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Old 11-08-04, 07:30 AM   #1
Glyn_Mo
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Default Bagpipers

I have noticed one or two threads on this forum where people have expressed their dislike of bagpipers and bagpipes. Being a bagpiper myself, I feel honoured that I can provoke these sort of emotions from people. However, I am curious as to why we seem to get on other busker' nerves so much?


Is it because we are much louder and drown you out?

Are pipers renowned for not obeying proper busking "ethics"?

Is it because we make more money?

(I take it for granted that people generally hate the sound of the pipes)

Feel free to pour out your hatred of Bagpipers here!
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Old 11-08-04, 07:49 AM   #2
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Default funniest act

One of the funniest acts I ever saw was a unicycling bagpiper. He is now with Ringling.
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Old 11-08-04, 11:13 AM   #3
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The sound of perfect pitch: An accordian landing on a bagpipe in a trash dumpster.

Without trying to speak for anyone else, my personal experience has been that, yes, the pipes are extremely loud and obnoxious; and also yes, pipers seem not to give a shit about the feelings of other buskers working nearby.

I happen to use a very powerful sound system, so "drowning me out" is not the problem. Money is not an issue, either. If you, or anyone else can out-earn me on the street, more power to ya! Good for you! But creating a sound war, is. This is a lose-lose situation that even pipers should be conscious of... or not?

As a piper yourself, what is your take on the situation?
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Old 11-08-04, 12:34 PM   #4
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I've never worked near a piper who could atually hold a tune. He (or she) procedes to squeek out notes at a ridiculous noise level for hours and it kills the people who have to sit on one spot all day (like small buisness owners and their employees). They don't usually hurt my show beyond pissing off everyone who stands around for more than five minuits.
and for f*#ks sake, learn a new song!


P.S. you don't make more money
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Old 11-08-04, 06:42 PM   #5
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I just hate the !@#?ing Irish. And the Scottish are just inland Irish.
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Old 11-08-04, 08:57 PM   #6
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I recently did some 'pre parade' entertainment in the south of NZ

I carried out a quick and wrecklessly constructed opinion poll regarding the popularity of bagpipes...

Turns out about 80% of people love them!!!

I'd encourage you all to go out and disprove my results, if only to make me feel better about the world...
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Old 11-09-04, 01:59 PM   #7
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Most people LOVE the skirl of a bagpipe. Two bagpipes are even better. And a whole band of them? Heavens!

However, pitch ethics dictate, at the very least, courtesy among the performers sharing it. It is surely the occasional inconsiderate bagpiper (or juggler or glass player) who screws things up for the rest of us.

The piper on Mallory Dock in Key West has long used the far end of the pitch, out of the way of other acoustic acts. The occasional piper on Jackson Square marches thru and is gone in a few minutes leaving behind only the decaying echo of his spine-chillingly beautiful music.

It is only with the greatest respect and admiration for the thousands of hours of drill and practice that it takes to learn this supremely difficult instrument that I remind you all of the oft-repeated question: What do they call a thousand bag pipers at the bottom of the ocean?

A good start!
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Old 11-10-04, 10:34 AM   #8
Danny Hustle
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Q: What's the difference between bagpipes and an onion?

A: No one cries when you cut up bagpipes
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Old 11-10-04, 11:00 AM   #9
Glyn_Mo
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chance
The sound of perfect pitch: An accordian landing on a bagpipe in a trash dumpster.

Without trying to speak for anyone else, my personal experience has been that, yes, the pipes are extremely loud and obnoxious; and also yes, pipers seem not to give a shit about the feelings of other buskers working nearby.

I happen to use a very powerful sound system, so "drowning me out" is not the problem. Money is not an issue, either. If you, or anyone else can out-earn me on the street, more power to ya! Good for you! But creating a sound war, is. This is a lose-lose situation that even pipers should be conscious of... or not?

As a piper yourself, what is your take on the situation?
Personally I don't think any piper is going about trying to make a sound war. It's just that it happens that the instrument is quite loud.

Regarding pitch ethics, I have noticed that a number of buskers (usually guitarists) seem to have issues with pipers even when I'm standing a fair distance away, and the sound is more of a background noise, which has less effect on a guitarist's performance than that of a passing car, but they seem to get very annoyed all the same, and claim that they are making less money because a piper is standing about 500m away. They think that the piper is taking all the attention away from themselves, so the piper gets blamed for the guitarist making less money. I don't really see it as my "fault" that I'm making more money than the guitarist.

I never do more than two hours in a day in any case, so I don;t see how I'm causing anybody a great deal of problems.

Last edited by Glyn_Mo; 11-12-04 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 11-15-04, 02:51 AM   #10
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I think there is an appropriate time and place for bagpipe music. As a busker, I don't find bagpipes to be particularly annoying, especially if they are not too close; 500 meters sounds very far away. Even that loud band in Harvard Sq. would probably be ok at that distance, whereas at 50 meters I probably couldn't perform very effectively. I marvelled at the Glass Harp dude who was set up maybe 75 feet away from a loud 5/6 piece band in the pit at Harvard Sq., and his show still worked fine. Of course, he is one in a million, and guitar players are a dime a dozen. Sometimes a performer is having a tough day and choses to blame you, mr. bagpiper.
There was a bagpiper in the Faneuil Hall program for at least one season in the late 80's. He was a really nice guy, and he sounded fine, but I think he may have gotten kicked out of the program. He seemed to play the same 2 or 3 songs over and over.

Last edited by harmonicakev; 11-15-04 at 02:58 AM.
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