MinneCulture | Instrument of War No More: Bagpipes in Minnesota

MinneCulture | Instrument of War No More: Bagpipes in Minnesota

The sound of bagpipes can make you cry. The timbre of the music can provoke a deep emotional response in a listener, producing tears of joy, nostalgia, and remembrance. On the other hand, if the pipes aren’t your jam, the shrill tones are capable of making one plug their ears and cry tears of pain and disgust.

In Scotland, bagpipes were considered instruments of war, and were banned by the British. The instrument arrived in Minnesota in the 1850’s, brought by Scottish immigrants to what is now Blue Earth county, as settlers moved in, occupying Dakota land. For better or worse, bagpipes have remained a near constant presence in the Minnesota aural landscape since that time.

KFAI’s John Gwinn explores the current state of Pipe and Drum bands in Minnesota.

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