It's worth noting that the bagpipes were categorized as a weapon of war until 1996. This does not just refer to a war instrument or a tool used to command troops; it refers to a physical weapon, such as a sword or a musket. The title "bagpiper" was originally used to describe a soldier who played the bagpipes.
During the Scottish Wars of Independence, the battle cry "Sauf eil! (Save him!)" was often heard at the start of a charge led by a piper. This charge was usually followed by a melee during which the soldiers would use their swords and other weapons to kill their enemies. It is estimated that about 1 in 10 soldiers fighting for Scotland's lords during this time was a pipersider.
In 1693, the Parliament of England passed an act prohibiting the possession of weapons by musicians in the English army. As compensation, they be given £10 per annum for themselves and any children they might have. After the English Civil War had ended, this sum was increased to £20 per annum, but only if the musician was also a fiddler. These payments were made until 1856 when they were finally abolished altogether.
Nowadays, bagpipers can be seen at various events including football matches, parades and festivals. They are always expected to play whenever the commander-in-chief appears.
Bagpipes are thought to have originated during the Battle of Culloden, when Scottish pipers marched their forces into battle while playing war melodies. The bagpipes were recognized as both an instrument and a weapon of war because the Highland Regiment never went to combat without a piper.
During times of conflict, musicians often become weapons used in warfare. From ancient times until now, musicians have been chosen to play at military functions to give courage to soldiers and civilians. Bagpipes are unique among military instruments because they can be used as offensive as well as defensive weapons. When played aggressively, the loud noises made by bagpipes can frighten enemy troops away from a battle scene or drive them back home.
Bagpipes have been used in wars throughout history. It is said that Scots pipers drove French troops out of India in 1763. In World War I, German soldiers used bagpipes to scare Russians away from their trenches. During World War II, Japanese soldiers used tubas, drums, and bugles to signal their attacks. Today, military bands still use music to inspire courage in soldiers before they go into battle.
After the battle has ended, musicians continue to play for wounded soldiers, as a sign of hope and encouragement that things will get better. This idea comes from the Bible, where it says that Moses told the Israelites to play harps so they would not die alone.
Because of its association with Scottish martial history, bagpipes appear to have become connected with U.S. military, police, and firefighter funeral ceremonies. Scottish soldiers employed musical instruments, primarily horns, to scare their English opponents as early as the 14th century. The first written reference to bagpipes in the American context is from 1777 when it is mentioned by Dr. Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania. He wrote that "a company of Americans" had come to his hospital after being wounded in a battle with the British "and were amusing themselves with their pipes."
The first recorded use of bagpipes at a military funeral was in 1815 when they were played at the burial of Private John McBride who died in Kentucky while serving in the army. They were again used as part of a military funeral ceremony five years later when Sergeant William McGarvey died in Virginia. Since then, they have been included in many more funerals throughout the United States.
Bagpipes are still used today as a form of entertainment at social events such as weddings and parties. However, this usage is not related to any tradition of military music.
During World War I, American piper Donald Macleod gained international fame for his performances near battlefields where he would play until the last man fell. After the war, he continued to travel around the world giving concerts and teaching students how to play the instrument.
The first mention of the bagpipes as a musical instrument of war appears to be from 1549, during the Battle of Pinkie, when the pipes substituted trumpets to help encourage the Highlanders into battle. The sound of the pipes was said to be so terrifying that horses would rear up and refuse to move forward.
They were utilized in a number of major engagements. Following the 1745 insurrection, the playing of bagpipes was outlawed throughout Scotland. The loyalist administration classed them as weapons of war. Following the lifting of the prohibition, the art of Highland bagpiping truly began to blossom.
In 1854, the Scottish Parliament passed an act legalizing the piping of birds. This law is still on the books today. However, it is rarely enforced.
Bagpipes are used in military ceremonies worldwide. They are especially popular in countries that were once part of the British Empire such as India, Australia, and New Zealand.
In North America, bagpipers usually work for private companies or organizations. Many large corporations have their own band members who play at annual staff parties or other events.
In the United States, it is illegal to play bagpipes within 25 miles of any federal building during working hours. This law was put into effect in 1987 after several musicians were arrested for violating this rule.
However, there is no federal law prohibiting people from playing bagpipes on private property where no money changes hands. State laws regulating noise pollution apply in these cases.
According to some sources, Ireland's police force uses bagpipes in its ceremonies. However, this has not been confirmed by any other source.
1745 Following the 1745 insurrection, the playing of bagpipes was outlawed throughout Scotland. They had to be kept alive in secret. Anyone caught with pipes was punished, as was any man who carried weaponry for Bonnie Prince Charlie.
After the failure of the prince's attempt to regain the British throne, most people thought the ban would be lifted. But in 1746 the new government decided that just because something was popular before it became illegal did not mean it should be allowed again. The playing of bagpipes was once more made illegal in Scotland.
Some people believe that the second banning of bagpipes was done solely to make money from their sale. The police used to take 10% of the price of each pipe found and anyone who had several bags standing by the road could expect a visit from them soon after they put their prices up.
It is believed that about 1,000 men in Scotland were trained in the art of piping during its prohibition period. Most came from outside Scotland; some even came from England and Ireland to be trained here.
The fact that bagpipes were banned for so long shows how important they were seen as weapons by the military leaders of the time. Without them there would have been no army to fight against Charles Edward Stuart.