Bagpipes Video Series Featuring The 42nd Royal Highlanders
Plank Road Publishing was happy to welcome the 42nd Royal Highlanders from Lafayette, Indiana, to a recording session in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their bagpipes, fifes, and drums were featured in "Emerald Isle," from Music K-8, Vol. 22, No. 4. We filmed the musicians performing on and explaining about their instruments, and we have assembled several short, focused videos so you can pick and choose which to view and share with your students.
- Amazing Grace (Harmony) - Bagpipers and fifers perform a beautiful harmony version of "Amazing Grace." Time: 1:40.
- Bagpipes: The feared Instrument? - Piper Brandon Hughes talks about the historical role of highland bagpipes as an instrument of war. There's no getting around the fact that this is a very loud instrument! Time: 2:53.
- Bagpipes: What They're Made Of And How They Work - Piper Taylor Stirm talks a little about the history of bagpipes, the materials used to craft them, and the mechanics of playing them. Time: 2:31.
- The Chanter - Bagpiper Brandon Hughes plays a short tune on the chanter, detached from the bagpipes, and explains why that's so difficult. Time: 1:10.
- Drones And Reeds - Taylor Stirm explains about the bass and tenor drones, as well as the chanter, and takes them apart to reveal the reeds. Time: 3:09.
- The Fife - Fifer Preston Smith talks about the fife and its historical role in the military. Time: 1:35.
- March, Strathspey, And Reel (MSR) - We ask the 42nd Royal Highlanders to play a piece of their choosing, and they opt for "MSR." There's a mistake the first time through - yes, even professional musicians make mistakes - but the second time through goes smoothly. Time: 4:05.
- McPherson's Lament / Banjo Breakdown - A lone drummer starts. Fifes join in. Finally, the bagpipes add their stentorian voices to this tune. Time: 3:15.
- Playing Bagpipes: Grace Notes, Movements, And Lots Of Air - In this interview, Bagpiper Brandon Hughes explains some of the unique qualities of the bagpipes: They require lots of air, and they make use of grace notes and movements (notes between the notes). Time: 5:08.
- Recording Emerald Isle - First bagpipers, then drummers, and finally fifers lay down tracks for John Riggio's "Emerald Isle" at Aire Born Recording Studios. Time: 6:27.
- The Rope Tension Drum - Drummer Brandon Cunningham introduces us to the rope tension drum. Time: 2:08.
- Scotland The Brave - With bagpipers in the recording studio, we couldn't pass up the chance to have them play "Scotland The Brave." The first time through, the musicians ran into a snag, but we tune in just in time for a second take, which turns out beautifully. Time: 2:30.
- Tuning And Reeds - Brandon Hughes explains how bagpipes are tuned and talks about modern vs. traditional reeds. He demonstrates how reeds sound by themselves in contrast to how they sound in the drones. Time: 9:24.
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