The Royal Scots Cap Badge


Bagpipe Band Staging

I have written this article about bagpipe band staging and formation when performing and I have listed below, a few points for you to consider.


On a stage and open air facing towards a main listening stand or embankment etc., it is suggested that a kind of open Horseshoe or Arc formation be seriously considered, rather than a circle with many backs of the band rudely facing the audience.


On some stages the Horseshoe or Arc might have to be flattened out, or spread out to fit. The pipers form in front to the initial shape with a reasonable openness without encroaching too much towards the center of the stage so as to face the audience in the main. The Pipe Major might be on one end of the arc and sideways to the audience for directing from there, or more central if preferred. If the number of the pipers is large then intersperse slightly back and between pipers of the front/side row in an orderly way to be visible. The drummers form a block across the back of the pipers with the bass drum central and slightly sideways if necessary for viewing directions.


The leading side/snare drummer should also be able to see the Pipe Major for directions. The pipers immediately in front of the drummers can be opened up to allow most, or at least a few, of the drummers to be seen if not on a raised platform.


Orderly entry and exit should be rehearsed in advance as mentioned earlier so as to be more professional in appearance. Smart turnout and bearing, again, also important as in previous pages.


In Competition Medleys; and March, Strathspey, and Reel sets this way is far better presentation with judges in a static position, a reasonable distance from the front to judge as a band, not as individuals, yet be more consistent and fair band to band.


Horseshoe - open end facing audience and more opened to the flanks than in the picture and more suitable outdoors most likely.

bagpipe band staging

*Arc/Crescent – a more shallow approach, drummers block (or slightly curved) behind not as deep to the rear to fit onto an indoor stage. This arc would still have to close in a bit at each end/flank for Pipe Major's directions.


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