Protocol for Piping a Formal Dinner: A Ceremonial Information for Highland Bagpipers
It’s believed that the customized of eating in started within the monasteries, was adopted by the early universities, and later unfold to navy models when the officer’s mess was established. British officers of the nineteenth century have been drawn from the aristocracy, and whereas they thought of themselves gents, they weren’t essentially males of means; third and fourth sons had little likelihood of inheriting title and lands underneath primogeniture. Whereas the pooling of sources might have been out of financial necessity, the regimental officer’s mess maintained the social stratification of English society and ensured that the traditions of gentlemanly conduct have been maintained and inculcated to junior officers. The first components are a rigidly formal setting, espirit de corps and the camaraderie of friends, a high quality dinner, conventional toasts to the pinnacle of state and navy companies, martial music and the attendance of honored company or audio system. At this time, though the aim of a dinner could also be to watch an appointment, promotion, retirement, or some auspicious event, a central theme of such occasions is a ceremonial focus upon the historical past of the host group.
Whereas the custom of getting a piper at excessive desk might have it is origins within the clan system in Scotland & Eire, the formal dinners and eating in ceremonies as we all know them right now are immediately attributable to the traditions of the officers mess within the British Military and Royal Navy. Initially fife & drums or trumpeters have been employed to sound the calls; as Highland regiments have been organized, pipers have been employed not just for this goal, however to have a good time nice battles and victories within the historical past of the regiment and to memorialize their useless, fairly consistent with the Celtic bardic custom. It ought to be borne in thoughts that initially Military pipers have been outfitted and paid not by the Exchequer however completely by the officer’s mess; with out their patronage, trendy Highland regiments would not have ever had pipers, and with out the Military to keep up and construct upon this custom the nice Highland bagpipe could be about as acquainted to most individuals right now because the zampogna.
When a piper is requested to pipe the calls and the music at a proper dinner, you may be engaged to carry out all through dinner; to supply a restricted efficiency akin to pipe within the head desk, pipe the lament and/or pipe within the port; or to easily pipe within the head desk and depart. Whereas there are a lot of completely different traditions related to formal eating, the next are a number of the customs related to piping a proper dinner. You might be requested to carry out some, all, or some variant of any of them every now and then.
Such affairs are invariably formal, requiring black tie, sometimes white tie, or full parade regalia. Miniature decorations and medals are worn. If flying a pipe banner, be certain that the drone cords and/or ribbons are to the left of the banner; i.e., not over the regimental crest. If there may be a couple of piper, the banner is historically flown by the rating piper current, who will lead the detachment, fashioned up so as of rank or seniority.
The seating association on the head desk is at all times primarily based on rank, seniority and standing. The host sits within the center, the following senior particular person (or visitor of honor) to his/her proper, the following senior particular person to his/her left and so forth, till all are seated. The senior-ranking member of the mess is the pinnacle (or “President”) of the mess dinner and sits within the heart. The President of the Mess might appoint a second (“Mr. Vice”), often the junior officer of the mess, who can be answerable for planning, and who often occupies the seat farthest from the host, typically on the far proper, typically at one other desk. Officers take priority over civilians. If a visitor speaker has no rank or standing, he/she is positioned as near the middle (proper of the host) as doable with out offending rank priority. Chaplains are often included on the head desk, often on the far left of the President.
15 minute and 5 minute warning calls are often sounded to alert the company that dinner is about to be served, and could also be offered by a piper. When piping warning calls a brief up-tempo tune is required however no particular title could also be prescribed. In some regiments it might be the Officers Name (e.g., “All of the Blue Bonnets Are O’er The Border”). A naval custom is to ring “six bells” (19:00) on a ship’s bell for the 15-minute warning (if eating at 7:15 PM, after all). Dinner could also be signaled by a short pipe tune (“Brose and Butter” is a conventional one), adopted by the host or grasp of ceremonies asserting, “Dinner is served!”
The company (besides the pinnacle desk) will proceed into the eating room and stay standing behind their chairs; the nearer to prime desk, the upper the rank or seniority. You might be requested to pipe within the company. The pinnacle desk kinds up so as of seating, led by the host and the principal visitor. When cued, lead the folks of the pinnacle desk into the eating room enjoying an applicable tune; “Roast Beef of Outdated England”, “A Man’s A Man for all That”, “Prince of Denmark’s March”, or the regimental march. If area permits, parade counter clockwise across the room. That is significantly necessary when flying a drone banner. The regimental crest on the obverse of the banner is at all times displayed first. When everyone seems to be in place, proceed to march, and end enjoying on the halt close to the dining-room entrance. At a sign from the host, cease enjoying and stay at consideration till grace has been mentioned. In case you are to not present the music throughout dinner, march from the room after grace is claimed.
Posting the Colours
An honor guard might publish and retire the colours; as a piper you could be requested to pipe them out and in. Because the American and Canadian nationwide anthems can’t be correctly performed on the pipes, different applicable patriotic tunes should be chosen. In case you march in with the colour guard, just be sure you’re properly rehearsed of their drill first; they march in shut order with wheeling actions to alter path. In fact, if not enjoying stand at consideration with pipes down for the Nationwide Anthem(s). In case you’re flying a drone banner, watch the colour guard and drop your bass drone from horizontal after they dip the colours.
In some navy and veterans organizations it’s customary to recollect comrades killed in motion, typically with an empty place setting, typically with a small desk earlier than the pinnacle desk. You might be requested to play a lament of their reminiscence. “Flowers of the Forest” is conventional, however different laments may match equally as properly if the host has expressed no desire.
Piping within the Beef
In some traditions, the primary course (historically beef) is ceremoniously piped in to the pinnacle desk (or “Mr. Vice”), which can pattern it and formally announce it match for consumption. “Roast Beef of Outdated England” or “A Man’s a Man For All That” could also be used if not performed beforehand to pipe within the head desk. You might pipe the meat out as properly.
Piping within the Haggis
If haggis is served (akin to a Burn’s Dinner), pipe the haggis to the pinnacle desk to “A Man’s a Man For All That”. Stand at consideration for the recital of Burn’s “Tackle to a Haggis”, and take part within the toast to his “immortal reminiscence”. Pipe the haggis out to “Neil Gow’s Farewell to Whisky”.
Major Course Music
Wait till all on the head desk has been served earlier than starting to play appropriate picks intermittently all through the primary course. A piobaireachd is usually thought of customary. If parading across the room, it’s customary to begin “widdershins”; counterclockwise. If flying a pipe banner, it might be applicable to countermarch as properly, with a view to show the unit crest on the obverse facet. Previous to the port wine being served, the host/delegate will sign you to cease enjoying.
Piping within the Port
An outdated customized is the piping in of the port wine for the Loyal Toast. After dessert and occasional are served, tables are cleared apart from the desk decorations and wine glasses. No particular music is required, but it surely ought to be brief and applicable. On cue, lead the wine stewards into the eating room, positioning your self at a predetermined spot, and proceed to play till the wine is about to be sampled and declared potable by the host. Typically the piper will play because the port is handed down the tables because the company cost their glasses. Stay at consideration till the Loyal Toast is drunk after which march from the room, except required to remain for the Toast to the Corps.
If a Commonwealth dinner (or if UK company are current), you could be requested to play “God Save the Queen” earlier than the Loyal Toast. The particular person proposing the toast will ask everybody to face and be a part of him in a toast to the Queen. The member will then increase his/her wineglass shoulder excessive and say: “The Queen”. The meeting will reply: “The Queen”.
If an American dinner, the host might suggest a toast to the Commander-in-Chief. Mr. Vice seconds this by rising and addressing the corporate, saying, “Gents, the Commander-in-Chief of the US”. Every member and visitor then stands, repeats in unison the toast (e.g., “The Commander-in-Chief of the US”), sips the drink, and stays standing. The band then performs the Nationwide Anthem. If piping, play “America the Stunning” or “God Bless America”. On the conclusion of the music, members and company are once more seated.
Toast to the Corps
You might be requested to play the regimental march previous to a Toast to the Corps. Sadly, the one American regimental marches that “match” properly on the pipes are the “Marine Corps Hymn” and “Semper Paratus”.
Paying the Piper
On the conclusion of your efficiency, the host might give you (or the lead piper) a quaich containing a dram (about 3.5 ml) of whisky. Stand to the left of the host. Taking the quaich in each palms, maintain it shoulder excessive and face the pinnacle desk. It’s conventional for the piper to toast the pinnacle desk (Sláinte! “to your well being” in Gaelic; phonetically Slanjer or Slanja), flip to the corporate and provide a proper toast. Following the toast, you are anticipated to drink the whisky in a single draught, toast the corporate (Sláinte!), and flip the cup over and kiss the underside. Following the ceremony, take your depart of the pinnacle desk and march from the room. Except you are Gaelic is excellent, you are in all probability greatest off providing your formal toast in English.
The normal Pipe Main’s toast of the Liverpool Scottish may be tailored to a spread of occasions;
Slainte mhor, Slainte Banrighinn
Slainte agus buaidh gu brath
le Gillean Forbasach.
Slanjervaw, slanjer banreen
Slanjer aggus booey goo bra
la gillian forbusach
Good well being, well being to the Queen
Well being and success for ever
to the Forbes lads
On the conclusion of the dinner, you could be requested to play the Nationwide Anthem. As neither “The Star Spangled Banner” nor “Oh Canada” could be performed efficiently on the restricted tonal vary of the pipes, play “America the Stunning” or “Maple Leaf Perpetually” as an alternative. In fact, if not enjoying stand at consideration with pipes down for the Nationwide Anthem(s). In case you’re flying a drone banner, watch the colour guard and drop your bass drone from horizontal after they dip the colours.
Obligation Tunes of the forty eighth Highlanders of Canada
Officers Mess Name (quarter-hour)
“Bannock & Barley Meal”
Meal Name (5 minutes)
Pipe in Friends
“Lt. Col. Robertson”
Pipe in Head Desk
“Flowers of the Forest”
First Set (Major Course)
Ends with “Highland Laddie”
Second Set (Dessert)
Ends with “Lt. Col. Robertson”
Pipe Main’s Toast:
A Mhàidseir na pìoba, òlamaid deoch-slàinte!
(Pipe Main, allow us to drink a toast)
Pipe Main’s reply:
A h-uile latha a chì ‘s nach fhaic, an dà fhicheadamh ‘s a h-ochd gu bràth! Slàinte don Bhànrigh! Slàinte Mhòr! Slàinte!
(Day by day that I see you, or that I do not see you, the forty eighth eternally! Well being to the Queen! Nice good well being! Well being!)