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 Post subject: pastoral pipes?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:41 pm 
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Pipes and piping have been niggling at me for several decades. When my children were little, there was no question that getting a set of pipes was NOT going to happen. There was no money for it. But now the children are grown up and on their own and I am facing retirement. I expect that will mean a good deal more time and a good deal less money, so the thought came that if I am ever going to get a set of pipes, it had better be sooner rather than later. But what to get?? I have more money than I did 30 years ago, but it is still far from unlimited, and I will likely only get to do this once, so I need to be careful not to make a mistake.

I like the Great Highland Bagpipes, but they are loud and you are limited to 9 notes. They are not so good for playing indoors.

I like the Scottish smallpipes. I like the sound. They are lower-pitched, I believe, and quieter, but you still only get 9 notes. So-called border pipes are similar, if I understand correctly.

I like the Northumberland pipes. With enough keys on the chanter, you have a greater range, but I'm not sure about the closed fingering, and there don't seem to be too many makers in the U.S.

I love the uilleann pipes, with their chromatic two-octave range, and that may well be what I end up with, but more of my ancestors were Scottish than were Irish (I apparently do have some of each), so I lean towards Scottish pipes.

Then there are the pastoral pipes which, from what I read, were developed in the Scottish lowlands. They were apparently the ancestor of the uilleann pipes, differing only in the extra foot joint on the pastoral pipes and the lack of regulators.

So. Does anyone here play the pastoral pipes? Does anyone even make them anymore? In the U.S.?

What think ye?


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 Post subject: Re: pastoral pipes?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:50 am 
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Honestly my knowledge of pastoral pipes is only around what people consider their general place in the history of uilleann pipes. That being said, I do know that Christopher Bayley makes them, though he's in the UK.

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 Post subject: Re: pastoral pipes?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:11 am 
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crofter wrote:
I like the Scottish smallpipes. I like the sound. They are lower-pitched, I believe, and quieter, but you still only get 9 notes.

You get a lot more than nine with a Lindsay System Chanter, which also still plays as a conventional nine-note chanter when you want it to.

Quote:
So-called border pipes are similar, if I understand correctly.

There's no so-called about it. Border pipes are border pipes. Some will also play upwards of high A through overblowing or keys, and most will play chromatic notes through forked fingerings. But none will give you the two-octave-plus range of the Lindsay System smallpipes.

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 Post subject: Re: pastoral pipes?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:19 pm 
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crofter wrote:
Pipes and piping have been niggling at me for several decades. When my children were little, there was no question that getting a set of pipes was NOT going to happen. There was no money for it. But now the children are grown up and on their own and I am facing retirement. I expect that will mean a good deal more time and a good deal less money, so the thought came that if I am ever going to get a set of pipes, it had better be sooner rather than later. But what to get?? I have more money than I did 30 years ago, but it is still far from unlimited, and I will likely only get to do this once, so I need to be careful not to make a mistake.

I like the Great Highland Bagpipes, but they are loud and you are limited to 9 notes. They are not so good for playing indoors.

I like the Scottish smallpipes. I like the sound. They are lower-pitched, I believe, and quieter, but you still only get 9 notes. So-called border pipes are similar, if I understand correctly.

I like the Northumberland pipes. With enough keys on the chanter, you have a greater range, but I'm not sure about the closed fingering, and there don't seem to be too many makers in the U.S.

I love the uilleann pipes, with their chromatic two-octave range, and that may well be what I end up with, but more of my ancestors were Scottish than were Irish (I apparently do have some of each), so I lean towards Scottish pipes.

Then there are the pastoral pipes which, from what I read, were developed in the Scottish lowlands. They were apparently the ancestor of the uilleann pipes, differing only in the extra foot joint on the pastoral pipes and the lack of regulators.

So. Does anyone here play the pastoral pipes? Does anyone even make them anymore? In the U.S.?

What think ye?




I play the pastoral pipes. My set was made by Geert Lejeune from an original set of Pastoral Pipes made by Robertson of Edinburgh.(http://www.geertlejeune.com/bagpipes). They are pitched in D.

In my opinion, I feel that the uilliann pipe has a sweeter sound, a bit more refined. The pastoral pipe, a more robust sound, but not nearly as loud as the Highland Pipes, or as harsh as the border pipe. The Scottish small pipes have a very mellow sound, and most are very quiet in comparison. The Northumberland pipes, for me are too bubbly,(the closed fingering)

When considering the type of pipes you want, consider the type of music you want to play.
For me, most of the music that I play is ITM. I also like to play waltzes, so it’s nice to have a chanter that for the most part that is chromatic, and has a two octave range, and nibble enough to play faster passages.

There are some developments now with small pipes that have extend range. See this discussion:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=101659

I’m not aware of any US makers that are offering the pastoral pipes as part of their production.
Although someone like Brad Angus might take in on. He built a very nice regulator for my set.

Current makers that I’m aware of are:

Geert Lejeune http://www.geertlejeune.com/bagpipes

Jon Swayne https://www.jonswayne.com

Christopher Bayley http://uilleann-pipes.co.uk

With the strength of the dollar, this isn’t a bad time to buy overseas. The major concern there would be the material you want to have them made in.

There are some interesting bagpipe sets of French and German design being made that have an extended range also. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoG_U-9cxS0

For me, the playing of Remi Decker on his pastoral pipes was probably what sealed it for me as far as getting my set. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZMFuUycwfs


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