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May 16, 2012

Weavers of the Tartan and the PIPIN’ HOT

Filed under: Bagpipe Music — caber @ 10:10 AM

Weavers of the Tartan and the PIPIN’ HOT album were actually the product of a previous bagpipe album Scott had recorded back in 1984. The name of this first album was “Weave of the Tartan” by the Cawthons.

Scott was unable to promote this album due to circumstances arising at the time, and the project was put on the back shelf. Years went by when Scott noticed his original masters were deteriorating. He sent them away to be restored. As he listened to these restored masters, Scott felt that the arrangements and sound of his music were, in his own words, “pretty cheesy.”
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March 17, 2012

Prayer for America Village Office in Holly

I piped for the Holly Assembly of God chruch on the National Day of Prayer the last couple of years.

Bagpiper Scott Cawthon tries his best on a chilly morning to warm up the crowd that gathered before the Village Office in Holly to particapate in the National Day of Prayer. Several local and count officials, residents and clergy gathered together with Cawthon leading them through “God Bless America,”: before reciting “Prayer for America.” composed by United States Senate Chaplain Lloyd Olgivie.

December 24, 2011

Pas de Basque

Filed under: Bagpipe Music — Tags: , — scottcawthon @ 4:16 PM

Need to practice your pad de basques?  Then download our newly added mp3.

November 16, 2011

New Music

Filed under: Bagpipe Music — Tags: — caber @ 7:07 PM

We will periodically add music specifically for highland dancing and plan to have the first tracks available in a couple of days.

April 12, 2011

Great Bagpipe Ensemble Video

Filed under: Bagpipe Music — Tags: , — caber @ 8:36 PM

Here are some great traditional bagpipe songs for your enjoyment. Nothing gives us more pleasure than sharing music from our homeland.

Listen to The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards perform at Edinburgh Castle.
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March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Filed under: Bagpipe Music — Tags: , — caber @ 5:23 PM

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! St. Patrick was a Scotsman who spread the Gospel to a pagan nation. Isaiah 9:2 – KJV “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” For more information about St. Patrick: http://www.joyfulheart.com/holiday/patrick.htm

A recording session is scheduled for Thursday.

April 16, 2010

How To Properly Toss a Caber in Scottish Highland Games

Filed under: Bagpipe Music — Tags: , — caber @ 3:29 PM
The Caber Toss (Gaelic caber, a pole or beam) is a traditional Scottish athletic exercise which consists of throwing a section of a trunk of a tree, called the “caber,” in such a manner that it turns over in the air and falls on the ground with its small end pointing in the direction directly opposite to the “tosser.” This event is a staple at the Highland games held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands.

This modern test of strength, agility and balance can be traced back to 17th and 18th century illustrations and descriptions. Scotland proudly claims the origin of caber toss, although there were very similar activities in the Nordic lands, France, Italy and Germany.

The most prominent theory surrounding the origin of the caber toss is that of crossing the stream. The caber was tossed from one side of the river to the other to allow people to cross. This is why the caber is tossed for accuracy, rather than distance. Though another popular explanation involves tossing logs during battle, either across a moat or against the walls of a castle or to breach a barrier.

1. Start with a wooden pole about 16-22 feet long, and weighing anywhere from 80-180 pounds – different festivals have different regulations. One end of the pole should be tapered. This pole is the caber.

(According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest caber ever tossed was 25 feet long and weighed 280 pounds!)

2. Have the pole brought to you, which usually requires at least three grown men. Lift the caber into your arms – this is called the ‘pick.’

3. Hoist the caber, so that the bottom of the pole is about level with your elbows. Cup the smaller, tapered end of the pole in your palms, and balance its weight against your shoulder.

4. When properly balanced, run forward with the caber for about twenty yards, so as to gain momentum. This is called the ‘approach.’

5. After a good running start, plant your feet so as to provide a good throwing platform. This is called the ‘plant.’

6. Push upward and out, away from your shoulders. Your intention is to flip the pole, with the larger end of the caber hitting the ground, so that the pole lands in a straight line perpendicular to your shoulders.

The object is not the distance of the throw, but rather to have the caber fall directly away from the thrower after landing. A perfect throw ends with the ‘top’ end nearest to the thrower and the ‘bottom’ end pointing exactly away. If the throw is not perfect, it is scored by viewing the caber as though it were the hour hand on a clock. A perfect toss is 12:00. A caber pointing to 11:00 would yield a better score than one pointing to 10:30 but would be the equivalent of 1:00. If the caber lands on its end and falls back towards the thrower, the score is lower than for any throw that falls away from the thrower but will be based upon the maximum vertical angle that the caber achieved (side-judging may involve a second judge.) An angle of 87° is better than 75°. Scoring depends on accuracy, and if the caber did not completely turn once, then it is based on the degree that it rose away from the ground.

Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. If a caber is too heavy to be ‘turned’, it may be cut until a successful toss.

Photo 1: Caber Toss © John Haslam / Flickr.com – CCA ShareAlike

Photo 2: A caber being tossed at Loon Mountain at the 2000 New Hampshire Highland Games

March 17, 2010

Daughters of Scotia Burns Night Dinner

Filed under: Bagpipe Music — caber @ 5:17 PM

Daughters of Scotia Burns Night Dinner this past Janurary. A picture of my piping and Nancy Skye conducting a sing-along with the pipes.

August 7, 2009

Learning to Play Bagpipe

Filed under: Bagpipe Music — Tags: , — caber @ 4:39 AM
The bagpipe is a complex musical instrument that takes time to learn. Every pipe player must commit to taking lessons and going through each stage of training. To develop proficiency, you will need to learn more than reading notes on a musical score. You will also need to master the art of proper breathing. For many players, this is one of the most difficult aspects of learning to play bagpipes. Next, you will need to learn fingering, sometimes quite a feat for any musical instrument, but especially this wind instrument.

Long ago young aspiring bagpipers studied with an accomplished piper. It could take years to master the multiple techniques required to become a competent piper. Today, learning to play bagpipes is easier because of the practice chanter. You will use it to grasp the fundamentals of breathing, fingering and producing the notes of the scale. With practice, you will soon be ready to start producing the notes of the musical scale, but no actual melodies yet.

The practice chanter resembles a flute, but it has a reed, like an oboe. Its purpose is to introduce people to playing bagpipes. Some people attempt to start out with an actual bagpipe. Most experts agree that this method is futile and frustrating even if you are musically inclined or a trained player of a different instrument.

Finding practice music and lessons will be the next step. It helps if an aspiring bagpipe player can already read sheet music. Bagpipe music has special notations on the score, for different techniques that players must use during the selection. It will be difficult to become proficient at bagpipes until you learn to read music.

Some people can progress from the chanter to the bagpipe on their own. It is easy to find a few free lessons on the Internet at Bagpipe Lessons.com. Many large music stores carry CDs, DVDs and bagpipe sheet music. If you are truly interested in learning to play this instrument well, consider taking lessons from a good piping teacher. Check out bagpipe bands in your area and ask for recommendations. Just like long ago, the best pipers had teachers who helped them master this beautiful instrument, step-by-step.

June 4, 2009

World Pipe Band Championship Video

Filed under: Bagpipe Music — Tags: — caber @ 10:09 PM
Simon Fraser University Pipe Band wins the World Pipe Band Championship. Watch the video of the SFU bagpipe marching band playing in front of thousands of happy spectators.

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