The bagpipes have been close to the heart of Scotland for centuries. It is the country’s national instrument, and a longstanding symbol of national pride and patriotism.
But bagpipes are not only popular in Scotland.
As evidenced by the participants of the annual World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, where bands from countries such as South Africa, France, Pakistan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand compete on a regular basis, bagpipes (and pipe bands) have a significant following across the globe.
James Beaton of the National Piping Centre in Glasgow recently spoke to the newspaper Scotland Now about this phenomenon. He explained that there are two key drivers to the spread of pipes across the globe:
“One of the main reasons is the growth of the British Empire in the 19th century. Scottish service personnel played a major role in the development of the Empire and, of course, they took the pipes with them.”
“The other significant influence was emigration. The bagpipes were an integral part of the Scottish culture that emigrants took with them to America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and further afield. Wherever they went, the pipes reminded them of their roots and cultural heritage and their influence continued to flourish where Scots were to be found.”
To read more about what James has to say, click on the link to the full article from Scotland Now below.