Oliver Seeler's
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Special Feature
~ Non-Traditional Pipers and Bands ~
~ A Photo Album ~

Photo: Harald Weinkum

Above is piper Jane Espie, of the Scottish band The Phantom Piper. Bagpipes have always been on the ragged edges of polite society (the old joke being that a gentleman is someone who knows how to play the bagpipe but doesn't). Bagpipes are by nature solo instruments, but from the very beginning, long, long ago, other adventurous musicians couldn't resist their magic and incorporated bagpipes into all sorts of music, for better or worse. While such inclusions are sometimes with traditional groups, including early music ensembles and symphony orchestras, the most visible and dramatic manifestations these days are pipers in "alternative" bands. By which is meant, loosely, various types of Rock, Metal, Punk, Industrial and other hyper-modern bands, some very famous (AC/DC) but most not. (See Wikepedia article "List of nontraditional bagpipe usage" for many examples.)

Then there are individual pipers, like Jane, who may or may not perform traditionally but who also take their pipes (of whatever of the one hundred or so existing varieties) down all sorts of other roads. Insofar as such things can be categorized that may include the genres already listed, as well as avenues such as Jazz, Classical, Folk - the list is endless, and some pipers range widely on these trails. All of which is fascinating, at the least, and helps to bring awareness of the piping world to people otherwise unfamiliar with these fabulous instruments.

In our ongoing efforts to encourage piping of all sorts we are opening this page of our "Special Features" section with an invitation to all pipers and bands who feel they are part of this non-traditional side of piping to send along a picture or two of yourselves, along with whatever basic information you care to include (and photo credits/copyrights as applicable), and we'll post them here.

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Text Copyright 2013, Oliver Seeler,