It is currently Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:58 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
 
 Post subject: Narrow and wide bore?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:04 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Finland
Hi again,

I'm seeking definite information once and for all to make it clear to myself what actually is the difference between wide and narrow bore whistles (and pipes, for that matter). I've been playing the whistle enough that I'm frankly a bit ashamed that I can't answer that question with certainty.
I mean, besides the actual dimensional differences of the bore, what does the bore being narrow or wide affect and how (tonal qualities etc.)?

I reckon this might have been under discussion previously, so if that's more fitting, could someone point me into the right direction to a pre-existing topic about this? It seems that I'm not so proficient in using the search function of the forum, after all..

Thanks!

PS. I have a Killarney whistle which seems to be narrower compared to my other whistles, so I've been deducing that it could be a narrow bore whistle. I have tried to play and feel the differences of it compared with the other whistles, but it would be nice to know which qualities to pay attention to in that comparison.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:18 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 3622
Location: WV to the OC
Though the way the fipple windway etc are made also have an impact, in general a wider bore gives a louder more solid low octave and a harsher and/or more difficult to sound 2nd octave, while a narrower bore gives a thinner weaker less stable low octave and a sweeter easier 2nd octave.

If the bore is wide enough you loose the 2nd octave altogether, and if the bore is narrow enough you loose the low octave altogether.

In my experience old-school trad players tend to prefer whistles that have an easy sweet 2nd octave at the sacrifice of some loudness in the low octave, while people coming from orchestral instruments tend to prefer whistles with the loudest possible low octave at the sacrifice of some sweetness and nimbleness in the 2nd octave.

With bagpipes what I've usually heard about is how steep the taper in the bore is. The Highland pipes have a rather steep taper and are rather difficult to overblow the octave, while Uilleann pipes and Central French pipes have less taper and overblow easily and cleanly, giving a full octave, or most of an octave, in the 2nd register. I'm not a pipemaker so take that with a grain of salt.

Chanters with parallel/cylindrical bores tend to want to stay in the low octave.

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:16 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:18 am
Posts: 614
Location: Parker County, Texas, USA
Until the late 19th century, almost all uilleann pipes were narrow-bore flat sets. It was the Taylor brothers in Philadelphia who are credited with making and popularizing uilleann pipes pitched in Concert D and having wider bores and larger tone holes, for more volume. The pipers on the American vaudeville and Irish entertainment circuits needed pipes loud enough to fill a larger venue, and the Taylor brothers recognized and filled this need. Concert pitch sets have other advantages, such as being able to play with other instruments in a session or ensemble.

Besides increased volume, modern concert-pitch sets typically have a brassier, brighter tone, the cost of which (some feel) is losing some of the expressiveness and subtle tones and colours available on a flat set. Modern flat sets are mostly trying to copy older designs of noted makers of the past, in an effort to recapture those subtle tones, colours, and expressiveness. The so-called narrow-bore D sets are an attempt to have these same flat-set characteristics in a concert-pitch instrument. Flat chanters and other narrow-bore chanters are usually very evident by their much smaller tone holes.

_________________
Deartháir don phaidir an port.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:04 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Finland
Alright, thank you for your informative replies!

What comes to whistles, I take it as a narrow bore doesn't mean a flatter pitch, whereas it seems to mean that in regard of Uilleann pipes.
Do they make narrow bore low whistles?

As for the pipes, spell it out for me once again, am I right: a flat set is automatically a narrow bore one, but a narrow bore set is not necessarily a flat set? Or is it possible to make wide bore flat sets? I gathered that they do make narrow bore concert pitch sets.
Would be ncie to hear a narrow bore set of pipes to see how silent they really are, as the wide bore ones aren't that loud, either, at least to me.

Sorry that this is starting to lean towards pipes discussion on a whistle forum.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:47 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:19 am
Posts: 519
Location: Portland, OR
Hooleh wrote:
Alright, thank you for your informative replies!

What comes to whistles, I take it as a narrow bore doesn't mean a flatter pitch, whereas it seems to mean that in regard of Uilleann pipes.
Do they make narrow bore low whistles?

As for the pipes, spell it out for me once again, am I right: a flat set is automatically a narrow bore one, but a narrow bore set is not necessarily a flat set? Or is it possible to make wide bore flat sets? I gathered that they do make narrow bore concert pitch sets.
Would be ncie to hear a narrow bore set of pipes to see how silent they really are, as the wide bore ones aren't that loud, either, at least to me.

Sorry that this is starting to lean towards pipes discussion on a whistle forum.

Bore size doesn't simply lead to change in pitch. A well-made narrow bore D whistle will play in tune with any other whistle. And narrow-bore doesn't mean flatter for pipes. The older pipes were typically flat of D, so anywhere from C#-Bb, but that wasn't simply because of the bore size. Tuning became more standard to D as the pipes entered more of a concert environment, like described by An Draighean. There are makers today who make narrow-bore D chanters that play in tune with other chanters in D. And I've never heard of a low whistle described as narrow-bore, but I have definitely seen variation in bore size.

In regards your second question and in continuation to what I just mentioned about pipes, you are correct that a narrow bore set is not necessarily a flat set, or at least they aren't really referred to as flat sets if they are still in D. It is possible to find flat sets with wider bores than usual for flat sets, but pipers don't seem to prefer these for the most part, since part of the preferred aesthetic for flat pipes is the mellow sound.

The variation in volume also depends a lot of the reeds, so keep that in mind. You will hear the most volume variation between a concert D chanter and a mellow flat chanter. For example, my B chanter is considerably quieter than my D chanter. But it isn't an astounding difference, since my D chanter isn't ridiculously loud either. For me when playing in a small room, my D chanter is often just barely over comfortable volume, and the B chanter is just barely inside comfortable volume. So that might give you an idea. Or in other words, a flat chanter might be more easily lost in a session if it had been in D.

_________________
Life is good.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 3622
Location: WV to the OC
What is true is that if you have two woodwinds of the same length, the one with the narrower bore will produce a lower note than the one with the wider bore.

It's why a Scottish practice chanter, with the fingerholes at around the same spacing as a fullsize Highland chanter, sounds one octave lower: the practice chanter has a very narrow straight bore, and the pipe chanter has a steeply tapered bore.

Make a chanter with a bore of the same rate of taper as an ordinary fullsize Highland chanter, but long enough to sound in the same octave as a practice chanter, and no-one could finger it due to its great length.

Likewise to make a chanter with the bore of the normal Scottish practice chanter that sounds at the same pitch as fullsize Highland chanter, and it would be so short with fingerholes so close together that no-one could play it.

Years ago I got a detailed letter from Hamish Moore explaining all of this, by way of demonstrating the difficulty (or impossibility) of making a Highland chanter that had the same volume as an uilleann chanter, but still played in A, in the same octave as a fullsize Highland chanter.

With flat-pitch uilleann pipe chanters the bore has to be narrow; if it was wide and the same length it would play at a higher pitch, while if it was wide and played at the same pitch it would be too long to finger.

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:59 pm
Posts: 697
Location: Southwestern Ontario
pancelticpiper wrote:
What is true is that if you have two woodwinds of the same length, the one with the narrower bore will produce a lower note than the one with the wider bore.

It's why a Scottish practice chanter, with the fingerholes at around the same spacing as a fullsize Highland chanter, sounds one octave lower: the practice chanter has a very narrow straight bore, and the pipe chanter has a steeply tapered bore.
What you're observing is the effect of the taper on a reed instrument, not the size of the bore alone, and doesn't apply to whistles. A whistle with a wide cylindrical bore will have a somewhat sharper fundamental than a narrow bore cylinder of the same length; tapering the bore will have some effect but not a whole lot.

There's more on the effect of tapers on reed instrument tuning in the thread When does a cylinder become a cone?

In whistles, bore affects the relative strength of the first and second registers, as you explained earlier. It also affects timbre. Pipe organs generally use wide-bore flue pipes for the "flute" stops, and narrow-bore flue pipes for the "string" stops: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_flue_pipe_scaling.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 10:18 pm
Posts: 81
@hooley's original post.

I agree that the Killarney has a relatively narrow bore. I find that it has an extraordinarily sweet upper octave, even up to high C-nat and high D. I would also say that it "might" be a little quiet at the low end, but that is a fair trade for me. The Killarney can be lost in a loud session at a bar, but holds its own in a restaurant setting.

I have not been very pleased with any of the wider bore "session" whistles I have tried so far - not a large selection, I admit. The lower notes are still not that powerful at a session, and the high register is somewhat rough. I find the C-whistles in a session-set to be pretty nice. In other words, it seems to me that the wider bore is happier on a C-whistle than a D-whistle.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:04 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Finland
Okay, thanks again for you precious input, everybody. This has definitely made it much clearer to me. Gotta love this forum and its helpful users!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:14 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 3622
Location: WV to the OC
tstermitz wrote:
I find that (the Killarney) has an extraordinarily sweet upper octave... I would also say that it "might" be a little quiet at the low end, but that is a fair trade for me.

I have not been very pleased with any of the wider bore "session" whistles I have tried so far...


Yes that's my take on things too.

BTW I've mostly been playing two whistles recently- a Goldie Low D and a Goldie Low C.

They go to show that there's more to it than just the bore size. As we know, the way the head is made has a huge effect too.

So, though the C is made from the same tubing as the D, and therefore has a rather narrower bore relative to length, and its 2nd octave is a bit sweeter as one might imagine, yet its bellnote is more powerful than that of the D.

The heads aren't identical: the C has more elevation on the windway. Seems that this has increased the "bark" on the low notes with no sacrifice of sweetness of the high notes, given it a more agressive tone, and improved the voicing and responsiveness overall. I can swap the heads and get all of these qualities with the D body.

My Bass A Alba, with a head having a quite different construction than the Goldies, plays uncannily like the Low C Goldie.

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:23 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 3622
Location: WV to the OC
Tunborough wrote:
What you're observing is the effect of the taper on a reed instrument... and doesn't apply to whistles.


Yes I'm aware that bagpipes are reed instruments. I did not claim or imply that bagpipe acoustics are identical whistle acoustics. The original post asked about bagpipes too, and it was that to which I was replying.

A very interesting book that addresses numerous wind instrument design issues is

Air Columns and Tone Holes
Principles for Wind Instrument Design

by Bart Hopkin

On this topic he begins

"Short fat air columns are generally poorer in overtones than long skinny ones..."

He then goes into technical detail as to why this is so.

And he addresses the organ pipe thing mentioned above:

"The thickest pipes are the flute pipes, which are characterized by lots of fundamental and little presence of overtones. The string pipes, which are much more slender, show prominent harmonic overtones. In extreme cases excessively fat pipes won't speak at all, and excessively slender ones tend to break into harmonics rather than produce the fundamental...

[i]Is there an ideal length/diameter ratio one can strive for? The author of a flutemaking book (Mark Shepard) has suggested a standard ratio of about 23 to 1 (with all toneholes covered) for his flutes ranging from 16" to 23". But as the organ ranks example above indicates people will select different ratios as they seek different tonal qualities...

A related question is... how can you retain a similar tone quality throughout a rank of organ pipes, or in all the (different-sized) instruments of a wind instrument family? The obvious answer would be to keep the same length/diamater ratio across the range... it turns out that the ear hears the lower-pitched pipes as relatively dark and the higher ones as relatively bright... to create a better unity of timbre the lower pipes should be a bit longer relative to diameter, making for a slightly richer harmonic spectrum...

A rule of thumb developed by organ builders over the years has been to increase diameter by about 2/3 for a pipe that is twice as long and intended to sound an octave lower."


This got me to looking at the length-to-bore ratios of a number of my whistles. For the length I measured bell-to-blade, rather than bell to the flat face of the stopper, due to there being a cavity in whistles such as Generations.

D Feadog 23.3
G (mezzo) Burke 23.86
F (mezzo) Burke 22.275
E (low) Alba 25.86
Eb (low) Burke 22.7
D (low) Goldie 24.6
A (bass) Alba 29.2

(higher numbers are narrow bores)

So in general yes the bores get narrower as the whistles get longer.

And Burkes overall have a bit wider bores per length than most other makes. Interesting the difference in ratio between the Burke mezzo G and F; it would be interesting to measure a Burke E and see where its ratio falls.

The E Alba is an outlier, having an unusually narrow bore for length, and it plays like it, too, with a soft low octave and an exceptionally sweet 2nd octave.

How they play:

Feadog D: lovely sweet 2nd octave, somewhat soft low octave
Burke mezzo G: good balance between the octaves
Burke mezzo F: big fat tone, somewhat stiff 2nd octave
Alba Low E: extremely sweet 2nd octave, very soft low octave
Burke Low Eb: fat low octave, somewhat stiff 2nd octave
Goldie Low D: superb balance with strong low notes yet a 2nd octave which isn't excessively stiff or harsh
Alba Bass A: exceptionally nice balance with strong low notes, powerful bellnote, yet a sweet responsive 2nd octave

So were I to just list the whistles with the best octave balance, the ratios show a (relatively) consistent progression:

D Feadog 23.3
G (mezzo) Burke 23.86
D (low) Goldie 24.6
A (bass) Alba 29.2

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Last edited by pancelticpiper on Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:50 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:39 pm
Posts: 2366
Location: Kinlochleven
pancelticpiper wrote:
What is true is that if you have two woodwinds of the same length, the one with the narrower bore will produce a lower note than the one with the wider bore.

A narrow-bore whistle of a given pitch will actually be longer than a wider-bore model of the same pitch.

pancelticpiper wrote:
This got me to looking at the bore-to-length ratio of a number of my whistles. For the length I measured bell-to-blade, rather than bell to the flat face of the stopper, due to there being a cavity in whistles such as Generations.

D Feadog 23.3
G (mezzo) Burke 23.86
F (mezzo) Burke 22.275
E (low) Alba 25.86
Eb (low) Burke 22.7
D (low) Goldie 24.6
A (bass) Alba 29.2

(higher numbers are narrow bores)

These are length-to-bore ratios!

_________________
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.


Some old stuff, written and played by me


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 3622
Location: WV to the OC
Ah, I'm no math person. I'll switch the words the other way round.

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:59 pm
Posts: 697
Location: Southwestern Ontario
The 2011 thread In Search of the Optimum Bore covers the scaling of cylindrical whistle bores in all kinds of detail. Hans has posted the outcome of the discussion on his website: https://music.bracker.uk/Music/Searching-For-The-Optimal-Whistle-Bore.html.

From the final table, the theoretical result for optimum bore (inside diameter) would be:

high D - 12.9 mm
mezzo G - 18.1 mm
low D - 23.0 mm
bass A - 29.3 mm

How does that compare to the whistles you have in hand, Richard? (I'd rather adjust the table to agree with your whistles than vice versa.)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:06 pm
Posts: 60
All this discussion of pipes etc. is interesting, but correct me if I'm wrong. In the whistle world the interior bore of most whistles was historically pretty similar to that of a generation whistle. Whether it be a Glenn Schultz Water Weasel, or an O'roirdian wooden whistle, the interior dimension was much the same. It might be wider due to the material (PVC pipe only comes in the size it comes in, and wood always adds bulk) But it wasn't until Michael Burke came out with his session bore whistles that I ever heard anyone discuss wide or narrow bores as a matter of course, or have a maker make two separate models. The wide bore is advertised as louder for sessions, which it may be, but I have heard many a narrow whistle cut through a circle of powerful accordions and banjos.

As for the Killarney with its narrow bores, I have two, both nickel and brass, as well as the whistles mentioned above and enjoy them immensely. I highly recommend the Killarney for a no wait quality whistle at an reasonable price which carries well at sessions. And both the narrow and wide bore Burkes are wonderful.

There is some magic balance that comes with the design of bore width and volume. I know that as whistles grow into their alto or mezzo counterparts the widening of the bore sometimes makes them quieter. I had two different B flats and gave the wider one away since it was so quiet and it required so much more air than the other. Was it the width or something else about the design? And my son and I both have Sindt a whistles and find them quieter than our Ds, but love them all the same.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google and 13 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.155s | 15 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)