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Bagpipes and the United States Military

From its origin in Scottish clans and culture, the Great Highland Bagpipe has long been associated with the military.

Especially in more recent history, the Highland Regiments of the British Armed Forces, and some of the Lowland Regiments as well, have had bagpipers since their first formation.

The United States Armed Forces has historically had a very close relationship with the British – so the spread of the bagpipes was inevitable.

Tunes For Improving Rhythmic Accuracy

Rhythmic accuracy, scale navigation, grace note quality, embellishment quality, and ALAP/ASAP, are foundation skills on the Highland bagpipe. We must be able to accurate navigate the notes on the chanter, we must have crisp, clean grace notes and embellishments, and we must imply dynamics through ALAP/ASAP.

The Taking of Beaumont Hamel

The next tune in our continuing series on the Pipe Tunes of the First World War, and our Battle of the Somme mini-series, is “The Taking of Beaumont Hamel.” This tune commemorates the capture of Beaumont Hamel in November 1916 but it also serves as a bookend to one of the great tragedies of the Battle of the Somme.


  1. Very nice tune. The recording leaves a lot to be desired by way of the fundamentals. Can you spot the areas with room for improvement?

    Ahead of the beat (with the band)
    Rolling and Lift Drop Crossing noises abound.
    Gracenotes size and sync errors a plenty
    Embellishment steps not even and accurate or audible
    Embellishments not accurate on the beat. Note how this creates dissonance with the brass band.
    Drones not in tune with each other.
    Drones don't match chanter pitch.
    Chanter note tuning issues.
    To name a few.