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Forgotten bagpipes – The redesign of the Säkkipilli in Finland

Doctoral project of Gonçalo Cruz

This doctoral research project embarks on an audacious journey: to revive the extinct Finnish Säkkipilli, creating “something” where there was “nothing”. While neighbouring countries like Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania still have bagpipes, the Finnish Säkkipilli has vanished. The Turku Museum holds a piece of a bagpipe dated 1390, a testament to the instrument’s historical presence. The regions bathed by the Baltic Sea are full of undiscovered treasures, and it sometimes takes a fresh perspective to make sense of the evidence.

How can the 21st-century musician play the bagpipes again in Finland, if there is no instrument readily available?

By surveying Baltic Sea bagpipes, and making Säkkipilli, the research bridges the gap between hard sciences and artistic research, combining design, organology, ethnomusicology, and acoustics. It represents a commitment to the arts and a dedication to serving the Finnish Society. It contributes to our country’s cultural identity and challenges conventional views on music, artwork and design objects.
The ultimate goal is to create awareness about bagpipes in Finland and positively impact the field of music instrument studies, design, and music-making at the Sibelius Academy and the University of the Arts.

Keywords: Bagpipes, Säkkipilli, Finland, Design, Baltic Sea

Gonçalo Cruz is a doctoral student in the Applied Study Programme at the MuTri Doctoral School.

Future doctors in music

We have approximately 150 doctoral students enrolled at the Sibelius Academy. This blog offers a view to their research projects.

The doctoral students are a part of a research community which is a unique combination of artistic activities, education, and research.

Their projects cover a wide spectrum of topics in the realm of music, combining musical practices and different research approaches.

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