The Most Underrated Musical Instruments


Today’s episode of TMUMI we will be discussing the ever popular instrument, the Bagpipes. I’m sure all the St. Patty’s Day parades we recently attended we have seen and heard our fair share. All the pipers always playing the same tune…yea, yea, yea, Irish, Irish, Irish. Everyone knows what the bagpipes consist of. Yep, you guessed it, a bag and pipes. But many little know the history of this underrated instrument. Well, TCM has got you covered.

A great deal of uncertainty, confusion, death, laughter, bloating, farting, conflict and controversy surrounds the questions of the origins, evolution and distribution of what we call the bagpipes. We do know however that the instrument is so old, it was even mentioned in the Bible. Yea, look at that, we mentioned the Bible. I’m going to end the bloodshed and confusion about where bagpipes originate from right now. Bagpipes are from Scotland. When you think of bagpipes you think of kilts, scotch, Braveheart and fighting amongst other things related to Scottish people.

Bagpipes back in the day were considered a peasant’s instrument because of what it was made out of. Sheep stomach’s and hollowed bones. The rich were too good to be playing that. Honestly, if I was rich, I’d be all over that instrument. I would walk up to the local bagpipe maker and ask, “Mr. Pipemaker, could you make me some bagpipes…extra bloody.” That would be awesome, walking around playing bloody bagpipes scaring the crap out of the locals.

Let’s bring this instrument to present day. Ultimately peasant’s = homeless. Imagine that…walking down a NYC street to see a homeless man standing outside his cardboard house playing the pipes while other ‘homies’ sit and listen and/or dance while the rich people walk by quifing in their general direction. Yea, I can see it.

Well, it is also known that bagpipes were used back on ancient battlefields. They weren’t called bagpipes, but warpipes. Though warpipes slightly differed from bagpipes, they were all used the same way; to frighten the living crap out of the enemy and pump up your troops. I don’t know about you all, but hearing a good pipe tune gets me amped up for war.

So, that’s about it for my history lesson today. I will leave you all with a video of pipes being used in a musical and battle setting so you can understand just how underrated and badass this instrument is.

TCM presents, Flatfoot 56.

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