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Friday, July 27, 2018

Bagpipe Appreciation Day
Today we celebrate the bagpipes! The instruments have long been associated with the Scottish Highlands, although they have come from many different places, and there are many variations of them. They have also been used in many different contexts.

Initially, folk instruments, bagpipes have remained as such, but also have been used in battle, at parades, funerals, weddings, and royal occasions. They were probably first used by pastoral sheep and goat herders, who played them to pass time while watching their flocks. They made them with easy-to-come-by materials such as skin, bones, and reeds. These instruments would quickly decay, so there is no physical evidence of them.

Bagpipes may have been used for centuries before any record of them was made. Most believe they were invented in the Middle East, and that the sheep and goat herders that used them were in Mesopotamia. There is some indication that they were used in ancient Egypt. A Hittite wall carving from around 1000 BCE shows a form of a bagpipe, and they are mentioned in the Bible in the book of Daniel. A bagpiper is also possibly depicted on an Alexandrian terracotta figure from around 100 BCE (Before Common Era).

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