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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Hi all,

I'm an Australian of Italian (and Scottish) descent. I've never played the bagpipes before, but I recently went nuts and decided to buy una zampogna from circolo di zampogna. I have no idea how to learn to play it...are there people who teach such things, or instructional books I can buy? I can read music, and play piano and guitar.

Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:44 am 
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The only tutor book I know of is that by Ilario Garbani: http://www.zampogna.ch/de/index.php?id=canzonieri


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:10 am 
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Chiara wrote:
Hi all,

I'm an Australian of Italian (and Scottish) descent. I've never played the bagpipes before, but I recently went nuts and decided to buy una zampogna from circolo di zampogna. I have no idea how to learn to play it...are there people who teach such things, or instructional books I can buy? I can read music, and play piano and guitar.

Any suggestions?

congratulations downunder zampognari to be :thumbsup:

First of all, did you buy a Scapoli 25 zamp? Is it by Luigi Ricci, Guido Ianetta, or someone else?
(in other words, does it have one brass key, with the letters "R L" stamped on it, and is about 25 inches long? :D )

"Utriculus" the Circolo's magazine, in past issues had published a very basic "how-to"...maybe asking Antionietta DiCaccia (if she's still with Circolo) could get you a copy?

If you have an A Paro, or some other type of pipe, then you'd need to go another route.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:14 am 
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i'm happy that you want to play the zampogna: it's a wonderful instrument, but it's very very difficult to play without a teacher who teaches you how to tune the chanters!

I'm italian, and i've started to play the zampogna one month ago :D


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:11 am 
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MichaelLoos wrote:
The only tutor book I know of is that by Ilario Garbani: http://www.zampogna.ch/de/index.php?id=canzonieri

The links from that page don't work, though.

b


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:11 pm 
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They do work for me.
Try visiting the site http://www.zampogna.ch , then on the right side go for "CANZONIERI E METODI" and scroll down.

[ They work for me, too. - Mod ]


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Thanks for your replies! My zampogna hasn't arrived yet, I have ordered a zampogna with 25 cm closed bell pipes (a campanna chiusa), in the key of G. which has a soprano and a bass chanter, with an alto drone, by the pipe maker Luigi Ricci.

I'm very excited, but I know nothing about how to play it. I guess I will try and purchase the book you mentioned, Brian.

Oh dear, the chanters require tuning? This worries me, as I am not very good at tuning anything...

I guess I will have to look around and see if I can find a teacher. Do you think people who teach scottish bagpipes can also teach zampogna?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:36 am 
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Chiara wrote:
Do you think people who teach scottish bagpipes can also teach zampogna?

Definitely not, the zampogna is one of the most specialised bagpipes in the world and has nothing whatsoever to do with the Scottish bagpipe. For zampogna, you need a zampogna teacher.
You might try to find out if there is an Italian community anywhere around, although chances to find a zampognaro among them are poor - but worth a try anyway.
The Garbani book has a chapter on tuning but if you are not experienced in tuning an instrument (no matter what kind) you might find yourself overburdened with this task. Although I usually do not recommend this for bagpipes of any type, it might be a good idea to get an electronic tuner to give you some help until you learn to hear what's in tune and what is not.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:59 am 
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Chiara wrote:
Do you think people who teach scottish bagpipes can also teach zampogna?

No, but a highland piper may be able to help with certain aspects common to all pipes: making sure your bag is airtight, that your blowpipe valve is sealing properly, and keeping bag pressure steady while squeezing & reinflating.. That's probably where the similarities stop :D

Unfortunately, tuning the zampogna is (IMO) the most difficult part, and it's cruel that tuning has to be faced from square one by a complete beginner. But once the pipe is in tune, it tends to stay there for extended periods of time, unllke other pipes.

With no fingers on the instrument, & provided there is no thumbhole in your 'alto' drone,....yours should sound (close to) the note concert D in an octave; thats all 3 pipes sounding, no fingers.

Each tone hole is further fine-tuned by adding or removing small amounts of beeswax,(the smaller the hole opening the flatter the pitch). You'l need a small tool to do this (stutzareggio i call them :lol: ) easy enough to make by sticking a dowell into a pencil sharpener.
You will also need some corks, to fit into the stock and take the place of a chanter when first tuning it up. The tape, which highland pipers use I would say isnt a good idea. The bottom chanter is tuned first; then the top one, and last the drone.

Exercise some caution when unpacking & give it a complete inspection to be certain no cracks, flaws, etc have developed in transit. Each pipe normally comes in two pieces, then there s a bag, blowpipe, blowpipe stock, dummy drone (muta bordone) and ceppo (head stock). There shluld be three plastic reeds lablled M, R, & B. M is for the lower chanter, R for the higher, B for the drone. Probably a chunk of beeswax also. Exciting stuff.

sorry if I sound peripatetic! Glad to "help" you, being what online help is concerning pipes: (in other words, it's tough to hammer a nail over the internet) ciaoooo

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:22 pm 
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Thankyou all SO much for your advice! I really know absolutely nothing so any information is greatly appreciated.

I think my Zio knows someone with a zampogna, not sure if he will be willing to teach me though...

No doubt I will share my experiences here on the forum as events progress--v.excited.

Do you guys play solo zampogna, or always with accompaniment? If so, what instruments do you play with?

Also do the reeds need replacing regularly?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:52 pm 
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You should definitely try to get in touch with your uncle's friend, even if he won't teach you, he might know someone who would.
Actually, the zampogna is the accompanying instrument, the solo instrument being the ciaramella. However, many tunes fit into the range and can therefore be played on zampogna solo.
Most probably you will get plastic reeds with your instrument, these can last for a long time - I still have my first set of reeds in use, after nine years of regular playing.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:50 am 
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MichaelLoos wrote:
Actually, the zampogna is the accompanying instrument, the solo instrument being the ciaramella.


It isn't always true. The ciaramella is an instrument typical of only some italian regions, like Molise, Basilicata, southern Lazio and Abruzzo.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Chiara wrote:
Do you guys play solo zampogna, or always with accompaniment? If so, what instruments do you play with?


Scapolese zampogna (which is what i reckon you ve purchased) fits in well with Ciaramela, Organetto, tamburello. And much more. Check out the Abruzzese folkgroup "DisCanto" [www.discanto.net]for a taste. However, it all depends on if your zampogna is in tune with the other instruments.

Chiara wrote:
Also do the reeds need replacing regularly?
For plastic, then only if they get messed-with or adjusted regularly :) barring accidents, they can last for a very, very, very long time.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:05 pm 
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Woo hoo! This is like a giant pit of zampogna wisdom :D


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Chiara,

I might suggesting in the meantime watching youtube videos. This will give you a feel for the instrument. Also, like other said, look for a zampogna player in the Italian community where you live.

There are lots of different zampogna styles from diff regions. They are all loosely related to each other but also different. The zampogna is an instrument played by ear, not be reading music. You will have to develop your ear to tune the instrument. You can start out with a tuning meter and then go from there. But if you want to play the zampogna you have to embrace the reality of tuning the instrument. This is 50% of playing the zampogna - tuning. It is certainly doable if you are motivated. But it is an instrument that requires you to be driven and also a bit stubborn at times to master. Good luck!

David

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