[thechat] The youth today...

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Tue Dec 3 03:31:00 CST 2002

On Tue, 3 Dec 2002, Paul Cowan wrote:

> Of course, the worst bit is, he plays the goddamn *bagpipes*. Don't get
> me wrong, oh Scots denizens of thechat, I have no argument with the
> bagpipes themselves, but there's only so much poorly-rendered "Scotland
> the Brave" one can take.

We have our share of bad bagpipe buskers too.

> I'll say this about the bagpipes: like the violin[1] and the recorder [2],
> they sound truly terrible until you're very very proficient indeed.

The recorder is particularly hard because it is very, very dependent on
breath control, something that most child learners don't (and indeed
usually) can't master.

Which makes the recorder as the school's recommendation as small
children's first instrument of choice a truely baffling thing. Because the
acoustics make it subtley different fingering than pretty much every other
wind instrument, it's not even a sensible introduction to 'real'

Better to start on the penny whistle which is not only more tolerant of
breath control but also is a subset of the fingering as the flute, making
migration very easy.


"Names, once they are in common use, quickly
 become mere sounds, their etymology being
 buried, like so many of the earth's marvels,
 beneath the dust of habit." - Salman Rushdie

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