Bagpipe, a wind instrument of great antiquity, which seems to have been a favorite with many nations of Europe in the dawn of musical taste, but is so identified at the present day with the Scotch Highlanders as to be considered almost peculiar to them. Its invention is traced back to the mythical age of Greece, while among the Romans the instrument, almost identical in form with that now in use, was familiarly known as the tibia utricularis. It was also known to many of the Scandinavian tribes, and was probably introduced into Ireland and Scotland by the Danes and Norwegians at a very early period. The instrument consists of a leather bag, inflated through a valved tube by the mouth or a bellows, connected with which is a flute part called the chanter, perforated with holes, and furnished with a reed, the action of the air from the bellows upon which produces the music. Three pipes or drones, two of which are in unison with D on the chanter, while the third, or great drone, is an octave lower, complete the instrument. The rude construction and limited compass of the bagpipe render it available for the performance only of tunes consisting of a few notes, and all set on the same key.

As it is ignored by educated musicians, we find but little music written for it, and the pipers play almost entirely by ear. It is said that schools exist in some of the Scottish islands for instruction on the bagpipe, and the Highland society of Edinburgh offer annual premiums for the sake of encouraging the art.