Bagpipe making

To get a sound out of a bagpipe, you first blow air in and then push it out! – bagpipe construction

“In past centuries, bagpipes were just as widespread in the Osnabrück region as they are in Scotland today” – this statement by bagpipe maker Christian Dreier from Georgsmarienhütte may surprise some people at first. In fact, the historic instrument was once considered an instrument of ordinary people and was therefore widespread.

Bagpipes have a very long tradition – there are even some indications that music was played on these woodwind instruments as early as ancient times. In the course of the 19th century, the instrument gradually fell out of fashion. Since the end of the 20th century, however, demand has increased again. Christian Dreier, who opened his own workshop in Georgsmarienhütte in 2009, takes advantage of this demand. At "Dreiers Dudelsackbau" (Dreier’s Bagpipe Maker), he makes historical instruments using traditional craftsmanship methods – a real old-fashioned handcraft.

The instruments consist largely of well-established materials. Christian Dreier likes it best when he gets to cut down the tree himself from which he will one day make his bagpipes. That way he can be part of the construction process right from the start. All his bagpipes are artistically and individually designed – each has its own unique sound. A high degree of precision and a lot of background knowledge are required to build each of the complex instruments. Mr. Dreier, who was originally trained as a carpenter, has acquired this knowledge and skills over the years. The intangible cultural heritage is found not only in the traditional instrument making, but also especially in the lathe wood turning trade, which has been included in the nationwide list of intangible cultural heritages by UNESCO since 2018. In addition to making bagpipes, Dreier also offers workshops and often plays the historic instrument himself; he regularly gives concerts with the medieval "Minstrels" ensemble Sonor Teutonicus“and appears at medieval markets.
We visited Christian Dreier in his workshop to get an impression of the passion and attention to detail with which he pursues his craft. Curious? Then watch the following video (in German):



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