Bagpipes are a loud instrument
Okay, I didn’t think I had anything to say today until I read this story on cbc.ca/news regarding the treatment of a bagpiping busker. As an occasional (okay, seldom, but I’ve done it) bagpiping busker, I have no argument against the removal of a bagpiper if it is deemed too loud. Yes, bagpipes are a loud instrument. There is no easy way to make them any quieter … is it possible to intimidate an enemy in battle using a Pan flute? (I mean no offence to Zamfir and other Pan flutists.) I can understand that the Robert Burns Association of North America may have something to say about the negative treatment of a person representing the Scottish culture in Canada, but a boycott of Ottawa? Come on. I’ve been playing bagpipes for over 2 decades now (and I’m really not that old) and if the By-Ward Market Business Improvement Area wants to remove a busker whose music and/or instrument is too loud, I think that’s their prerogative. The bagpiper in question had even been playing fiddle a few weeks earlier and remained unmolested, which goes to show that the businesses are not against music or buskers in general, only when they are too loud. You’d maybe think that I’d stand up for the rights (?) of bagpipers everywhere, but, to me, there’s a time and a place.