The origins of piping are shrouded by mystery, no one really knows where the original concept came from ;
the "Oxford History of Music" makes mention of the first documented bagpipe being found in the Middle East dated to 1000BC.
The bagpipes can still be found in different regions throughout Europe, Northern Africa, the Persian Gulf,
the Caucasus, India and Pakistan.
Today there are many different forms of bagpipes, from the Small Pipes to the enchanting sound of the Great Highland.
The Sutherland Pipes and Drums' pipers, play probably the most famous of bagpipes, The Great Highland Pipes, these are well know and played all over the world - not just in bonny Scotland.
The bagpipes are a very rewarding instrument to play and although we have only 9 notes to play with there are many styles to choose from, from the solitary piper playing his lament on a mountainside to mass bands playing marches and reels.
Learning to play takes patience and plenty of dedication, providing that trainee pipers are willing to give over an hour a day of their time to practice. The experienced pipers in the band are always willing to teach.
Learning the pipes starts with a small instrument called a practice chanter.
These smaller and much quieter practice instruments are used to master the scale and complex strings of notes known as doublings, prior to moving onto the bagpipes. There is a lot to take in, so be patient.
We firmly believe that the sound of the Great Highland Bagpipes and Drums still have a lot to offer in today's
modern society, people can often hear their sound from miles away, their emotions stirring as the band approaches.
Bagpipes in the band range from brand new McCallum Bagpipes right through to old R.G Hardie's and Naill's.
To keep our chanters sounding as accurate as each others, we all use Shepherds polypenco. (Nylon material)
As a piper of the Sutherland Pipes and Drums we can offer you tuition, friendship, an active social calendar and an enormous amount of personal satisfaction. Official band practise is on Thursday but during the summer months we often go out on a monday night and play for a couple of hours in the field before finishing it off with
a nice cold pint of beer.
Playing the pipes is a very rewarding experience, it takes discipline, commitment and a long time to master but, the rewards are worth the training
Copyright Sutherland Pipes and Drums 2014, Corringham, Essex