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Title: The cultural history of the bagpipe in Britain, 1680-1840
Author: Williams, Vivien Estelle
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2013
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Bagpipes and pipers, as cultural identifiers, are embedded within their national culture, charged with symbolisms. British authors have often viewed bagpipes as cultural icons, endowing them with connotations from devilish to virtuous, from rural to military. By analysing literary and artistic references one can perceive how the attitude towards the bagpipe changes with the evolution of Britain’s internal dynamics. Jacobitism contributed in casting a particular light on the bagpipe: it was the ‘voice of the rebellion’. In Scotland this constituted a reason for national pride, while in England the ‘common denominator’ of the Scot-enemy charged the bagpipe with the worst connotations. After Jacobitism stopped being seen as a threat, authors and artists came to view the bagpipe in a different light: the once negative icon was now imbued with ancestral values. The Scot – and the bagpipe by synecdoche – was romanticised: as James Boswell wrote, “The very Highland names, or the sound of a bagpipe, will stir my blood, and fill me with [...] a crowd of sensations with which sober rationality has nothing to do” (1785). The words of many Romantic authors contributed in characterising the instrument, endowing it with implications the influence of which is still relevant today.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain ; ML Literature of music ; N Visual arts (General) For photography ; see TR ; ND Painting ; NX Arts in general ; PE English ; PN0080 Criticism ; PN0441 Literary History ; PR English literature