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Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D
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Author:  MooglePower [ Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

Does anyone have a suggestion for a maker of Scottish Smallpipes in D for my first set? I'm not looking to spend too much on this, but I don't want a super cheap set that is unplayable. Currently looking at Garvie and John Walsh. Any other suggestions?

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

Ross Calderwood (Lochalsh Pipes):
https://www.lochalshpipes.co.uk/
(I have Lochalsh D/C/A combo smallpipes and Garvie border pipes... all lovely, but you'll not beat Lochalsh for bang for buck.)

But do you mean your first D set or your first set ever, in which case why not A?

Author:  MooglePower [ Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

My first set ever. I have more of a need to play in D/Edor than I do in A. Why would you suggest A first?

Author:  aphillips [ Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

Hey man! What's your budget? This is the stuff Alan and I love to chat about - remind me on Thursday!

Author:  aphillips [ Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

Also, I have A, Bb, C, and D chanters for my Pinchbeck ETR set - I'll bring them so you can hear the difference.

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

MooglePower wrote:
My first set ever. I have more of a need to play in D/Edor than I do in A. Why would you suggest A first?

Because D chanters are small enough to affect how you put your fingers down whereas A is standard. Though C feels particularly nice in the hands if you don't need to play in 'standard' keys...

Author:  fiddlerwill [ Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

You want a chanter in A not D .
The scale is A mixolydian so the same notes as D major. So there are lots of Irish tunes that can be played on A chanter and be in the right key for UP, fiddle whistle etc.
This is not the case with a D chanter which is also prohibitively small. I couldn't play one, too small. A low D chanter could be good but the fiddler has to transpose many tunes down a fifth.

Author:  Tjones [ Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

fiddlerwill wrote:
You want a chanter in A not D .
The scale is A mixolydian so the same notes as D major. So there are lots of Irish tunes that can be played on A chanter and be in the right key for UP, fiddle whistle etc.
This is not the case with a D chanter which is also prohibitively small. I couldn't play one, too small. A low D chanter could be good but the fiddler has to transpose many tunes down a fifth.



I got a small pipe in D thinking it would be better suited for the music I play, but I think after having it for a while that the A would have been better suited. A lot of the music written for the pipes is in A mixolydian, and as Will said the notes are a D Major scale on the A small pipes.

I feel the D chanter is more limiting than the A chanter for the small pipes, unless you go to uilleann pipes or pastoral pipes then the D chanter works just great. :D

Author:  lucky141 [ Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

fiddlerwill wrote:
The scale is A mixolydian so the same notes as D major. So there are lots of Irish tunes that can be played on A chanter and be in the right key for UP, fiddle whistle etc.

I'm curious about that. It's true that the two scales share the same notes but the pipes are limited to a single octave: do they constantly fold up or down the tune?

When I play irish tune on the gaita or the french cornemuse I play them the key of my instrument (I don't play in regular session, so the transposition doesn't matter) and I fold down the upper octave notes (this work well on some tunes only). I tought smallpipe players did the same, transposing the tunes in A and playing in that key together with the other players (but I never saw a session with a smallpipe in it, so I cannot say).

Author:  fiddlerwill [ Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

No need , there are plenty of tunes that are in the compass. Some you have to miss the high b , so a high b key is a great investment on an A chanter but quite often it's not essential, sometimes it is.... king of the pipers comes to mind as a tune that requires the high B
Lanstroms pony ,Tula reel, really quite a lot actually. The hag in the blanket ,
Dick gossips requires an octave shift but other than that is all there, I could go on....the high reel, fairwell to Erin .
Of course there is a trend to butcher Irish tunes to fit the compass, but why when there are so many classic highland tunes ?! There are plenty that don't require mangling to fit the 9 notes.
When there are tunes like caber feidh, duntroon , miss proud , lady mckenzie, etc etc would you want to play an Irish tune badly?! Sigh.

Author:  AdrienneB [ Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

I play whistle, flute and Scottish bagpipes, and it's my experience that although the A chanter is much better suited to the Scottish small pipes because it has a more pleasing sound and the finger holes are where they "ought" to be, the small pipes in A are just going to be in a different key for familiar tunes than my local session is used to, and we deal with it. I play flute mostly, and occasionally get to solo with the small pipes just as the harpist, the uilleann piper and the better singers get an occasional solo.

Also, if you are looking for Irish tunes adapted for those nine bagpipe notes, Terry Tully's Collection of Traditional and Contemporary Irish Music -- a multi-volume set of tune books -- does it quite well.

Whatever you pick, enjoy it!

Adrienne

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

If the goal is to play traditional Irish session tunes in the keys usually encountered at Irish sessions, I don't think Scottish smallpipes are the way to go.

Yes a large number of ITM tunes will fit well or reasonably well on a one-octave instrument.

But to render the tunes in the usual keys would mean having a number of chanters.

You'd need chanters made as follows

G Major (F# leading tone)
D Major (C# leading tone)
D Mixolydian (the ordinary Scottish scale with the C natural leading tone)
A minor
E minor

Each chanter would make dozens of common session tunes available.

IHMO it's more trouble that it's worth.

The pipes for ITM are the uilleann pipes, there's no way around it.

I do play Scottish Smallpipes in A in my trad trio, but I use them for Scottish Highland tunes. On that music the shoe is on the other foot: Highland tunes simply work better on Highland pipes.

Irish tunes I play on uilleann pipes or Low Whistle.

Author:  fiddlerwill [ Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestions for first set of Scottish Smallpipes in D

Yes Richard , that's very true, but if the piper is leading sets, with say a fiddler then there are a lot of trad irishtunes that are in the right keys played on an A chanter, I gave a few examples earlier . Obviously not a great number compared to UP but still plenty enough.
I play a pastoral chanter in D and my reel pipes /ssp in A are much more sociable when playing with an uilleann piper or fiddler. Tunes played in D maj on an Amix chanter, the standard key, come out in G on the D mix chanter.... not a lot of good!

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