History and Use of Bagpipes in Theater and Dance

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Known for their unique and distinctive sound, bagpipes are identified with European cultures such as those of Ireland and Scotland, but the true origin of the instrument remains unknown. Some historians believe the instrument dates back to the first century B.C. Today, bagpipes appear in Irish festivals and parades and are the traditional instrument played during certain funeral processions, such as those of fallen law enforcement officers. While the origins of the bagpipes remain up for debate, the Scottish Highlanders developed the instrument that is most easily recognized in today's modern musical world. Though the Highlanders used the bagpipe in wartime, the instrument quickly became associated with theater and dance. By the 15th century, several forms of the bagpipe had become popular instruments used in Scottish folk music.
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