Few instruments can match the powerful reverence and soul of the bagpipes, so it's no surprise that pipes continue to be a common tradition at memorials and funerals. It truly is a humbling and profound experience.
I always strive to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible so more time can be spent with friends and family instead of planning the logistics of the service.
In addition to private memorials, I've also played for Memorial Day events and 9/11 Remembrance services.
Bagpipes for Funerals and graveside services
If the service takes place outside, one common request is to have the bagpiper play as the hearse and guests arrive onsite. Likewise, the bagpiper can play at the beginning to start the service or at the end as flowers are placed or the casket is lowered. The bagpiper can be positioned nearby or played within eyesight from a distance so the pipes can be heard on the air.
Bagpipes for memorials and wakes
Memorials and wakes can differ from funerals as the range of appropriate music can be traditionally reverent (i.e. in the strain of Amazing Grace) to uplifting and lively. Similar to funerals - the most commonly requested time for the piper to play is as guests arrive, piping at a certain point during the service, or as part of the closing.
Bagpipe Tunes for Funerals and Memorials
Memorial and funeral tunes typically consist of slower, reverent tunes. Visit the Tunes page for more information on commonly requested memorial and funeral tunes.