When Pixar makes a movie they do their research. They research the land, the history, the stories, the culture everything they can dig up goes into their movies. It’s the personality they say that makes their movies great! While we were spending time with them last week learning about the new movie Brave that comes to theaters June 22nd, we learned about different Scottish characteristics on of those being the bagpipes.
Music is one of my passions. I played the clarinet so I found everything they had to say about the bagpipe quite interesting. When you play the clarinet you play it with curved fingers and the bagpipe you play with straight fingers. It’s also a reeded instrument just like the clarinet except it needs constant air which is where there is a bag.
Bagpipes are a class of musical instrument, aerophones, using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. Though the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe and Irish uilleann pipes have the greatest international visibility, bagpipes have been for centuries played throughout large parts of Europe, the Caucasus, around the Persian Gulf and in Northern Africa. The term "bagpipe" is equally correct in the singular or plural, although in the English language, pipers most commonly talk of "the pipes", "a set of pipes" or "a stand of pipes".
A set of bagpipes minimally consists of an air supply, a bag, a chanter, and usually a drone. Most bagpipes also have additional drones (and sometimes chanters) in various combinations, held in place in stocks—connectors that fasten the various pipes to the bag.
After learning all about the bagpipe they asked us if one of us wanted to play and I was all about playing it. Yes yes yes please pick me. So I got to play one and we didn’t even have to breath into it, they had an air compressor connected to it and it was still hard to play. I kept forgetting to squeeze the bag. If you squeeze it constantly the the music will play fluidly. Otherwise you get squeaks and squawks which is mostly what I had while playing.
I truly loved the experience and can’t wait to get another try. I have so many memories that come up with different songs and music, so I really really loved learning and playing the bagpipes and know that next time I hear one I’ll remember this experience. Thank you Pixar.
Travel and expenses were covered by Disney.