some image

Bagpipes

Bagpipe Music for Weddings

Tags: Bagpipes, Bagpipes 101, Events, History, Uncategorized, Weddings

I’ve played bagpipes at many weddings and there are some pointers and ideas I’d like to share:

Ryan and Emily

  • I believe that a wedding is primarily about the bride. It’s her big day. Of course the groom is also very important but many times the groom doesn’t have quite the same ideas and the same clarity that a bride will have. It’s my job as the bagpiper to bring those wishes/dreams to life.
  • When to perform:  I’ve been asked to play beforehand, as guests arrive, I’ve preceded the bride and father up the aisle and also played during the recessional escorting the new married couple out of the service. Many times I’ve appeared as a surprise for either the bride, groom or guests. This requires some preplanning but this has always worked very well in my experience.
  • Entrance: one other option is also to have the bagpiper lead the bride and groom into the reception. This works very well as a grand entrance.
  • Dress: if the wedding has Scottish dress I’ve also been called upon to guide the groomsmen on how to wear the kilt properly and where each of the accessories goes. 🙂Bagpipe204 Read More

Playing Bagpipes at a Funeral

Tags: , Bagpipes, Bagpipes 101, Events, Funerals/Memorials, History, Uncategorized

This is one of the most frequent requests I get as a Bagpiper. Some history- most people are not aware that in ancient times some Scots believed that the soul would not ascend to heaven or be released with out a bagpiper present to play. The music would release the soul from the earthly body. Bottom line if you didn’t have a bagpiper at the funeral you were in big trouble.

The bagpipes were considered by the English to be an instrument of war because of their effect on the morale of people who were fighting against the English for freedom from oppression. At some point the bagpipes became closely associated with the troops and this has carried over to servicemen and women in the Police and Fire services as well as all branches of the military.  That is why bagpipes are so common in military funerals. I recently did a Funeral at Riverside Military Cemetery for a highly decorated Marine- this photo shows the honors that were given to this man upon his death:

_MG_2862 Read More

How Bagpipes are Built

Tags: , , Bagpipes, Bagpipes 101, History

I am often asked about the bagpipes. What are they made of? Where/when did they originate? How did I get started?

Here’s what I know:

The bagpipes were thought to be originally created somewhere in the Mediterranean. Pipers used their instruments to entertain but often shepherds would use the pipes to keep flocks quiet and calm. Some even believe that pipes were present at Christ’s birth. Imagine! The original instrument probably only had one drone and chanter. More specifically one upright pipe (drone) and one downward pointing pipe (Chanter or melody pipe). I have even heard that some believe that Egyptians had pipes long before but I don’t think there are any illustrations or proof of this. Read More

A Southern California Ranch Wedding

Tags: Bagpipes, Bagpipes 101, Events, History, Uncategorized, Weddings

RyanEmily-495It was my great pleasure to play for Ryan and Emily on their wedding day. They had some specific requests for music. Some traditional Irish and Scottish tunes as well as one not traditional at all. They are both big Beatles fans and they requested that I play “Here Comes the Sun” for them as they walked down the aisle for the first time as man and wife. Now not all songs can be adapted to the bagpipes but I told them I would try.

Later I was able to Skype with them and play some of the tunes they had selected for the wedding as they were in Manhattan preparing for the wedding in So Cal. This helped tremendously and they were very happy I was able to figure out their requested Beatles tune on the pipes.

On the big day the venue was decorated and looked wonderful. I was able to perform for them and everything went perfectly- at least from my perspective. Check out the review of the wedding at 100 Layer Cake.

Read More