In the Weirdest Places

Sometimes I run across what I consider to be ‘writing lessons’ in the weirdest places.

Today, I was listening to podcasts whilst working. In one (Scopes Monkey Choir), the hosts mentioned a music instrument I had never heard of: the Northumbrian Smallpipes.

On YouTube, I discovered that it’s kind of a northern-England version of a bagpipe or uilleann pipes, driven by a bellows that requires the player to pump with his or her arm while playing. It sounds . . . a bit like the bagpipes or uilleann pipes. But with a greater range. And less drone-y.

So anyway, as I’m wandering from video to video to get an idea how these things sound, I ran across this video. As she described her friend for whom the song is written, I thought to myself, “I want to use this amazing description for a character in a story.”

And then at 3:15 in, she says, “It’s not the tune I intended to write . . . but tunes sometimes have a habit of having their own mind about where they want to go and what they want to be.”

Sound familiar? Anyone? :)

Here’s the video. (I apologize for the gigantic size. I don’t know why it’s doing that. My YouTube-embedding fu is weak.)

[youtube_embed width=480 height=360]Zig7QP0LkmU[/youtube_embed]

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