Monday, July 27, 2009

Highland Games weekend

Well, I'm back!

I had a math exam today, which meant I had to study over the weekend. This resulted in me staying at the hotel on Saturday, while mom and Tall One went to the Games. It wasn't so bad. I listened to Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" while I studied. I also got out of the hotel just a little, though I wound up regretting it.

Reason number one I regretted it was that the one place nearby that I considered worth checking out was a pet store, which didn't take proper care of its animals. That was rather depressing. Reason number two was that when I decided to go barefoot in some grass (which is one of the great joys in life, so far as I am concerned) I stepped on a bee! Not very pleasant -- for me or the bee. I'm not sure which one of us was more unhappy with the other, though I was in too much pain to be overly sympathetic to the poor bee at the time.

In spite of the pet store and the bee sting, the day wasn't too bad. :) And on Sunday I went to the Games.

I just realized, I don't think I've ever talked about massed bands at the Highland Games. How can I not have talked about them? They're one of the highlights, so far as I'm concerned.

Think of one Highland bagpipe playing. You know, the really loud pipes, the ones that get all the attention? (Yes, there are different kinds of bagpipes...but that's a different topic! :P) I think you know which pipes I'm talking about. They're cool enough by themselves, but add in perhaps ten other Highland pipes and a drum core. The result is a pretty awesome band. Now, multiply that by ten; yep, ten or so pipe bands playing together. That is what I'm talking about when I say "massed bands." They are amazing to behold, and I LOVE them. Unfortunately, my love is not shared by the pipers and drummers.

The pipers and drummers who participate absolutely loathe them. The only way to make the bands participate is to disqualify them from the competition if they refuse. Even at that, getting all the bands together is often compared to herding cats, and it isn't unheard of to see pipers or drummers on the outskirts of the band sneaking away before it's over.

They do actually have reason for not liking massed bands, though. You see, when you get a pipe band playing together, you have to tune the drones to each other, if you want all the instruments to be on the same wavelength. This is absolutely impossible to do in a massed band, because of the sheer size of it, and the pipers find it quite annoying to say the least.

Regardless, I immensely enjoy the massed bands, and always look forward to them. They are a sight and a sound to behold.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I love the pipes too. But I'd never heard that pipers hate massed bands -- LOL! Thanks for the "inside info"!

Sarita said...

Having a brother who plays the pipes has been somewhat educational. :)