The Bagpipes.. The Benoni High School Pipe Band.

What is it about the sound of the Bagpipes that makes the hair on your neck stand up? Why did the Scots follow these sounds unabated into battle? What is it that makes certain tunes played on these instruments so haunting? I have no answers, but what I can say… I love this instrument…

Recently.. as in yesterday… the Benoni HS Pipe Band played a t a function I attended.. when they started to warm up, that sound drew me to where they were… This Band is the only South African band to have become World Champions, an achievement they managed at the World Pipe Band Championship in 2009 held in Glasgow. Needless to say they are and have been the South African Champions for 18 consecutive times… now that’s some record..

They have all the sounds and movements of a championship winner… and the drums and drummers, must rank high on anyone’s list…  I just loved this band and will do my best to see them play again… I took some photos of them warming up and ..boy that bag with all those pipes sticking out looks like a hard days work to me…

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38 thoughts on “The Bagpipes.. The Benoni High School Pipe Band.

  1. Great to hear so many positive comments about Pipes & Drums, particularly the BHS Pipe Band, I was a piper in the band from ’85 to ’87, we were SA junior champs in each of those 3 years, and won 14 straight competitions. Great memories indeed. Makes me want to pick them up again and give them a whirl…it’s been many years though so not sure if I still have the puff…and not sure if the neighbours would be so enthusiastic…:-)

  2. My grandmother was born and raised in Scotland, and from a very young age forward she introduced me to hearing the plaintive, sensitive side of the bagpipe strains. Once you really hear the instrument played that way, it gets into you! 🙂 These are lovely students and I love to see a younger generation taking on such a challenging instrument. They are undoubtedly wonderful young people.

    • That they were and their complete concentration was wonderful to see… apart from the pipes I just love the sound of the drums… my Grand Parents were from Scotland and he was a great pipe band expert… even when he became almost deaf (I suppose that’s where I got it from) he would still stand with me listening to a band and say “hear that drummer.?? he’s good”

  3. We were lucky once to go on a trip through my husband’s business…at the end of our trip at the “farewell” dinner…in marched 25 bagpipes….I’ll never forget that…the sound just moved your heart…

  4. I absolutely love the sound of the Bagpipes. It’s so haunting and brings tears to my eyes and I’m really not sure why. There must be something about this sound that tugs on our heart-strings 😀

    • True… although looking on youtube there are a few zippy tunes being played on the pipes… although I must admit the still don’t quite come across zippy…

  5. Bagpipes always make me want to cry, in a good way, it strikes some chord deep within. Part Scottish? Yes. What is remarkable though, is 18 consecutive wins considering the musicians change all the time.

    • Is that not just some record… they have to have the best training staff you can get to keep the record up… I agree when I hear the pipes… the heart strings twang…

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever really taken the time to try and appreciate bagpipe music. It’s just something that comes on TV whenever Scotland is mentioned! Oh dear, I feel bad about that now, I will try and take more proper notice.

    • An interesting take… maybe it’s just us that have associations with the Scots that feel this way… Bagpipes played badly are worse than anything I’ve heard… but played well .. oh man they produce such a lovely haunting sound…

  7. Definitely it’s a different sound when you hear it live and close up. Goosebumps all over! There’s something so powerful and piercing about bagpipe music that I can understand why the clans had the pipes playing as they advanced on their enemies. The sound is enough to strike fear into their hearts and have them running for cover long before the attacking clan would arrive. I put the effects of the bagpipes on par with the war chant of the Zulus. Terrifying, if you know they’re coming for you.

    • Thank you for that comment, I had forgotten the war chant of our Zulu nation… a frighten sound in it’s self… also their war drum beating… but somehow I think walking behind the pipes would give me far more courage than the Zulu war cries… mind you the Zulu singing also makes my hair stand on end… good thought there, got my mind going now,…

      • Interesting perspective. I was thinking of it from the point of view of the defenders, shaking in their boots at the sound of the pipes and the war chants of the Zulus. You were thinking of it from the POV of the followers (the members of the army) behind the pipes and chants, getting strength and courage from them. In the movie “Zulu,” the sound of the chanting and the slapping of the spears on the shields was really terrifying. I wouldn’t have wanted to be their opponents. But it’s interesting how music, songs, chants, and drumming can be so effective for both sides.

        • I wish all wars were decided on the performance before the battle… maybe if all stood their ground and played there music and did their dance and chants, the side most scared would back down and admit defeat… what a fantasy…

  8. I actually used to dislike the sounds of the bagpipes, but only until the day that I actually stood there in real life watching them play, it was incredible and have really loved it since.

    • Oh another convert… I must admit that as a youngster I could see no sense in a bag that made such a sound… till I heard them in real life… and then I was sold .. that sound makes my hair stand on end… and I can see how the Scots followed these into battle without a care…

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