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Collectors - Macedonian bagpipe

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Published on Mar 8, 2009

This clip is extracted from a popular Australian documentary TV series.

This episode features an Australian collector of bagpipes with an expressed taste for the Macedonian bagpipe and Macedonian music.

Rob Bester and Anne Hildyard are so entranced with Balkan music that they visited the Balkans, and collected the music, instruments, clothing and recipes from this area. When Rob heard the Macedonian bagpipes played, it really struck a chord with him.

A favourite is the biniou, a bagpipe from Brittany, which is an octave higher than Scottish pipes. Rob explains that while bagpipes are shepherds instruments, practised during summers on the high plateaus, the main instrument used for weddings and other celebrations is the zurna, a wooden reed instrument mostly played by professional musicians.

In the Balkans, each village has its own variations of instruments and ways of playing them so that you dont have to go far before things have changed quite a lot. Music is a most important part of Balkan cultural identity. The music you play or listen to says a lot about who you are. A babys development is measured by its ability not to walk or talk but to clap in time to music.

Rob and Annes band Xenos has performed to attentive audiences all over the world, and when they can their children play too.

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