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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 2005 (SND, online supplement).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BAGPIPE, n. Often in pl., a musical instrument with a long tradition in Scotland, consisting of an airtight bag and reed-pipes into which the air is pressed by the performer. The Highland bagpipe is inflated by means of a valved blow-pipe with a mouthpiece and has three drones (s.v. drone), two tenor and one bass, and a chanter. See also Lowland pipe (s.v. lowland adj., n. I.), small pipe (s.v. sma adj., adv., n. I. 1.).Sc. 1988 Roderick D. Cannon The Highland Bagpipe and its Music (1990) 1:
Most bagpipes are in fact more elaborate than the simple one-chanter-and-one-drone variety. Some have two, three or even four drones. In some the drones point upwards, over the player’s shoulder, but in others they are fitted parallel to the chanter, pointing downwards.
Sc. 1999 Hugh Cheape The Book of the Bagpipe 62:
The instrument achieved the form recognisable today as the Piob Mhór or ‘Great Highland Bagpipe’ in the late 16th and 17th centuries, with decorated chanter and powerful drones, the deep bass drone probably predating the tenor drones.

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"Bagpipe n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Oct 2023 <>



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