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War instrument: Bagpipe


A wind instrument whose reed pipes are sounded by the pressure of wind emitted by a bag squeezed by the player's arm. Bagpipes are most closely associated with Scotland, but they are also used in folk music in Ireland, Northumberland and France, as well as in various forms throughout Europe and Western Asia.

The main goal of this instrument, which has a piercing sound and a graceful melody meant to be played outdoors, is to inspire men and women in the midst of conflict. It is also used to mourn the dead and to celebrate victory. Music was usually played before the battle but not during it.

The use of Scottish bagpipes in battle dates back to 1396, when records of the Battle of the North Inch of Perth mention "warpipes" being carried into battle, despite the fact that bagpipes were originally intended for peaceful music.

Bagpipes also inspired the Irish, as evidenced by this 1586 account: "This sort of instrument is held among the Irish to be a whetstone for martial courage: for just as other soldiers are stirred by the sound of trumpets, so the noise of this affair hotly stimulates them to battle."

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