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Thursday, December 01, 2005


THE world's first doctor of bagpiping graduated yesterday.

Simon McKerrell, received his PhD in bagpiping on St Andrew's Day. The qualification - the first of its kind - was validated by St Andrews University after it was pioneered by the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

Simon, 25, of Glasgow, said he was "delighted" to be given the opportunity to study "ethnomusicology" and concentrate on bagpiping. He said: "
The course really extended my knowledge. "I studied a lot of music from other cultures - from Africa, the Americas and Indonesia. "It proved to be a remarkable experience.'

The piper hopes that his doctorate will help to promote the art as a legitimate musical form.

Simon, the head of studies at the National Piping Centre, in Glasgow, said:
"There has been a new confidence emerging in terms of what it is to be Scottish."Since we've taken more pride in what it is to be Scottish, the pipes have really taken off. "It's great that traditional music is finally being recognised academically."

Roddy MacLeod, principal of the centre, said Simon's knowledge would be a boost to the centre.He explained:
"Simon brings a lot of strengths, not only as a scholar but as a performer. "This is great news for us."

It could only happen in Scotland!

Be encouraged!

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