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In the Weirdest Places

Sometimes I run across what I consider to be ‘writing lessons’ in the weirdest places.

Today, I was listening to podcasts whilst working. In one (Scopes Monkey Choir), the hosts mentioned a music instrument I had never heard of: the Northumbrian Smallpipes.

On YouTube, I discovered that it’s kind of a northern-England version of a bagpipe or uilleann pipes, driven by a bellows that requires the player to pump with his or her arm while playing. It sounds . . . a bit like the bagpipes or uilleann pipes. But with a greater range. And less drone-y.

So anyway, as I’m wandering from video to video to get an idea how these things sound, I ran across this video. As she described her friend for whom the song is written, I thought to myself, “I want to use this amazing description for a character in a story.”

And then at 3:15 in, she says, “It’s not the tune I intended to write . . . but tunes sometimes have a habit of having their own mind about where they want to go and what they want to be.”

Sound familiar? Anyone? :)

Here’s the video. (I apologize for the gigantic size. I don’t know why it’s doing that. My YouTube-embedding fu is weak.)

[youtube_embed width=480 height=360]Zig7QP0LkmU[/youtube_embed]

(For those of you on LiveJournal, just click here. Sorry.)

Originally published at WriteWright. You can comment here or there.

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( 4 hisses — Hiss at me! )
Oct. 26th, 2012 12:50 am (UTC)
i am not into music instruments or music outside of listening but I always enjoy hearing new instruments and some of the culture it brings into modern days.</p>

Thanks for sharing!

Oct. 26th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
One of the many things I love about YouTube is that if you hear about X, there's probably a video of it on YouTube. :) It's better than Google, sometimes.
Oct. 26th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
Oh, how I love the uilleann pipes. I found myself mourning Bruce's loss.
Oct. 28th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
I don't remember when I first heard smallpipes, but I know it was at least 20 years ago.

Wait until you stumble upon the various Greek, Albanian and Bulgarian bagpipe variations.
( 4 hisses — Hiss at me! )

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