All things are like bagpipes.

It seems every culture has an instrument on the verge of extinction trying to be revived by traditionalists. Why is it though that they all relate to the Highland bagpipe and/or the music we play? Is our beloved bagpipe and its music older than we think?

First you have the Triple Pipe and its antecedants from the Eurasian cultures of yore. Then you have the more Nordic piva being uncovered by the Swiss. Now, we’ve got the Saenghwang from Korea. This 1,700-year-old instrument is sort of a mouth-blown pipe organ.


“This multiple-windpipe instrument shares similar features with the Scottish traditional bagpipes both in sound and execution.

Saenghwang has a clear and resonant sound— strong in bass, mellow in the mean clef and lucid in the treble, enabling musicians to play chordal pieces, unlike other Korean traditional instruments.”

Just like Highland bagpipes…. Although you might not think so from this audio sample. The similarities might be more in the modality of the scale and the melodies it is able to create. (Is that the faint echo of a piobaireachd Urlar I hear?)

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