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What does a bagpiper do at a Funeral?

Amazing Grace Bagpipe Music

Long before Amazing Grace was composed, the highland bagpiper would play complicated pieces of music known as piobaireachd to honor an important person in the clan, therefore it is a longstanding Gaelic tradition to have a bagpiper play to honor the memory of the deceased. This class of tunes, to honor the memory of the dead, are known as laments.

A common bagpipe performance at a funeral will have the bagpiper play outside the church as guests enter the church as well as when the casket is brought inside. The bagpiper will often play again to conclude the funeral outside, after the ceremony is over. The tune that is often played here is Amazing Grace. Flowers of the Forest is also a standard in the Irish/Scottish tradition. Other good and appropriate tunes are Dark Isle, Danny Boy, or Going Home. You may also ask us to play a more sophisticated piece, a piobaireachd, if you wish for a truly traditional highland funeral performance. Of course, you can always ask us to play anything.

As an addition, you may request to have the bagpiper to perform at the burial. The bagpiper performs as guests enter and leave the burial. The bagpiper can play at the beginning and end of the ritual ceremony to officially begin and end the ritual. A burial performance adds a nice touch to the mood and atmosphere of the ritual.

Lastly, the bagpiper can perform at a post-funeral gathering at a restaurant, house, or wherever to liven up the mood for the family and friends of the deceased.

It is always highly recommended to iron out any details of the event by calling us at 1 (646) 407-2152.

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