For sure there are linguistic issues! I took lessons for a year on Bulgarian Gaida from a teacher that spoke no English. I listened to Bulgarian Youtube lessons and bought Bulgarian books.Narzog wrote: Part of it is most likely just that the sites and everything are in foreign languages...
I took a deep dive with the Gaita Gallega for several years, attended workshops and viewed websites and got books entirely in Spanish (Galego, in many cases).
I've perused a number of European bagpipe sites in French and German.
Thing is, I don't speak any of those languages! But music jargon is fairly universal, for example Bulgarians use the same Italian music terminology that English-speakers do. So I really never had any trouble getting along with those various languages.
For Bulgarian it meant learning the Cyrillic alphabet! Which has come in handy many times, actually, like news feeds where they have a Russian tickertape thing scrolling across the bottom of the screen, which I can mostly read.
I don't think Highland pipes are less expensive than other pipes, but they are more widely available. For example McCallum makes around 40 sets a week! So you can get a new McCallum set with no wait. Several other Highland pipe makers have little or no wait time, there are retailers that have them in stock. Acquiring top-quality Spanish pipes and Bulgarian pipes and uilleann pipes is far more tricky.Narzog wrote: I've had very little success learning about the different fingerings and stuff. I also thought that maybe Scottish would cost less because they seem more popular but I think that theory is false and I just cant find the makers.
And as you mention once you learn Scottish Highland pipe fingering there are Smallpipes and Border pipes made specifically to be Highland piper-friendly, that require very little transition for Highland pipers.
Around here the David Daye uilleann beginner pipes are the best option both because they're inexpensive and because the reeds work beautifully in our California weather.Narzog wrote: I'm also interested in Uilleann pipes because of the unique sound, great for playing D whistle stuff, and good range. They just cost A LOT. The penny chanter exists but thats about the single semi affordable option. So I'm still interested in other options.
The best pipes for that are uilleann pipes, hands down. However the Spanish Gaita Gallega and some of the reproduction Renaissance bagpipes are designed to use fingerings very similar to the Recorder, and usually whistle players and Recorder players can get on with those bagpipes quite well.Narzog wrote:. My hope is to just get something that can play in a popular whistle key or two...
Scottish Highland pipe music is all written in A Mixolydian (two sharps, the same key signature as D Major) but most Highland pipes don't play in A.Narzog wrote: I've heard Bb bagpipes actually play in A
Highland pipe chanters are seen in these three pitches:
1) modern "sharp pitch" chanters, which are halfway between Concert B flat and Concert B natural, the tonic being around 480 cycles.
2) Concert B flat chanters, designed to play exactly in Concert Pitch, the tonic being 466 cycles.
3) Concert A chanters, designed to play exactly in Concert Pitch, the tonic being 440 cycles.
Yes, as I mentioned above Highland pipe music is written in A Mixolydian which has a key signature of two sharps, in other words D Major.Narzog wrote:I've heard A smallpipes play in D.
To clarify, here's the written scale of the Scottish pipes:
Scottish smallpipes in A, Scottish Border pipes in A, and Scottish Great Highland bagpipes using a Concert A chanter will all play these notes at Concert Pitch.
The vast majority of Highland pipers nowadays play much sharper, as I was saying they're pitched halfway between Concert B flat and Concert B natural.
Pipers who do gigs playing with other instruments, in rock bands, or playing gigs with pipe organ, brass ensemble, etc generally use a chanter in Concert B flat (Mixolydian), though they still read their music in A (Mixolydian).
Scottish smallpipes are made in a variety of keys, in A (Mixolydian), Bb (Mixolydian), D (Mixolydian), and C (Mixolydian).
About keys used, Highland pipe tunes, as normally written in two sharps, will be seen in these keys/modes:
G Lydian is a very old and distinctive mode on the Highland pipes, and even today Strathspeys especially are being written in that mode.
Another aspect is that many Highland pipe tunes give the impression of being in A Major due to using this scale
in other words they're in a "gap scale" that lacks the note G, so the listener senses that these tunes are in A Major.
Also many Highland pipe tunes give the impression of being in A minor due to using this scale
in other words they're in a "gap scale" that lacks C and F.