minstrel: periodness of the great highland bagpipe?

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Fri Mar 3 12:42:19 PST 2000

> Most Scottish music (both secular and sacred) was destroyed circa
> 1560. Can a Scot performer then be in period and still have a
> well-rounded repetoir in any real sense? Only if he/she goes outside
> for material seems to be the answer.

If you subscribe to the myth that Scotland had unique culture, then
you're screwed. But most historians claim that lowlanders were pretty
much like the English by 1560, and most Scots were lowlanders.

BTW, there are many, many broadside ballads published in London in the
late sixteenth century which claimed to feature Scottish tunes and
lyrics, because that was fashionable at the time. That's what "to a
new Northern tune" means.

> Therefore, the highland pipe, the works of Burns (when not
> discussing an OOP topic) and others I consider to be "in period"
> because they, more than anything in period, allow us to recreate a
> truly Scots flavour to the proceedings.

Burns was in many ways the creator of the myth of Scottish culture.

-- gb

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