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There are a lot of different instruments that may show up at a Celtic music performance. It doesn't matter if it is Scottish or Irish music, the instruments are largely the same.
Scottish bagpipes are usually called Great Highland pipes, and the Irish pipes are called uillean pipes, or union pipes. They work in the same way. They have a bag that is inflated by a pipe that the piper blows into. They use pressure on the bag to blow air through the chanter, which is the pipe that is held in the hands of the piper. That's what makes the music. The bagpipes also have at least one drone pipe, which just plays a harmonic note. The pipes are commonly used in Celtic music of all kinds now, but they were used by ancient Celts as war pipes. The sounds of the pipes could be disturbing to the enemy, especially if they were all played discordantly. They could also be used to give the soldiers marching music to keep everyone in step as well as a way to help transmit commands through a battlefield. The notes from the bagpipe could be heard louder than voices over the sound of battle. They are used in the same way that bugles have been used in the military over the years.
A bodhran is a handheld drum. It is a very simple instrument. It is basically a round wood frame with a skin stretched tightly over it. The bodhran may have cross members behind the drumskin for the player to hold onto while they are playing. The framework may be able to be removed in order to transport it or to slightly change the tone of the drum. The drum is generally played with a double-ended stick that the drummer holds in one hand, since their other hand is holding the drum. The drums come in a variety of sizes, which would all have different tones. The skin that covers the framework would also give the drums different tones. If a drummer wants to have a certain tone or note from a drum, they can have it custom made so that it will be exactly what they want. A large Celtic music group may have more than one drummer performing so they get more of a rhythm from the drums.
If you love Celtic music, you may want to learn how to play one of these instruments. Contact a supplier like The Bridget Drum Company to learn more about them.