Today, there are far more NSPers than probably ever before, but if
anyone needs more than one hand to count the good ones, he is either
very generous, or can't tell the difference between fair and excellent

I doubt if the number of excellent pipers is greater than it has ever
been. The point of the instrument lies in its distinctive sound, its
distinctive technique and its distinctive repertoire. 

The tradition of playing the instrument is in no danger of extinction;
but the playing of suitable music for it, as well as that music demands,
in an appropriate style, could die out among NSPers in general very
easily if most of them got the idea that you can play anything on them,
or got the idea the drones might get in the way of musical freedom. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Doc Jones [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Sent: 02 November 2006 00:37
Subject: [NSP] Preserving the tradition...a non-traditional approach.

I've been watching the jazz thread a bit.  There seems to be a certain
reluctance to see the NSP being used in venues that are not strictly

I would suggest that the best way to preserve the tradition of NSP is to
have them played in as many venues and types of music as possible.  

More exposure = more new players.  

Take the recent "Riverdance" show that toured in Europe and here in the
USA.  A lot of people poo-pooed it because it was not "traditional Irish
music.  But I for one was exposed to Uilleann piping for the first time
while watching the show on my VCR.  I now own a set of Uillean pipes and
strive to play them in the traditional style.  In fact, it is because of
that exposure and my attachment to Uilleann pipes that I took up the
NSP.   Now I'm the first to agree that Riverdance is poor substitute for
the real IrTrad music but I wonder how many thousands were touched by
the music and began their journeys into IrTrad music from that point.  

I would love to see someone turn off the drones and play the NSP with
types of music that have nothing to do with Northumberland.  I'd love to
have thousands of folks watching and saying "What the heck are those
cute little rascals?" .   Invariably they will mostly come home to the
"traditional"  tunes and techniques and in the mean time we've picked up
a lot of new players and enthusiasts.

What a blessing that the violin was "corrupted" to play IrTrad,
bluegrass, blues etc....  I'm sure the Viol d' Gamba players all turned
up their noses as the "fiddlers" debased their traditions by playing new
styles of music.  But then you don't see many Viol d'Gamba players these

I hope we don't cling so tightly to the tradition that we strangle it
into extinction. :)




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