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 Post subject: Smallpipes Key Question
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:26 am 
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Hey!

I have a pretty peculiar question I could really use some help on!

My new band primarily plays in the secondary and minor keys of an F whistle, Bb major and G minor. I have found that Bb smallpipes do not have the capability of playing the majority of the songs in these keys. In my mind, the best solution would be to find a chanter in F allowing me to play along with the tin whistle in the band.

That being said, does anyone have any suggestions or advice?
Are chanters available in F for smallpipes? (I have a set of John Walsh smallpipes)
Has anyone else ever run into this key issue before?

Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:47 am 
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hawthorn1213 wrote:
Are chanters available in F for smallpipes?

I'd be very surprised because they'd probably be either unplayably large or unplayably small. Standard A chanters are enough of a stretch and G chanters (made by at least Lochalsh Pipes) even more. D chanters are tiny and, while there's some historical precedent for E (e.g. the Montgomery smallpipes), you'd have to be going either bigger or smaller yet to get F...

Re. suggestions/advice, does your band have compelling reasons for favouring these keys (e.g. other instruments, unusual repertoire and/or best vocal range)? If so, smallpipes may just not be the best fit, though you might look at something like the Lindsay System Chanter and work with the chromatic fingerings rather than 'native' chanter key(s)... except that you'd need to find a maker because Donald Lindsay himself's not going to be taking orders in the near future.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:17 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
I'd be very surprised because they'd probably be either unplayably large or unplayably small.


Aren't Northumbrian pipes in F? Odd key for an SSP, I'll agree. Maybe a C Uilleann or pastoral chanter pipe would do.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:46 am 
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Thanks for the response!

Vocal range is the biggest reason for playing in F.

I have thought of a northumbrian chanter, and would really like that option, but for the life of me can't find any makers or websites to contact. Are they espcially rare or something?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:56 am 
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hawthorn1213 wrote:
Thanks for the response!

Vocal range is the biggest reason for playing in F.

I have thought of a northumbrian chanter, and would really like that option, but for the life of me can't find any makers or websites to contact. Are they espcially rare or something?


Not remotely.

https://lmgtfy.com/?q=northumbrian+smallpipe+makers


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