Script: Listening Exercise 76


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It's the start of term and Mrs Green, 9F's English teacher has organised 'Show & Tell lesson for her class. The first student to talk about the object she's brought into school is Maria. Listen to what she says and then answer the questions.

Maria: Good morning, everybody. This special object I've brought to 'Show & Tell ' isn't mine. It belongs to my Uncle Jackie who lives in Yuen Long. He's in his early forties and he became the owner of this very interesting object when he was eleven years old. Here it is. I wonder how many of you know what it is?

Student: It looks like a red and green octopus with spears sticking out of it!

Maria: Yes, I suppose it does a bit. But it isn't. It's never been alive.

Student: I know what it is. It's some sort of musical instrument. I saw somebodyplaying one on New Year's Day outside Marks and Spencer's in Central. I don't know what it's called, though.

Maria: Yes, you're right. It is a musical instrument. It's a set of Scottish bagpipes. When my uncle was a boy, he belonged to the Boy Scouts, and one year histroop was invited to visit Scotland and stay with scouts there. The father of the boy he stayed with loved playing the bagpipes and he gave Uncle Jackie a set to bring home with him when he came back to Hong Kong.

Student: Can your uncle play it.... or them? Do you say 'it' or 'them'?

Maria: 'Them'. 'Bagpipes' is plural. Yes, he can. He says he's not very good, but I love it when he plays. He can't play anything difficult but he can play simple tunes. Whenever we have a family get together, Uncle Jackie brings his bagpipes along and we all love listening to him.

Student: How do you play it? It looks very complicated.

Maria: These are the four different bits to a set of bagpipes. First there is the bag that hold is the air. Then this is the pipe you blow into to fill the bag with air. This long pipe with holes is how you get the notes by covering and opening the holes with your fingers. These three other pipes are where the sound comes out.

Student: How do you hold them?

Maria: You hold the bag under your arm like this. Make sure the three sound pipes rest comfortably on your shoulder. The air pipe goes into your mouthand the tune pipe just hangs down. You put the fingers of your left hand and your right hand over the holes in the tune pipe.

Student: Show us.

Maria: Right. Hang on a minute. This is how you hold the bagpipes. Just like this.

Student: That looks uncomfortable.

Maria: It isn't once you get it right. Now, you have to blow air into the bag until it’s full. You then squeeze the air out through the three sound pipes while you play the tune on the long pipe.
Student: So blowing into the bag doesn't make the sound.

Maria: That's right. It's you squeezing the air out of the bag that makes the sound. Okay. That's it. Who wants to have a go? I'll try first and then one of you. Any volunteers?