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Encyclopedia > Pipe band
The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, winner of 4 World Pipe Band Championships in the past decade, in competition at the 2005 Bellingham Highland Games
The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, winner of 4 World Pipe Band Championships in the past decade, in competition at the 2005 Bellingham Highland Games

A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. The term used by military pipe bands, Pipes and Drums, is also common. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The SFU pipe band in competition at the 2005 Bellingham Highland Games The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band is a grade one pipe band affiliated with Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Colombia, Canada (a suburb located just east of Vancouver, BC). ... The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, winner of 4 World Pipe Band Championships in the past decade, in competition at the 2005 Bellingham Highland Games A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. ... A piper playing the Great Highland Bagpipe. ... For the comic book character, see Drummer (comics). ...


The most common form of pipe band, the Scottish pipe band, consists of a section of pipers, a section of snare drummers (often referred to as 'side drummers'), several tenor drummers and a single bass drummer. The entire drum section is known collectively as the drum corps. The tenor drummers and bass drummer are referred to collectively as the 'bass section' (or in North America as the 'midsection'). The band follows the direction of the pipe major; when on parade the band may be led by a drum major, who directs the band with a mace. This article is about the country. ... Pipe Major The Great Highland Bagpipe (Gaelic : A Phìob Mhòr) is probably the best-known variety of bagpipe. ... The snare drum or side drum is a tubular drum made of wood or metal with skins, or heads, stretched over the top and bottom openings, and with a set of snares (cords) stretched across the bottom head. ... A tenor drum is a cylindrical drum, much higher pitched than a bass drum. ... A bass drum is a large drum that produces a note of low definite or indefinite pitch. ... Drum and bugle corps is a name used to describe two forms of marching units. ...


Standard instrumentation for a pipe band involves 6 to 25 pipers, 3 to 10 side drummers, 1 to 4 tenor drummers and 1 bass drummer. Occasionally this instrumentation is augmented to include additional instruments (such as additional percussion instruments or keyboard instruments), but this is typically done only in concert settings.

Contents

History of the Pipe Band

The pipe band began life in the military, but its origins are obscure, and historical records exist mostly in hints gleaned from contemporary regimental records that had no direct interest in pipes.


It is known that pipers served in regiments from the earliest times; the Royal Scots have records referring to pipers dating back to the early seventeenth century. Where pipers were employed as pipers (rather than just happening to be a soldier that also was able to play), they were employed by the officers of the regiments as private pipers. This situation continued until the 1840s, when Queen Victoria's enthusiasm for all things Highland was instrumental in the War Office's decision that each regiment be allowed five pipers and a Pipe Major, which continues to be all that the British Army provides funds for to this day. British regiment A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - commanded by a colonel. ... Official name The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) Colonel-in-Chief Honorary-General HRH Mary, Princess Royal (1918) HRH Anne, Princess Royal (1983) Nicknames Pontius Pilates Bodyguard Motto Nemo me impune lacessit (Nobody touches me with impunity) Anniversaries Marches Quick March: Dumbartons Drums Slow March: Garb of Old... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837, and the first Empress of India from 1 May 1876, until her death on 22 January 1901. ... Lowland-Highland divide Highland Sign with welcome in English and Gaelic The Scottish Highlands (A Ghàidhealtachd in Gaelic) include the rugged and mountainous regions of Scotland north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault. ... Old War Office Building, seen from Whitehall, London - the former location of the War Office The War Office was a former department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1963, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence. ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ...


By this time, pipers were already playing together with drummers, probably modeling themselves on the fife and drum bands which had existed in Switzerland since the fifteenth century. Drumming is, of course, as ancient as the concept of formed military units, and their original purpose on the battlefield was to signal tactical movements and keep cadence on the march. Fife from the American Civil War A fife is a small, high-pitched, transverse flute that is similar to the piccolo, but louder and shriller due to its narrower bore. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ...


By the time of the Crimean War, pipe bands were well established. The first civilian organizations to adopt pipe bands were police and fire brigade bands;[1] even today, several forces maintain bands that play to a very high standard. Combatants Allies: Second French Empire British Empire Ottoman Empire Kingdom of Sardinia Russian Empire Bulgarian volunteers Casualties 90,000 French 35,000 Turkish 17,500 British 2,194 Sardinian killed, wounded and died of disease ~134,000 killed, wounded and died of disease The Crimean War (1853–1856) was fought... Firefighter with an axe A firefighter, sometimes still called a fireman though women have increasingly joined firefighting units, is a person who is trained and equipped to put out fires, rescue people and in some areas provide emergency medical services. ...


By the time World War I broke out, the pipe band represented a popular image of Scotland, both internally and externally. “The Great War ” redirects here. ...


Military pipers were killed and injured in significant numbers in the Great War, before the War Office banned the practice of playing in the trenches in 1915.[citation needed] The ban was often not observed; Canadian piper James Richardson was awarded the Victoria Cross for playing in action in 1916. Although that ban still stands today, pipes have occasionally played into battle, notably at El Alamein, Dieppe, the Normandy beaches, and the crossing of the Rhine. Photo by Terry Macdonald James (Jimmy) Cleland Richardson (25 November 1895 – 8 or 9 October 1916) was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. ... El Alamein is a town in northern Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea coast. ... Combatants Canada United Kingdom Germany Commanders Louis Mountbatten J. H. Roberts Gerd von Rundstedt Strength 6,086 1,500 Casualties Canada: 950 dead, 2,340 captured wounded or not; United Kingdom: 600; United States:4+; 311 dead, 280 wounded The Dieppe Raid, also known as The Battle of Dieppe or... Land on Normandy In military parlance, D-Day is a term often used to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. ...


Military pipers have also served in both Gulf Wars.


WWI also created a huge demand for pipers, and huge numbers had been taught to play by the end of the war. [citation needed] This and the similar effort which went on during WWII ensured that there was a critical mass of people able to play and create a thriving pipe band scene from the 1950s onwards. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Military Pipes and Drums

In military and para-military organizations the term Pipes and Drums is used when referring to an ensemble of Highland bagpipes and drums, but the majority of modern military bands are quite similar to their civilian counterparts in ttheir instrumentation and music. Many of the same standard tunes are found in both the military and civilian pipe band repertoires, and many similarities exist in terms of musical style, historical and musical influences, and dress and deportment.


Unlike civilian pipers, however, pipers in military bands have additional military responsibilities. Nowadays, musicians in British Army bands are normally required to take on a secondary role in the battlefield as medics. However, in most cases the pipes and drums in a Scottish or Irish infantry regiment constitute a machine gun platoon (as the Corps of Drums does in an English or Welsh infantry regiment). As a result, in addition to being musicians, members of the pipes and drums must also be qualified fighting soldiers. Unlike musicians, who belong to the Corps of Army Music, the pipers and drummers belong to the regiment in which they serve and are Soldiers first and foremost. This article is about the title or occupation. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means. ... British regiment A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - commanded by a colonel. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... Platoon of the German Bundeswehr. ... The Corps of Army Music is a corps of the British Army. ...


The British Army runs its own pipes and drums training facility, the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, in Edinburgh, Scotland. To be qualified as a Pipe Major or Drum Major in the pipes and drums of a regiment of the British Army, candidates must successfully pass a series of courses at the school. The Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming is a British Army training establishment that provides instructions of Scottish bagpipe music to military pipers, drummers and pipe bands. ... For other uses, see Edinburgh (disambiguation). ... This article is about the country. ... The Pipe Major is the director of bagpipe music in a Scottish or Irish pipe band. ... A high school drum major uses hand gestures to lead his band. ...


Pipe Band Music

Pipe Sergeant Jack Lee of the Simon Fraser University PB

The music played by pipe bands generally consists of music from the Scottish tradition, either in the form of traditional folk tunes and dances or music from the Western tradition that has been adapted for pipes. Examples of typical pipe bands forms include marches, slow airs, up-tempo jigs and reels, and strathspeys. In recent years there has been a great deal of emphasis placed on new forms, especially the suite. A good example of a suite for pipe band is Don Thompson's composition Journey to Skye (1987). Image File history File linksMetadata Jack_Lee_05Bel_001. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Jack_Lee_05Bel_001. ... Jack Lee at the 2005 Bellingham Highland Games Jack Lee is the pipe sergeant of the multiple World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. ... The jig (sometimes seen in its French language or Italian language forms gigue or giga) is a folk dance type as well as the accompanying dance tune type, popular in Ireland and Scotland. ... The reel is a folk dance type as well as the accompanying dance tune type. ... A strathspey is a dance tune in 4/4, usually written in 1/8th notes. ... In music, a suite is an organized set of instrumental or orchestral pieces normally performed at a single sitting, as a separate musical performance, not accompanying an opera, ballet, or theater-piece. ...


In conventional pipe band music, each section of instruments has a different role in the music. Generally speaking, the pipers deliver the melodic and harmonic material, while the side drummers provide a rhythmically interactive accompaniment part. The tenor drummers provide the fundamental rhythmic pulse and the bass drummer anchors the rhythms, providing a strong and steady beat. The roles of each section are broken down further below.


The Pipe Section

Since the bagpipe is the only pipe band instrument capable of producing distinct, variable pitches, the pipers are responsible for providing all of the melodic material in the music. Generally speaking, all of the pipers play a unison melody on their chanters, with their drones providing the harmonic support and filling out the sound. These unison melodies are often quite complex and demanding. It is this complexity that provides much of the musical interest. It has been suggested that Practice chanter be merged into this article or section. ...


When harmony is written within the pipe section, it is usually a two-part harmony, and is usually scored in a 2:1 ratio (with two thirds of the players on the melody and one third of the players on the harmony part). Because of the limited range of the chanter, the harmonic possibilities are somewhat limited, but well-written harmony in a pipe band setting can be quite effective. Pipe band harmony is sometimes referred to as 'seconds', although this simply refers to a second part and not to the interval of a second. In fact, intervals of a second are rarely found in pipe band harmony parts, except in passing. Instead, it is the consonant intervals which are stressed, such as perfect fourths and fifths, and even more commonly, parallel thirds and sixths. Harmony is the use and study of pitch simultaneity, and therefore chords, actual or implied, in music. ... In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ...


In contemporary arrangements, a merge between harmony and melody known as 'counter-melody' has been aired. A counter-melody is similar to a harmony part, but is distinguished because it has a melodic line of its own. Counter-melody can take a completely different thematic approach and can dramatically change the flow and atmosphere of the melodic unison. This technique is relatively new in the pipe band circuit, and in most cases require skill and timing to achieve in full unison.


The Drum Corps

The drum corps of a pipe band consists of a section of drummers playing Highland snare drums and the bass section (see below). In the early days of pipe bands, rope tension snare drums were common, but as the technology evolved, so did the music. Pipe band drummers now play on drums with very tight, knitted kevlar heads, designed for maximum tension to create a very crisp and strident sound. Due to technological innovations and changing aesthetics, this crispness has become an integral part of the pipe band sound. Since today's drum is so facile as a result of its design, players are often able to execute extremely complicated and technically demanding rudimentary patterns. Marching percussion instruments are specially designed to be played while moving. ... Kevlars molecular structure; BOLD: monomer unit; DASHED: hydrogen bonds. ...


The pipe band drum corps is responsible for both supporting the piping with a solid rhythmic foundation and sense of pulse, often creating an interesting contrapuntal line unto itself. The line played by the drum corps (referred to as the 'drum score') is usually based on rudimentary patterns and can often be quite involved, with solo, unison and contrapuntal passages throughout. A popular pattern in many scores is for the lead drummer to play a phrase, and the section to play in response. This technique is known as 'the chips'. For other uses, see Counterpoint (disambiguation). ...


While standard practice in pipe bands is for the pipe section to perform the traditional or standard arrangements of the melodies, including even the gracenotes, drum scores are very often composed by the lead drummer of the band. In competition, one of the adjudicators grades a band on how creative their scores are and how well they fit the piping - this aspect of the judging is known as 'ensemble'. A grace note is a kind of music notation used to denote several kinds of musical ornaments. ...


The Bass Section

The bass section usually consists of a section of tenor drummers and a bass drummer. Their role is to provide rhythmic support to the entire ensemble. In this respect, the bass section allows the drum corps to delegate their timekeeping responsibilities and allows more freedom in the drum scores.


Generally, the bass drum provides a steady pulse, playing on the downbeat and on the strong beats of the bar, and the tenors support that pulse, often adding supporting beats, accents and dynamic interest.


Tenor drums in their modern form are a relatively new addition to the pipe band. While pipe bands of yesteryear would often include tenor drummers, they would usually be "swinging tenors", players who would swing their sticks for elaborate visual effect but who would rarely play. Today's tenor drummers play pitched drums, and careful thought is given as to which pitches to use and at which times. In some cases, five or six tenor drummers have been used, providing a palette of individual pitches for use in a variety of musical situations. The swinging also known as flourishing has developed somewhat into an art form, with drummers playing and swinging in unison or sequential flows.


Competition & The World Pipe Band Championships

The Western Australia Police Pipe Band at Bridge of Allan Highland Games in Scotland
The Western Australia Police Pipe Band at Bridge of Allan Highland Games in Scotland

Competition is a primary focus for many pipe bands throughout the world. Since 1930, when the Scottish band association (today known as the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association) was formed, there has been an event known as the World Pipe Band Championships held in Glasgow every August. For competitive bands, the title of World Champion is highly coveted, and this event is seen as the culmination of a year's worth of preparation, rehearsal and practice. The Clan Gregor Society Pipe Band marches onto the field during the 2005 World Championships The World Pipe Band Championships is a pipe band competition held in Glasgow, Scotland every August. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A Pipe Band Association is a governing body that regulates competition between pipe bands. ... The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association was founded in 1930 as a governing body to oversee Pipe Band competition and to promote and encourage the development of Pipe Band culture throughout the world. ... For other uses, see Glasgow (disambiguation). ...


The entirety of the World Championships takes place on one day in August, on Glasgow Green. Typically, several hundred bands attend, traveling from all over the world. Bands arrive early and are required to perform in a qualifying round which takes place in the morning. The top bands at the end of the qualifying round play in a second event in the afternoon to determine an aggregate winner. To win, Grade One bands must perform in two events, a March, Strathspey & Reel event (known as a "set" or "MSR") which consists of three pre-arranged tunes, and a Medley event, which consists of a short selection of music chosen and arranged by the band. McLennan Arch at the north-west entrance to Glasgow Green Glasgow Green situated in the east end of the city on the north bank of the River Clyde, is the oldest park in Glasgow dating back to the 15th century. ...


In addition to performing at the World's, most internationally competitive bands participate in a season of events that are generally held during Scotland's summer months. While events of this type are usually held at Highland Games, band competitions in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland are often large enough to be held as events unto themselves. The grading and organization of these events is generally consistent with the World Championships and the events are typically administered by the governing Pipe Band Association. Opening ceremonies of 2004 Canmore Highland games Highland games are events held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. ... A Pipe Band Association is a governing body that regulates competition between pipe bands. ...


Pipe band grading system

Prizes at the World's are awarded in the following eight categories:

  • Grade One
  • Grade Two
  • Grade Three "A"
  • Grade Three "B"
  • Juvenile
  • Grade Four "A"
  • Grade Four "B"
  • Novice Juvenile

In the Novice Juvenile and Juvenile categories, band members must be under the age of eighteen, with the exception of one "adult" player, often an instructor, who may serve as the Pipe Major or Pipe Sergeant. The remaining categories have no age restriction, but are based on proficiency. Grade One is the highest of these categories, and Novice is the lowest. Grading and eligibility are overseen by the RSPBA, and bands must apply for downgrading or upgrading. The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association was founded in 1930 as a governing body to oversee Pipe Band competition and to promote and encourage the development of Pipe Band culture throughout the world. ...


Because of time constraints, the RSPBA uses "A" and "B" designations in Grade 3 and 4, for major competitions. By doing this, bands are grouped based on prior-years' performances, and can receive promotions within their respective grade. It is also important to note that these vary slightly throughout the world. For example, in North America, many regional associations have implemented Grade Five, an entry-level Grade, intended to help bands familiarize themselves with competition and in Australia and New Zealand there is no Novice grade at all.


Progressive Pipe Bands?

The future for pipe bands is unclear. Currently, there are many pipe bands which perform in parades and other public events as a primary activity. These bands are sometimes referred to as "street bands". Some military bands fall into this category as well, playing for regimental functions in lieu of, or supplemented by, competitions and/or concerts.


In the competitive pipe band community, some bands are starting to find the competitive system musically stifling, although it does demand high standards. Some advocate making the transition to a Breton model, where competitions are more flexible and with fewer restrictions. Historical province of Brittany, showing the main areas with their name in Breton language The traditional flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du), formerly a Breton nationalist symbol but today used as a general civic flag in the region. ...


Instead of giving up on the competitive model, a number of bands have instead turned to the concert stage to supplement their competitive activities. Performing in this setting allows a greater degree of musical flexibility and creativity, and encourages the inclusion of additional instruments and performers, to expand the musical possibilities. Notable examples of these endeavors by competitive pipe bands include the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band's Carnegie Hall concert of 1998 and the recent recordings by the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band. Their albums The Immigrant's Suite (1989), Live in Canada - The Megantic Outlaw Concert (1991), Flame of Wrath (1998), and most recently, Cascade (2003), showcase their attachment to traditional pipe band music and their desire to break out of the compositional mold and venture into undiscovered territory. The 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, also known as The Scottish Lion - 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, is a pipe band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ...


The Bagad

Main article: Bagad

A lesser-known type of pipe band that has already expanded the pipe band genre is the bagad, a Breton cultural phenomenon. Bagads began in the thirties to counter the widespread decay of the living Breton folk tradition. In 2001, a popular bagad, Bagad Brieg, recorded a CD with the House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band entitled La Boum Ecosse (it was released in 2002). In this CD the traditional pipe band and the bagad perform together. Kevrenn an Arvorig here with dancer Bro ar Ster Goz A bagad is a Breton band, composed of biniou (Breton bagpipes), bombardes and snare drums. ... Kevrenn an Arvorig here with dancer Bro ar Ster Goz A bagad is a Breton band, composed of biniou (Breton bagpipes), bombardes and snare drums. ... Historical province of Brittany, showing the main areas with their name in Breton language The traditional flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du), formerly a Breton nationalist symbol but today used as a general civic flag in the region. ...


A modern-day bagad consists of a biniou braz (bagpipe), a bombarde section, a drum corps, perhaps more accurately described nowadays as a 'large and varied percussion section' (one band's percussionists lug around a huge metal model elephant), and any additional musical instruments the band wishes to add. Common additions are small jazz orchestras, guitars, and other forms of binious. Biniou means bagpipe in the Breton language. ... Bombardes from Kevrenn an Arvorig The bombarde is a French folk instrument from Brittany. ... Drum and bugle corps is a name used to describe two forms of marching units. ... “Percussion” redirects here. ... Genera and Species Loxodonta Loxodonta cyclotis Loxodonta africana Elephas Elephas maximus Elephas antiquus † Elephas beyeri † Elephas celebensis † Elephas cypriotes † Elephas ekorensis † Elephas falconeri † Elephas iolensis † Elephas planifrons † Elephas platycephalus † Elephas recki † Stegodon † Mammuthus † Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... For the song titled Orchestra, see The Servant (band). ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ... The Biniou is a mouth blown bagpipe from the Brittany region of France. ...


References

  1. ^ Cannon, R. 1988: The Highland Bagpipe and its Music; p.153

See also

Pipe Major The Great Highland Bagpipe (Gaelic : A Phìob Mhòr) is probably the best-known variety of bagpipe. ... The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association was founded in 1930 as a governing body to oversee Pipe Band competition and to promote and encourage the development of Pipe Band culture throughout the world. ... List of bagpipers // Kevin Briley Willie Clancy Ronan Browne Troy Donockley Johnny Doran Séamus Ennis Sean Folsom Paddy Keenan Ronan Le Bars Sean McAloon John McSherry Paddy Moloney Liam OFlynn Jerry OSullivan Eric Rigler Leo Rowsome Davy Spillane Patsy Tuohy Cillian Vallely Jack Armstrong Alistair Anderson Pauline... A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. ... // Great Highland Bagpipe: perhaps the most well-known bagpipe. ... Canntaireachd is a oral means of transmitting musical compositions for the highland bagpipe through vocables that represent notes on the pipe scale as well as specific changes between notes i. ... A Pipe band association is a governing body of pipe band, as well as solo piping and drumming, competition. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Welcome to The Caledonian Society of Arizona (999 words)
The origination of pipe bands, comprised of pipers, side drummers, a bass drummer, and occasionally a tenor drummer occurred sometime after the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The first major pipe band competition was held in conjunction with the Cowal Highland Gathering in 1906 and was an all army event.
Although its development is not specifically documented, the spread of the earliest pipes from Africa to Rome and the European continent coincided with the advance of the Roman Empire and its legions into northern Europe and the British Isles.
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