Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Goats -- For food AND music instruments...

Behold the wonder of GOATS!

First, you can milk them, and use the milk for drinking, making butter, and cheese.

While alive, the goat acts as your garbage disposal, eating all the food waste that you have (along with paper and other materials that they probably shouldn't eat). Their feces can be used for great fertilizer.

When they're at the end of their lives, You can cook their meat, which is among the tastiest of the meats of the world.

Using their entrails, you can make the famous Scotch meat pudding known as "haggis".

Few people, however, are aware of the musical properties of goats.

Yes, that's right. Goats are musical. How so?

Well, for millenia, the Jews have used their horns to make the Shofar; the goat's horns are turned into "musical" horns. In fact, this is how the class of music instruments known as horns, got their name.

The epitome of musical goatiness, however, is that goats make great bagpipes! The Ancient Greeks made bagpipes out of goats. Goat-bagpipes are still made today, in Balkan countries.

After watching this video of a goat-bagpipe being played, don't you just want one?

It doesn't stop there. Early Greek Theater often had music. The word for a Greek play in which someone suffers was called a Tragedy. The Etymology of "Tragedy" comes from ancient Greek. The Greek word "tragōidía", made up of trágos (goat) + "ōide" (song). So since Greek bagpipes were literally made from the skin and bones of a dead goat, by playing them, you were playing a "tragoide'" or "goat song"!

Of course, when a goat bagpipe is played by an inexperienced musician, it really is a tragedy to hear them being played!


elma said...

check this link, also goathorn as flute.

David W. Irish said...

The bone-flutes on that Swedish page look like the flutes un-earthed at a Neanderthal site, which interestingly enough, means that the fipple flute is a prehistoric instrument. In any case, as far as using animals, pretty much nothing would go to waste.