The work is the result of over thirty years of oral fieldwork among the last Gaels in Cape Breton, for whom piping fit unself-consciously into community life, as well as an exhaustive synthesis of Scottish archival and secondary sources. Reflecting the invaluable memories of now-deceased new world Gaelic lore-bearers, John Gibson shows that traditional community piping in both the old and new world Gaihealtachlan was, and for a long time remained, the same, exposing the distortions introduced by the tendency to interpret the written record from the perspective of modern, post-eighteenth-century bagpiping. Following up the argument in his previous book, Traditional Gaelic Bagpiping, 1745-1945, Gibson traces the shift from tradition to modernism in the old world through detailed genealogies, focusing on how the social function of the Scottish piper changed and step-dance piping progressively disappeared. Old and New World Highland Bagpiping will stir controversy and debate in the piping world while providing reminders of the value of oral history and the importance of describing cultural phenomena with great care and detail.
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Number of pages: 450
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 33 mm
"An excellent work, well researched, splendidly footnoted, a book anyone with an interest in the subject will find a 'must have.'" The Canadian Historical Review
"John Gibson has provided in this new book an incredible wealth of information." Mario Champagne, Department of Music, Stanford University
"Throughout Old and New World Highland Bagpiping, John Gibson emphasises and decodes the traditional Gaelic social and cultural relationships between many of the clans and families in Scotland and in Cape Breton. Gibson manages to do an exceptional job of