It is currently Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:16 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:15 am
Posts: 4
Hi folks!

Im a composer writing for Uilleann pipes for the first time. I understand that the D chanter reads concert pitch. When the player sees a D or F# in the music, we will hear the D or the F#.

I need an F natural and then later in the piece a Bb. I understand that these notes are not available on the D chanter but that there is a fully chromatic keyed Uilleann Pipe and I am wondering if the linked music might be possible on that instrument. If that is the case, is the keyed instrument also a concert pitch instrument? That is, do we hear the pitch that is actually written on the page?

I have linked to a pdf of 2 pages of the music here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l6GxDb ... IiHMX/view

Its really simple and I am hoping it will work but if anyone has a moment to take a look I would be so grateful.

Many thanks in advance everyone for your kind help!


Andy Brick
http://www.andybrick.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:31 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Adelaide, Australia
A chanter can be made with keys added for accidental notes to make it a chromatic instrument, or it can have no keys. F natural and (upper octave) C natural keys are the most common, with A flat and B flat keys being slightly less common. It can be a matter of taste, the maker's skill or discretion, or the buyer's coin purse that determines whether any given uilleann chanter has additional keywork. Most pipers won't have used them very much, because they're generally not needed for most irish dance music. They may or may not restrict the use of other techniques like nice vibrato etc. If a chanter doesn't have the required keys, a piper can "half-hole" the note if they're good enough, but it becomes trickier to manage.

Note that uilleann pipes have very little control over volume. Some dynamics can be changed by playing with the bottom of the chanter on the piper's knee vs off their knee (with the "bell" of the chanter open), as well as alternative fingering for some notes, but that's about it. Your score indicates crescendos and volume changes that will probably not be manageable.

Also of note is that generally an uilleann chanter will be tuned to Just Intonation rather than equal temperament, so some notes will be slightly "off" compared to other instruments (great post here by Geoff Wooff). The late great Liam O'Flynn managed to successfully play the pipes in an orchestral setting but I believe the composer worked quite closely with him. I know that Mark Redmond, who has now been performing these works, wrote his thesis on the use of pipes in orchestral settings, which incidentally I'd love to read.

Your second page specifies a C flat set. I'm not sure how you've envisaged this section, but it's best to mention that flat sets are generally considered Transposing instruments, where the piper will read the music and play the pipes as if they are playing a concert pitch set. Flat sets are generally quieter and often have a noticeably mellower sound.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:18 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 4970
Location: the Back of Beyond
I am not sure I'd call a keyed chanter fully chromatic but it does have the accidentals required.

I think both parts of the piece could work on either a keyed D chanter of a C chanter, depending on your reasons for specifying each for the parts as written.

_________________
My brain hurts

Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:07 pm
Posts: 104
Location: Seligenstadt (Germany)
Hi there,
this piece is possible and not too difficult also w/o keys. The Fnat will typically be played by a key but with practise also by fingering. The Bb would be played by cross fingering with a little help of shading. Limits only in pace.

_________________
Christian Tietje


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 4271
Location: WV to the OC
From a person who has done hundreds of studio gigs on uilleann pipes (film, TV, spots, etc) I would say that in glancing over that score that it would be dead-easy on my D chanter.

My chanter has five keys (F natural, G sharp, B flat, High C natural, and High D natural) so has all the notes available.

However having all the notes available doesn't mean that it's chromatic in the sense of many other instruments, in that it's really not practicable to play in any key on a D chanter. You really need to stay in the one-sharp/two-sharps wheelhouse of the instrument, with the other notes available if they're not in an awkward passage.

I'm very glad that you're asking pipers about the instrument, because in my decades of studio work I find that most composers just assume stuff rather than asking.

Whenever a composer calls I say a little litany:

"The pipes play from the D above Middle C to the A an octave-and-a-half above that, in one or two sharps, G Major or D Major."

You would be amazed how many times I arrive at the recording session to find that the composer has completely ignored this.

At one session the composer had written the piece in flats, in G minor.

When I said it wouldn't work on my pipes he said "you said G was OK."

OMG that's exactly why I state it so precisely! "One or two sharps, G Major or D Major." How can a musician misconstrue that?

More than once, at a studio where the composer has written a piece in an unsuitable key, I've noticed the Braveheart soundtrack CD sitting on a table. "Oh, Braveheart. Did you listen to the piping on that?" I say.

"Oh, yes."

"Did you notice that every piece the uilleann pipes play is in G Major?"

"Oh, no, I didn't notice."

I then say there's a very good reason that every piece is in G Major, because that's what the pipes like to do.

Now about chanters in other keys yes I have a C chanter but it has a quite different timbre than the D chanter that composers are used to hearing on soundtracks.

It's almost like the difference between an oboe and a bassoon, in the same family but clearly different timbres.

Every time that I've demonstrated both the C chanter and the D chanter for a composer they want the D chanter.

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Last edited by pancelticpiper on Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:04 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 4271
Location: WV to the OC
Here's myself, at 5:32, playing the C chanter and then switching to the D chanter in the same piece:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HARFCTJVZ8I

Gives a feel of the timbre difference between the two.

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 4970
Location: the Back of Beyond
Quote:
It's almost like the difference between an oboe and a bassoon,



Almost, but, as analogies go, the difference between the oboe and cor anglais would perhaps a more accurate comparison of their voices.

_________________
My brain hurts

Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:15 am
Posts: 4
pancelticpiper wrote:

I'm very glad that you're asking pipers about the instrument, because in my decades of studio work I find that most composers just assume stuff rather than asking.


Hi Richard,

Thank you for the expertise! Many years ago when I was greener and blissfully naive, I wrote some music that required a lot of harmonica playing. I didnt know anything about the instrument and, back then, forums like these were not available. So in blissful naivete, I simply wrote what I wished. When the player arrived at the session he looked at my score and did that little no-no head shake (which, it sounds like, you know) and proceeded to kindly tell me that what I wrote was impossible to play. Luckily I had a total pro player who pulled out his suitcase of harmonicas (like the Uilleann pipes the harmonica is diatonic so its played modally in single keys) in which he had one of each diatonic key and proceeded to overdub individual notes that were "out of key" on other harmonicas. He did this with surgical precision and masterful technique and in the end the recording was very successful thanks to his talent.

Since then, I have always sought the expertise of players - often taking a "lesson" to understand the instrument better. These days, with Skype and Facetime, the collaboration is so easy! If you have a moment Richard, would you mind dropping me a line at my email below. Perhaps we could chat a bit more offline about the project I am working on.

Kindly
Andy Brick
andy@andybrick.com
http://www.andybrick.com
http://www.gameonconcert.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 809
I looked at the sheet music. It looks to me like it could be shifted up a whole tone on a concert pitch chanter so that all notes would be accessible without keys being required. If played as such on a c natural chanter the original pitch would be preserved as far as I can see, although you'd have a different timbre than you'd get with a concert pitch chanter.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:15 am
Posts: 4
Dear Tom, Grumby, Christian and Richard,

Thank you all very much for the help. I very much appreciate it!

Kindly
Andy Brick
www.andybrick.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:15 am
Posts: 4
OK I lied ;-) I do have one more question ....

Is there anyway, to get a concert Eb?

Im reading that it may be possible. Im wondering because after Richards great explanation, I believe a Concert set with keys will give me everything I need but there is a pesky Eb in one of the pieces.

I read on that Eb may be possible on the concert pitch instrument with "fork fingering" (see https://www.uilleann-pipes.de/en/glossa ... ann-pipes/) is that true? What is fork fingering?

I also read that there is an Eb chanter which presumably would have Bb, Eb, Ab, and would thus work and I do have time to make the switch to that chanter from the concert set if necessary. Is it a common chanter? If I have access to very good players would it be reasonable to expect a pro to have one?

I also saw on youtube a Ghost D and an Eb on what seems to be a D chanter. Is that right? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aer9CqzmAsQ

Ohhhh so many questions... Im so sorry to bother you all with such basic questions but really do appreciate the help!

Kindly
Andy


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:23 pm
Posts: 5694
Location: Baychimo
You can get D chanters with Eb keys but it is not standard.

Also, cross fingering will give you an approximate Eb but much depends on the pipers.

Ghost D is not really Eb, and is rarely (in my playing at any rate) played as a note in its own right, but rather as an introductory note to Back D.

There are several pipers (Paddy Moloney, David Power, Jerry O'Sullivan, and Eric Rigler, to name a few) who have worked with orchestras and classical composers. The late Liam O'Flynn had extensive experience in this regard, having worked with Shaun Davey on the Brendan Voyage and Granuaile, and Bill Whelan on the Seville Suite.

_________________
PJ


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:28 am
Posts: 288
Location: Halden, Norway
Thank you Richard for the link to your lovely playing!
Ketil


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:39 am
Posts: 115
Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
It's almost like the difference between an oboe and a bassoon,

Almost, but, as analogies go, the difference between the oboe and cor anglais would perhaps a more accurate comparison of their voices.

Or like the difference between the oboe and the oboe d'amore. Craig Fischer once said to me, "Think of a flat set as the pipes d'amore." Flat sets. You gotta love 'em!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
Posts: 4271
Location: WV to the OC
My D uilleann chanter will play a nicely in-tune Eb in both octaves.

Our composer friend might wonder why we call Eb "ghost D" rather than the note it is.

Come to think about it, I have no idea why they call Eb "ghost D".

And it's an oddity of the uilleann chanter that it has a dedicated finger-hole for that note.

Pipers traditionally use that note as an ornament rather than as a melody note, though for sure pipers will throw in Eb accidentals in very cool-sounding places sometimes! (Hand Me Down The Tackle, for example.)

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.121s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)