Sad to hear that Oliver Postgate passed away. Bagpuss was my series; it started just as I started school, and I caught the first episodes. I spent the whole evening learning the theme on the mandolin, and watched a couple of episodes, half-teary. Was it really nearly 35 years ago?
The music and sounds are what stuck with me. I didn’t know it at the time – but did as soon as I picked one up – that the Bagpuss waking up magic sound is a slow upwards glissando on an autoharp. Similarly, the falling asleep sound is an autoharp strummed slowly downwards. Gabriel’s instrument confused me for years – I now see it has a 5 string banjo neck, but no fifth string (like someone else I could name). To add further confusion, it’s really a mandolin that’s Gabriel’s sound.