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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Hello!

I was just doing a bit of reading on the different types of bagpipes that exist, and I was thinking- Which types of (no uilleann) pipes are there with a range of more than one octave (edit, by a significant number of notes) I know about asturian, northumbrian, and galician pipes, however I am curious about what others have such a range (or greater).

I just find the topic of pipes interesting and was hoping to learn a bit more about the various types, and this question popped up.

Look forward to hearing back on this. Thanks!

(edited to modify the question since MichaelLoos has cleared up a mistake in my original assumption regarding the possible range of pipes)


Last edited by Sirchronique on Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:03 am 
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Asturian and Galician pipes don't have a two octave range, they only have these "couple of notes" - in best case a fourth in the second octave. Same goes for the French cornemuse du centre as well as for German Schäferpfeife and Flemish deoedelzak (in fact the same instrument).
The musette de cour has a range of nearly two octaves, split between its two chanters.
I'm not aware of any other bagpipes covering a two-octave range.


Last edited by MichaelLoos on Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:51 am 
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I was not aware of this. I knew galician pipes went up into the second octave somewhat, but I thought it was by more than a couple notes. Thank you for letting me know.

But, you did mention it can go 4 notes into the higher octave?

I'm interested in hearing about others that do this much or more as well.

I suppose I should modify what I'm asking to simply that I am interested in hearing which bagpipes have the widest range of notes .


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:05 am 
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Chiave zampogne have a range of an octave and a fifth, split between two seperate independent chanters.

As Michael says, Cornemuse du centre do indeed have a range of an octave and a fourth, with a subtonic bottom note (one step below the keynote),
As do "'French-style' Borders" pipes (sorry lack of better terminology :D )

16 keyed Brien Boru pipes have a range of an octave and a major 6th, afaik.

It is also rumored that, Arie de Kyser once upon a time made a true 2 octave Flemish bagpipe, with a Bohem-style thumb key that overblew the octave, but I ve been unable find any evidence of this whatsoever.

Pastoral pipes also have an extended range, certain GHB chanters are able to obtain 3 notes above their high A, and of course digital bagpipes have ridiculously large ranges, fully chromatic in all keys

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:34 am 
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with good galician makers such as Gil & Seivane plus some twinkling with good reeds such as Cubero & Linares you could go up way over 1.5 octave. In my experience twinking reeds with galician chanters, if you set your palleta to play high this second octave, it also disminish volume. Btw, it easier to set this trick with older reeds than newer...


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:38 am 
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I'll chime in and mention that a distinction should perhaps be made between a bagpipe's range and it's "useful" or "musical" range.

On the uilleann pipes you get a fully useful/musical range of an octave and a fifth, which I say because High B tends to play quite sharp on even very good chanters, and the note is more unstable and has a louder, harsher tone than the rest of the scale. High C and High D are rather tricky and you can't do much athletic stuff up in that part of the range. So when a composer contacts me beforehand about something he's writing, I give D to A as the uilleann range, the range in which all the notes are in tune and you can do stuff with them.

This really came out when I was hired to play on an album of original compositions. The composer had been told that the uilleann range was D to B, and preferred the key of G, so he wrote several tunes, slow sweet ballad-like tunes, which ended on long held High B's! He imagined that I could hit those High B's softly and sweetly and hold them out for a couple bars at the end of the tunes, the sweet 3rd of the final chord, the tone feathering off in a lovely way. I demonstrated that High B screams out, not the tune endings he had in mind! So he re-wrote the tunes to end on High G, Low B, etc.

I used to play Gaita a bit and the 3rd and 4th in the second octave, like the highest notes on the uilleann pipes, tended to scream out and be rather tricky to hit. So they wouldn't be useful/musical as ordinary melody notes in a tune.

I've never played Limousine pipes but I have several albums and have seen them played, and it seems that they are more "civilised" in the second octave than Spanish pipes, and can use several 2nd octave notes in a nice musical way. I would guess that this comes from a narrower conical bore somewhat like that of an uilleann chanter.

I would think that only with the Northumbrian pipes do you have the entire scale sounding and functioning more or less the same, because the chanter isn't overblowing to achieve the higher notes.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:46 am 
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MichaelLoos wrote:
I'm not aware of any other bagpipes covering a two-octave range.

Strange but true, Callum Armstrong's modified Scottish smallpipes...

http://forums.bobdunsire.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145858

(Also described in depth in LBPS journal Common Stock, June 2012.)

pancelticpiper wrote:
I'll chime in and mention that a distinction should perhaps be made between a bagpipe's range and it's "useful" or "musical" range.

Suspect said two-and-a-half-octave smallpipes are quite a 'niche' thing, but (heading off at a slight tangent!) just discovered he's also doing things with double chanters that might interest you...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE_2T8lMrbU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFQAgK-eYq0

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Here's a bagpipe, made by Claude Girard, french chabrette and other early french bagpipes. This is a copy of a sac de Gemecs, with fabulous drones (the sound !) the chanter can reach two octaves, but in this video, it seems that it is not as easy as with uilleann pipes !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqsjaD9hPVQ


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:14 am 
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If my uilleann pipes didn't have a useable high b i'd be pretty stuck for tunes to play. Decent UP's should be in tune all the way up to top d, that's why pipers get a c nat key surely?

Interestingly Geoff Woof has developed narrow bore chanters which go most of the way up the THIRD octave. He wrote an article about in in NPU mag in 2005 or so.

Here is a link to a discussion about I began as 'BuskerSean' viewtopic.php?f=6&t=31555&start=0&view=print

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:27 am 
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About uilleann pipe's High Bs, I've been playing the pipes for around 35 year now, and at tionoil etc have played and examined and heard chanters from just about every maker past and present, and on Concert Pitch (D) sets there's nearly always a pitch differential between Low B and High B, usually between 20 and 30 cents, often more, almost never less.

Which means that if Low B is in tune to Equal Temperament (where it must be for "legit" gigs) High B will be quite sharp. On many chanters the only High B that's in tune is x xox xxxx that is, only the middle finger of the upper hand raised. That B isn't very useful musically because you can't really bend it, or play vibrato on it, or ornament it much, because it tends to be unstable.

Now, if you're not using the uilleann pipes for "legit" gigs, but playing in a session, you can get away with Low B being around 15 cents flat (where it should be in Just Intonation). Then High B will only be around 10 cents sharp, not enough for some people to notice.

I use uilleann pipes for "legit" gigs and every note must be precisely in tune to Equal Temperament. Thus my use of the term "useful or musical range".

This sharp High B issue could be solved, and I think it should be solved, with a key on the chanter for High B. In my opinion this High B Key would be on the back, in place of the normal High C Key, and the High C Key would be moved to the side, as a "side key" as sax players say.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:31 pm 
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Well lets not get TOO lost in UPs since this is the non UP thread, though UPs are MEANT to be 'untempered' I thought?

As far as other pipes go when I first got I to piping I asked this exact question and was told of some maker making English pipes which had a 2 octave range, though I never enquired further a the UPs took over!

Maybe they were refering to Swayne border pipes which go up to high g?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:44 pm 
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I have a set of pastoral pipes that I ordered from Geert Lejeune. He just finish them and they are on the way, I’m just waiting to receive them now. Here is what he says about them:
• The history of the Pastoral Pipe is not well known, they appear in the mid of the 18th century, and might be the invention of one man in order to respond to a vogue for ‘Pastoral’ music. What is clear however, is that the instruments gradually developed into the Union and later flat sets Uillean pipes, by removing the foot joint and play on the knee like is done in contemporary Irish piping.
• I started from an original very beautiful set of pipes made by Robertson of Edinburgh, but had, although essential acoustical elements as the reed type, bore diameter were kept, to change a few things:
◦ The pitch being like most pastoral pipes Eb, I lowered my set to D.

◦ In order to get the octaves right, the bore and diameter of the right hand part of the chanter were widened and the foot joint made longer.
◦ I added an octave key to facilitate octave jumping, and lowered the emplacement of the D-hole, in order to increase stability on the low D. Hence a key was needed to access the low C.
◦ Compass up to 2 octaves, the highest 3 notes (top C, C# and D) are however musically not very interesting.
◦ Very quick response (compared to French pipes in D like grande bourbonnaise), making it possible to play fast jigs and alike
◦ Semi-closed fingering (like on Central France pipes)
◦ Very stable low-D, combined with the semi-closed fingering this allows to play with lots of rappels if needed
◦ With and without octave key easy jump between the octaves

On his web page http://users.skynet.be/geertlejeune/ he has a very nice video of Rémi Decker playing his pipes.

Hopefully I will receive my soon ~


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:08 am 
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Lovely sound like halfway between an uilleann and border pipe


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Well the pastoral pipes arrived on Monday and I have been enjoying them. I have a lot of learning to do though. They are, of course, a lot different than my mouth blown renaissance pipes with open fingering. Learning the bellows and new fingering, is a challenge. I've been able to go into the second octave all the way to A, which is pretty good since I'm still learning how to play them (the pipes are in D). The trick now is to make my playing sound like music!

Oh, the drones are awesome.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:20 am 
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Is the fingering on your Pastoral Pipes the same as standard uilleann pipe fingering? - should be, just wondering if it is.


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