The Highland bagpipe, widely considered 'Scotland's national instrument', is one of the most recognized icons of traditional music in the world. It is also among the least understood. But Scottish bagpipe music and tradition - particularly, but not exclusively, the Highland bagpipe - has enjoyed an unprecedented surge in public visibility and scholarly attention since the 1990s. A greater interest in the emic led to a diverse picture of the meaning and musical iconicism of the bagpipe in communities in Scotland and throughout the Scottish diaspora. This interest has led to the consideration of both the globalization of Highland piping and piping as rooted in local culture. It has given rise to a reappraisal of sources which have hitherto formed the backbone of long-standing historical and performative assumptions. And revivalist research which reassesses Highland piping's cultural position relative to other Scottish piping traditions, such as that of the Lowlands and Borders, today effectively challenges the notion of the Highland bagpipe as Scotland's 'national' instrument. "The Highland Bagpipe" provides an unprecedented insight into the current state of Scottish piping studies. The contributors - from Scotland, England, Canada and the United States - discuss the bagpipe in oral and written history, anthropology, ethnography, musicology, material culture and modal aesthetics. The book will appeal to ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, as well as those interested in international bagpipe studies and traditions.
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Dr Joshua Dickson, Head of Scottish Music, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, UK
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