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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:25 pm 
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This follows an active discussion on the session.org about Irish Music in England in the C19. Many, many Irish sources claim the uilleann pipes as historically uniquely Irish, as they are today (kinda, but you know what I mean!) This appears to be simply not true and I got a bit of evidence together here.

Am I wrong, or is there simply nothing about this from the likes of NPU etc? I’m not denying the union pipes BECAME uniquely Irish, even got an Irish name, but they didn’t begin that way.

Here’s an example of the ‘union’ pipes (the older name for uilleann pipes) being played in London in the 1790s. http://nms.scran.ac.uk/database/record. ... -579-675-C

As the Union pipes derived from the pastoral pipes, which were common accross all the British Isles, it seems there was a period when they were know and played in England and Scotland. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Ro ... ment_maker)


Union pipes were made in London, Newcastle and Edinburgh amongst other places. They apparrently fell out of favour on the mainland in the C19. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25163939

Also from Richard D Cook in an old thread,
https://thesession.org/discussions/27624
Late 18th century/ early 19th century Union PIpe makers:

Malcolm MacGregor, London
John Dunn, Michael Dunn, Newcastle
Robert Reid, North Shields (1784-1837)
James Reid, North Shields
J Massie, Abereen (also made Pastoral pipes)
James Sharpe, Aberdeen (also Pastoral)
John Naughtan, Aberdeen (also Pastoral)
Hugh Robertson, Edinburgh (1760s)
Bannon
Robert Scott, London
Weldon
Nicholas Kerr, Edinburgh
Donald MacDonald, Edinburgh (1767-1840)
James Kenna, Dublin (making keyed pipes 1770-1790)

Union pipe players in Scotland and Northern England:

Billy Purvis 1784-1853
James Allan 1734-1810
Neil MacVicar
John Sutherland
William Mackie
Robert Millar 1789-1865

Venues where Union PIpes were performed:

Highland Society of London 1788-1822
Performers included Richard Fitzmaurice, Patrick O Farrell, John Murphy, John MacGregor, Dennis Courtney, Malcolm MacGregor, James McDonnell

Perth Gaelic Society
Malcolm MacGregor performed on GHB, Union Pipes, Flageolet, and German Flute

Aberdeen Highland Society

Posted by Richard D Cook 8 years ago.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:52 am 
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You raise a fair point. But as always, there are nuances.

There isn't much information about the early years of the "union pipes". It's not even certain if the union pipes evolved from the pastoral pipes, but most people seem to take this as being the case. In fairness to NPU, they don't claim that the instrument was first developed in Ireland. From NPU's website:

"It emerged in the first half of the 18th century in Ireland and Britain and was developed to its modern form in Ireland over the following 50 to 60 years"

(http://pipers.ie/resources/instrument/)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:08 am 
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Nicely spotted PJ. I’m sure there are folks out there with some insight, pipemakers and historical boffin types?I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a vintage set made outside of Ireland or the US. I assume they were relitively rare everywhere, died out on the mainland and took off in Ireland to be developed into the instrument we know and love today?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:31 am 
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I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a vintage set made outside of Ireland or the US.


I have a Malcolm MacGregor set (made in London c 1810). There are a handful of other MacGregors I know of in private hands or museum collections. There are certainly Robert Reid sets about, similarly in both private hands and in museums. I've seen sets by both Scott and Dunn listed in museum collections. So they are out there. There's not loads of them about, but there also aren't loads of surviving sets made in Ireland from that late 18th/early 19th century period either.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:26 am 
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Francis O'Neill mentions a few makers in Liverpool (Michael Egan, Michael Mannion), but his focus would have been on the Ireland/US pipers/makers.

http://billhaneman.ie/IMM/IMM-XVI.html

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:36 am 
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RLines wrote:
Quote:
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a vintage set made outside of Ireland or the US.


I have a Malcolm MacGregor set (made in London c 1810). There are a handful of other MacGregors I know of in private hands or museum collections. There are certainly Robert Reid sets about, similarly in both private hands and in museums. I've seen sets by both Scott and Dunn listed in museum collections. So they are out there. There's not loads of them about, but there also aren't loads of surviving sets made in Ireland from that late 18th/early 19th century period either.


Can you share a picture of your set?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:43 am 
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The lecture in this video doesn't necessarily prove a transition from pastoral pipes, but it's an interesting overview on the history of uilleann pipes, if you haven't seen it already.

http://pipers.ie/source/media/?galleryI ... iaId=27590

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:01 pm 
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There's plenty of evidence of small bellows-blown bagpipes being made, and played, in Ireland, England and Scotland in the 18th century. They do however seem to have become particularly associated with Ireland; fairly rapidly, as you get references to 'Irish bagpipes' from quite early in the 18th century.

I'm personally convinced by the theory that 'Pastoral pipes' was really just a marketing term much as 'Union pipes' seems to have been used and possibly invented by Mr. Courtney in promoting his performances - actual instrument making practice was probably rather fluid.

Having said that I think the 'Grand Union Pipes' as Kenna called them - multiple regulators and a nearly-chromatic chanter - were a purely Irish development. Probably a creation first intended for professional musicians playing the popular 'national airs' on the stage or in Dublin coffee houses - men much like Courtney in fact, who needed to play in a variety of keys and alongside other instruments.

If I were a historian (I'm not) I'd perhaps suggest a link with the growing sense of Irish patriotism and cultural confidence that gave rise to the Volunteer movement in the 1770s-80s and ended up being crushed in 1798. The time was ripe for a sophisticated and unique 'national' instrument to take the place of the dying harp tradition.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:25 pm 
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Really appriciate all of your quality input here. Rick L, will you have the vintage with you at the SWUP tionol? I’m hoping to attend.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:46 am 
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Rick L, will you have the vintage with you at the SWUP tionol? I’m hoping to attend.


The MacGregor is away being restored at the moment. Hopefully I'll have it back in time for next year's tionol. I'll have my Taylor set with me though.

It would be great to see you at the tionol, Sean!

Quote:
Can you share a picture of your set?


I certainly will when they are done!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:13 am 
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This is required reading: https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/text/courtneys-union-pipes-and-the-terminology-of-irish-bellows-blown-bagpipes-b. Important to note that before they were called union pipes they were known as Irish pipes.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:51 am 
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PCL, thank you.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:26 pm 
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Interesting discussion, but the part that baffles me the most is where is the “ mainland “ referred to in the title?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:24 pm 
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‘The Mainland’ is the term for England, Scotland amd Wales in Ireland.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:58 am 
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I wouldn't advise using "mainland" in certain circles :lol:


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