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Praetorius Pipes
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Author:  iain beag [ Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:16 am ]
Post subject:  Praetorius Pipes

Does anyone have experience of making drone reeds for Praetorius pipes or even where a set can be purchased.

The chanter reed was a doddle but I'm struggling with the drone reeds, I can get the drones working outside of the pipes but once everything is assembled its no go.
I've tried various sizes, scraped tongues etc but nothing seems to be suitable.

Many Thanks in advance.

Iain

Author:  MichaelLoos [ Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Praetorius Pipes

Praetorius describes six different types of bagpipes - Hümmelchen, Dudey, Schäferpfeife, Großer Bock, Magdeburger Sackpfeife and an early Musette de Cour. Image
All of these have been reconstructed, more or less following the descriptions which unfortunately don't give any details about bores and reeds, therefore, the reconstructions vary a lot from one maker to the other. In most reconstructions, the pitch as well as the scale has been modified to allow modern recorder fingering to be applied.
I'd need to know which type of Praetorius bagpipe you have, and who made it - a picture could be very helpful.

Author:  iain beag [ Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Praetorius Pipes

I do not know the maker.
The chanter appears to be in F and has some sort of rubberised lining.
The drones are made up of small sections that are all the same size and join together.

The problem is they arrived in pieces and unplayable so I cannot be certain they even worked from new.

Here's a link to some photos.

https://app.box.com/s/98zw2qqluolfpdichqt8k8xfy4uff71p

Iain

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Praetorius Pipes

I had a set like that!

What a beast.

They were sold in unfinished form, kit form, and made by a place called something like "historical workshop" in England. They offered a number of such kits, Renaissance string and woodwind instruments. That was their only bagpipe offering as I recall.

The chanter is a huge thing in low F, lined in plastic like you say. It was designed to use ordinary Highland bagpipe chanter reeds. With some carving of holes and tape on other holes and the right reed I was able to get the thing to play in tune in F, but it's far from an ideal or even practical thing. Never is when you try to design a chanter that's different from the type that the reed was created for.

The drones were crazy interchangeable Tinker Toy things. They were designed to use ordinary Highland bagpipe drone reeds. (To what extent this set was "designed" is open to question.) With much adjusting I was finally able, just able, to get the drones to play, but they were not very stable nor did they have a very good tone. Once again it's not a recipe for success to grab one sort of reed and try to design a quite different sort of drone for it to play in.

The original English-made kit-form pipes were bad enough, but the story gets worse, far worse, because these pipes have been widely copied by the dreadful Pakistani makers. You can distinguish them by the wood: the English ones were Maple, as I recall, the Pakistani ones probably Sheesham Wood.

The one I had was one of the English-made originals. I was teaching at a school which had a Wood Shop and after the kids went home for the day I would sneak into the shop and work on these pipes, sanding the bores and outsides smooth etc. I stained the wood a nice mid-brown colour. I got it reeded and playing as well as it could, in a Scottish hide bag, and ended up selling it to somebody.

Author:  iain beag [ Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Praetorius Pipes

Thanks for the input Richard.

I think the shop goes under the name of " earlymusic" something, someting.

I would say this set is made from maple rather than sheesham but I could be wrong.

As I've said, I can get the drones working but not so that they work with the chanter let alone tune to the chanter.
The chanter reed I have set to play at about 18 on a manometer so its not strong and certainly weaker than a GHB weak reed.

Iain

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Praetorius Pipes

Thanks for the name correction, that allowed me to find these things on Google.

Seems they're made in Spain now, but look just like the English-made ones. Still available in kit form like before. I wonder if these Spanish-made ones still have the plastic-lined chanter bore.

http://www.renwks.com/products/bagpipes/bagpipes.htm

Here's the history of the firm. I really like it when makers take the time and trouble to do this! It helps us figure out, later, who made what when.

http://www.renwks.com/principal/history.htm

One might ask "why the plastic-lined chanter bore?"

There's a guy here in the Western USA who makes great-playing Shakuhachis with cast resin bores. Why? Because he can take a top-class Shakuhachi worth thousands of dollars, make a cast of its sophisticated complex bore, and make inexpensive instruments in large quantities that play very much like the expensive one. He only needs to ream a straight bore in a piece of bamboo and slip in the resin cast.

Anyhow with your bagpipes there since they're designed to use GHB reeds anyone with Highland pipe reed-adjusting experience can get them going, as well as they can be got to go. They strike me more as a novelty than as a useable musical instrument.

Author:  iain beag [ Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Praetorius Pipes

You're linking to different pipes Richard.

Standard GHB reeds most definitely do not fit, either the ones supplied with the pipes, or made by me or any other maker.
The stocks won't allow standard GHB reeds to be used, the bass needs to be shortened by at least 15mm just to fit then of course there's the tuning problem.

The owner of the pipes I believe intends to play with other instruments and so getting the whole set to work and tune is the main objective rather than sounding like a duck farting in the fog.



edited for daft spelling mistakes.

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Praetorius Pipes

These certainly match your description: plastic-lined maple chanter in F, drones made from a large number of small interchangeable sections.

Image

That's the set I made from the kit.

The reeds that came with the kit were ordinary GHB reeds.

I got the set back around 1990.

The stock setup didn't seem to have much structural integrity, so I bought a threaded brass fitting that fit into the holes that communicate between the stocks, and threaded the stocks together.

Author:  whistlecollector [ Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Praetorius Pipes

pancelticpiper wrote:
Thanks for the name correction, that allowed me to find these things on Google.

Seems they're made in Spain now, but look just like the English-made ones. Still available in kit form like before. I wonder if these Spanish-made ones still have the plastic-lined chanter bore.


Yes -- I was going to try and make a krumhorn a couple years back from one of their kits -- and it had a plastic tube of some kind running down the bore. On that instrument, I don't think the plastic went all the way round the bend, though, for obvious reasons.

I'm sure it was designed that way to prevent moisture from getting into the wood and cracking it.

Quote:
Here's the history of the firm. I really like it when makers take the time and trouble to do this! It helps us figure out, later, who made what when.

http://www.renwks.com/principal/history.htm


Yeah, the history is definitely worth the read! Oh, the rivalry between RWC and EMS! The rumor mills! The whole drama of it all!

Quote:
One might ask "why the plastic-lined chanter bore?"

There's a guy here in the Western USA who makes great-playing Shakuhachis with cast resin bores. Why? Because he can take a top-class Shakuhachi worth thousands of dollars, make a cast of its sophisticated complex bore, and make inexpensive instruments in large quantities that play very much like the expensive one. He only needs to ream a straight bore in a piece of bamboo and slip in the resin cast.


Very smart idea! That technology could be applied to any fantastic sounding instrument from classical oboes to penny whistles!

I rather doubt that's what's going on the RWC/EMS kit instruments, though...

Author:  Dibbs [ Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Praetorius Pipes

pancelticpiper wrote:
...
There's a guy here in the Western USA who makes great-playing Shakuhachis with cast resin bores. Why? Because he can take a top-class Shakuhachi worth thousands of dollars, make a cast of its sophisticated complex bore, and make inexpensive instruments in large quantities that play very much like the expensive one. He only needs to ream a straight bore in a piece of bamboo and slip in the resin cast.
...


He'll still have to hand tune them since the wall thickness and hence tone hole depths will be different from one piece of bamboo to another. But still, much simpler than making bore modifications.

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