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Title: The development of competitive piping in Southern Ontario
Author: Clark, Fraser
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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The purpose of this study is to examine the historical development of the Great Highland Bagpipe in Southern Ontario prior to 1987. In 1987, the 78th Fraser Highlanders of Toronto won the World Pipe Championships; they were the first band from Canada to achieve such distinction in global competition. Who were these pipers? Where did they come from? What were the historical circumstances that gave rise to such fruitful competitive piping conditions in the latter 20th century? This thesis attempts to shed light on these issues as well as to examine within a wider framework the cultural transmission of emigrant traditions in Canada. The development of piping traditions in Ontario, though similar to the Scottish experience, differs because it takes place in a different geographical, social and cultural context. Several themes emerge in this history: Scottish immigration to Ontario plays a significant (and obvious) role in the artistic development of piping. Large scale Scottish immigration served to construct conditions whereby Celtic symbols (kilts and bagpipes) would be embraced not only by the transplanted Scots themselves but also by the largely British resident culture. Other historical avenues explored in the study are the roles the British and Canadian armies played in the evaluation of the pipe band; the increasing participation of the most respected solo pipers in post-World War Two highland games (in Ontario and Scotland) and how their performance practises set ever increasing performance standards for Ontario pipers; and finally, the story of the Scottish World Festival 1982-1981, and its impact on the Ontario band scene. This thesis is approached from various interpretive perspectives. Its data gathering methodology comprises a compilation of archival, oral, published and unpublished material in order to provide the broadest and most balanced account of the story of southern Ontario piping traditions. This study also takes a biographical approach. Individual personalities and their lives are explored in detail throughout the text without whom it would have been impossible to write such a treatise on the piping traditions of central Canada.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available