyone has been prosecuted under it for the last fifty years.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: j0_77
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 09:18 PM

Hi Tim - history at this time - 1500 - 1700 was greatly controlled and contrived. Even in Scotland where you'd imagine they mighta escaped the probing eyes of the ever present spies of the the 'crown' There was in Britain during these times a great uprising initially in that grand old country Scotland. The Irish in Ulster allied with the Highlanders of Scotland. This is the source of the present troubles in N Ireland. The Scottish made a deal but England reserved a special punishment for Ulster for betrayal. The Scots did not suffer any penalty other than mass murder of certain families. Something like Bosnia I guess. The Ulster Irish however got the shaft. Not only did they ban the Pib Mor in Ireland -all counties- but they aslo disposessed the natives of their land and gave it to families from Scotland who had betrayed their own King and country. So much for Celtic solidarity. Yes there were many hangings of Pipers untill the Irish found a new way to survive. The hangings continued even after the Cuishlean Pipes were invented. In these latter times the crime was 'seditious tunes' Hope that helps.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 09:36 PM

P. O'Farrell's 'Collection of National Irish Music for the Union Pipes', was entered at Stationer's Hall, and published in London in 1804. The title page illustration shows O'Farrell playing the pipes in a production of 'Oscar and Malvina' (but the original score says that Mr. Courtney was the piper in the original production). The first 16 pages are a description of the pipes, and how to play them. O'Farrell followed up this with 'O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, in 4 parts, London (1805-10)What was secret? [I have the facsimile reprint of the former and have seen the first 3 parts of the latter.]

Francis o'Neill, 'Irish Music and Musicians' noted of the cuisle pipes, 'as the pressure on the bag to expel air is exerted by the forearms or wrists- hence,cuisle, or pulse.'


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 09:58 PM

Which brings me to the question I raised on the other thread and should have raised here, whether or not there is a difference between Union and Uilleann pipes or if they are the same thing. I thought it was shuttle pipes that were the rarity, although there is a band from a city near here that uses them.

W. M. Thackeray mentions listening to the pipes, presumably Uillean pipes since he was serenaded at dinner and compared the sound to a clarinet. I can't remember the exact reference as to date but it was in his account of his trip to Ireland. (Always with an eye for the women, WMT appears to have been most impressed by the beauty of Irish womankind. He also liked the beer.)

The English presumably played pipes just like other Europeans, but the only pipes I've heard of from there are the Northumbrian pipes. {Presumably the English didn't ban the Northumbrian pipes.)

As I mentioned in the other thread, I like the pipes depicted in the paintings of the Dutch masters -- strange things which appear to have enormously long drones. I wonder what they sounded like.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 10:19 PM

I can't resist posting this joke which someone posted on the Scots Trad Music List:

Donald MacDonald from the Isle of Skye went to study at an English university and was living in the hall of residence with all the other students there. After he had been there a month, his mother came to visit him.

"And how do you find the English students, Donald?" she asked.

"Mother," he replied, "they're such terrible, noisy people. The one on that side keeps banging his head on the wall and won't stop. The one on the other side screams and screams all night."

"Oh Donald! How do you manage to put up with these awful noisy English neighbors?"

"Mother, I do nothing. I just ignore them. I just stay here quietly, playing my bagpipes."


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: j0_77
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 10:21 PM

The Landlords and their lackeys published a lot stuff so much so that by 1848 the English Gentry were still missinformed about the true situation in Ireland. See the Great Potatoe Famine 'The Famine' http://vocal.local.ie/


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: j0_77
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 10:28 PM

Oh Bruce did not see your posting - ouch - I am describing what happened after the ban on the Pib Mor. The O Farrell did what a lot of folk had to do, 'dance' to an invader's tune. Secrecy about what??? Music? Instruments?


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 10:29 PM

I thought the 2nd sentence of my posting on Mar. 6 on the Greensleeves thread made the relation of 'Uillean' and 'union' pipes very clear.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 10:41 PM

O'Farrell was a piper not a dancer. His first collection contains 4 Scots tunes, the rest are, except for one, Irish with titles in English and Gaelic. Where is the invader? The one is "Cummalum", which is a member of a family widespread over the British Isles. It has been suggested that the family descends from a 17th century tune, obviously Scots, 'Up wi' Aley, Aley', but first found in an English publication. [A corrected version of the badly printed first publication, 1685, is among the ballad tunes given in ABC on my website.]


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: j0_77
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 10:42 PM

Sorry Bruce but the facts show the evolution much better than any establishment bull however ancient. Tim I suspect if the painter is depicting an Irish piper the instrument is probably tuned to C or B which is lower in pitch to a modern instrument - typicaly tuned in D. The Drones would have to be much longer than a modern instrument. RE Uillean Pipes and playing 7 years learning 7 years practicing 7 years playing to be a Piper.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 10:52 PM

I missed that. So they are the same.

I'm not sure if I understand Jo's post though. The Duke of Cumberland certainly did a great deal of punishing after 1745, and there was at least a legal ban on pipes in Scotland for some time. I think Boswell does mention that some of the piping schools had been closed, but I would have to dig up the exact reference. There were also other legal changes which were meant to lessen the power of the clan chieftains. It just appears that by 1773 at least the ban on pipes wasn't being much enforced.

Perhaps the difference in Scotland might have been the realization that some of them had actually supported the Hanovers over the Stuarts, and it wasn't particularly fair to reward them in such a fashion. I make no comment on the merits of these ancient disputes, except to point out that in the previous century it was the Scots who handed Charles I over to his fate.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: j0_77
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 11:00 PM

Tim re 1600 - 1700 and Scotland - yeah right. re my point The Irish spoke Gaelic NOT English They called the instrument Cuislean also later Uilleann. After the Irish adopted English some Irish err apologists went with Union. The native musicians used that term for the instrument without regulators.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 11:04 PM

No, the painter, being Dutch, would presumably have been depicting pipers in Flanders.

The fact that tunes were first printed in England might perhaps have to do with the fact that the English had the bulk of the printing presses. But that the tunes were printed there and presumably the books sold there should show that the English didn't have any particular prejudice against Scottish or Irish dance tunes.

Incidently, except for his distant ancestry there was little that was Scottish about Bonnie Prince Charlie any more than there was much Scottish about Charles II or his brother James. Bonnie Charlie probably presented himself very much like a well-bred Frenchman, since that is where he was raised.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: j0_77
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 11:29 PM

Right ....they controlled the media and played with peoples attitiudes - knowledge. Still trying it even now see Thatcher et al on Ireland. Re Prejudices No. It was seditious songs and tunes they went after. I've some data on this topic but not here or now, later perhaps.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 12:32 AM

Tim...it was my understanding that James I was very much a Scots noble, down to speaking with the very broad lowland Scots accent. When he became King of England and went to London to assume the Throne, many of his ministers were also native scots and their accents/language made them the butt of many (secret) jokes.Due to this, James instructed that English as spoken at the English court be adopted by all Scots nobility, thus ending official use of what was rapidly becoming a separate language.Where's Cuillinon (sp?) when we need her?


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Hank
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 08:38 AM

EJ, James I of england other [previous] title was king James IV of Scotland. I'm not sure how king of Scotland got to be king of england, right on the tails of Queen Elisabeth. You can ask biblical scolars about King James, they like him as his most lasting accomplisment (to them if nothing else) is an english translation of the bible. It wouldn't hurt to bring in Shakesphere scholars, they generally know the ins and out of the nobolity of that time, as they look for new reasons to write a paper on some play and what it ment.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Philippa
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 11:34 AM

Hi. I too have been wondering where Cuilfhionn is. I'm trying to get a date for when the Highland bagpipes were legally reinstated in Scotland - as an aid to recruitment to the army! The kilt was allowed under the Disclothing Act of 1782, so maybe the law banning pipes was removed then. I read that the Statutes of Kilkenny, banning the pipes in Ireland, was never revoked.
Shakespeare wrote of "woolen" pipes and that certainly sounds like a corruption of "uillean". But I think "cuisle" (pulse, throb), "uillean" (elbow), and "union" (of the drones and chanter)are names which have distinct origins rather than arising one from another. There was a lot of discussion of the subject at IrTrad-L. You can find the archives at http://listserv.heanet.ie/irtrad-l.html and look up the Jan and Feb 1999 entries under "onion pipes" and under "uillean" or do a search at the same site for "onion or union" (minus the quotation marks) since Jan 1999. I recommend the latter strategy, as it will show you the initial sentences of the relevant messages and you can then click on any message that looks promising.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From:
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 05:14 PM

Hank, Where did you lose James V and James VI of Scotland?


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Ian Kirk (inactive)
Date: 13 Mar 99 - 09:42 AM

Tim you mention that you have not heard any other English pipes apart from Northumbrian pipes. It interested me to do a Yahoo search on bagpipes and I found

http://www.gmm.co.uk/ai

One of the charcters Geoffrey Chaucer, writing in the 14thC mentions in The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, is the Miller 'Ful byg he was of brawn and eek of bones' who 'A baggepipe wel koude he blow and sowne'

On the above site they have a sound recording of the sort of pipe the Miller may have played along with a stack of other sound recording of obscure bagpipes.

Aint the web wonderful!

Ian


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Philippa
Date: 13 Mar 99 - 09:46 AM

I've seen and heard what I was told were Scottish small pipes (bellow-blown, bigger than the Northumbrian, simpler than the Irish version) and I seem to recall old Belgian paintings of similar instruments?


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Mar 99 - 09:50 AM

Yeah, the web is great. Nothing like getting your pipes blown on the web.

Sorry...Couldn't resist it...My Apologies...

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: j0_77
Date: 13 Mar 99 - 11:56 AM

The good King Griffith in the 12th century introduced the Irish Pipes to the Eisteddfod of Wales. Cwymru am beith(forgive me bad spellins of Welsh) The Eisteddfod is still held every year. I guess it's the oldest folk festival in Britain.


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Subject: RE: Uillean Pipes Little irritating facts
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 13 Mar 99 - 06:15 PM

Yes, but by the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie the Stuarts were hardly very Scottish. I don't dispute their distant ancestry of more than a century before Culloden. They weren't very Scottish by the time of Charles I, after the Restoration.

James I of England got to be king for the simple reason that Elizabeth was The Virgin Queen. Hence the son of Mary Queen of Scots got to be the English king too. I can't remember how the Tudors got hooked up with the Stuarts so as to have a common heir.


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