Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 44, Page 29

Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 44, Page 29
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Píobaire, An
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29~ Correspondence ~An Early Uilleann Piper inthe New WorldPermit to me to respond to NicholasCarolan’s response to my comment onhis article “An Early Uilleann Piper inthe New World” (An Píobaire 4.40).My response was based on personal experi-ences with descendants of the area in ques-tion, and Sir William Johnson’s personaltastes. He was probably one of the most well-known people in the British North Americancolonies, and people would have knownabout his love of the “Píob Mór”. (He lovedall culture, though.)I find it hard to believe that if Mr Carolan canassume from a patronage request – because arespondent (Reilly) mentions he plays other“civilised” instruments – that he would haveto be an uilleann/union piper! Nor do Ibelieve that it was accidental that he put bag-pipes first on his list!As I stated before, many of the descendantswho played píob mór also played fiddle(mostly), fife and odd flute, right up to theprevious generation; so it was common toplay both at one time, not so common today.Now I sincerely do not know how to “foot-note” my own personal experiences or oraltradition, but I believe my response is at leastas valid as Mr Carolan’s assumption from anearly 18th century application for patronage.Eamonn RynneThis correspondence is now closed - Editor~ My father wouldn’t have done that! ~Picking a Terminological NitThere has for some time been a minorand historically rather light-heartedcontroversy in the world of piping overthe correct name of the instrument we play: isit the uilleann pipes, or the union pipes? Forsheer number of supporters, the term ‘uil-leann pipes’ seems to have won out, and fairenough. But if there still does exist any con-tentiousness among pipers over the name ofour instrument, perhaps adherents of bothcamps can unite over what the instrument isnot called. It is most definitely not called ‘theuilleanns’. This bizarre term appears fromtime to time in speech and on various music-related sites on the internet; limited mostly, itwould be hoped, to use by potential enthusi-asts and neophyte pipers who have not hadmuch exposure to the instrument, its practi-tioners, and what is now the considerablebody of literature devoted to it. Though it hasbeen proven that change and evolution in lan-guage is an inexorable force, let us at leastattempt to educate and enlighten this mis-nomer out of existence before we all becomenostalgic for the time when we were left toplay our ‘union pipes’ in (relative) termino-logical peace.Kieran O’Hare
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Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 44

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