Xeremias, the Mallorcan bagpipes
The first documented bagpipe appears in a carving in the Hittite city
of Eyuk prior to 1000 BCE. Cerca 60 AD, Nero depicted himself on coins playing a bagpipe and not a fiddle! He is also said to have played a pipe with his mouth,
with a bag thrust under his armpit in order to “escape the disfigurement of Athene”, a reference to the sagging skin
and distended facial muscles occasioned by the pre-bag method of circular breathing where the mouth acted as the repository
for the air.
Modern translations of the Bible consider the symphoniae mentioned in the collection of motley
instruments in Daniel 3:15 to be a bagpipe. It is interesting to speculate if the bagpipe, ever the instrument of the common people, was known to Jesus, as there
is a term for it in Aramaic, and it’s popularity was spreading through the Mediterranean at that time.