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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2002 11:03 pm 
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Thanks Tony;

Just understanding what's been meant by 'flat set' has really cleared up a lot of head scratching around here.


I'd thought that all flat sets were from before the A=440 concert pitch, and one referred to C and B (and etc.) pipes by calling them C, or B (or etc.). Now, does this mean flat sets are not meant to be played with other instruments? Peter said:

"a good flat chanter allows you far greater control over tone of each note than the large hole, wide bore concert set."

Does this mean you *can* play in tune with other instruments, or that you can't? I admit to much confusion.

Now to me, 'narrow bore' means GHP, ie. they cannot achieve a 2nd octave. I take it my information/guesstimation is wrong on that as well, eh?

As well, what's the reason for having a chanter pitched to off D? I have been given to understand that most Irish music is in either D or G, which is why the pipes are set up in D. I may be wildly wrong, but that's how I've understood it.

Thanking your for your patience, (and hopefully your answers) :smile:;

Mark

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: jqpublick on 2002-01-31 00:11 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2002 11:37 pm 
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Mark, let's say you inherited a 50 year old chanter and suprisingly there were several spare reeds that were still in working order. When you tuned it up, you found that it was one of the sweetest most perfectly balanced chanters you've ever heard... but it just happened to tune a hair above C# and no matter what other reeds or tuning you do, it won't play well anywhere else but C#.

Well, if your good friend plays fiddle he/she probably won't mind re-tuning down to suit your chanter. But... if you're tuned to C natural, it's just a matter of transposing
the music. A whistle player would then select a C whistle and play the same fingerings as if everyone were playing in D with a concert chanter.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 1:38 am 
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jqpublick,
Narrow bore means just that. A narrow bore chanter actually has a slightly narrower inner diameter than a concert pitch (wide bore) chanter. You can get narrow bore chanters in D.... they're quieter, easy to mess with and sound very, very sweet. One problem with narrow bore chanters is that you can count the total makers of narrow bore chanters alive today on one hand. The GHBs are the GHBs... no alternate names for those... they're the uncompromising Humm-Vs of the piping world. Part of the reason I own a flat-pitch chanter (key of C) is the sound....imagine a cello versus a trumpet... that's a flat pitch/narrow bore chanter versus a concert pitch (wide bore) chanter. Flat pitch chanters are sexy sounding, calm and very warm in tone. Some people use the term flat pitch interchangeably with the term narrow bore, although it's not totally accurate.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 5:30 am 
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On 2002-02-01 02:38, Dave Parkhurst wrote:
jqpublick,
Narrow bore means just that. A narrow bore chanter actually has a slightly narrower inner diameter than a concert pitch (wide bore) chanter. You can get narrow bore chanters in D.... .....Some people use the term flat pitch interchangeably with the term narrow bore, although it's not totally accurate.


Agreed Dave... but I'm still trying to find someone talk about a 'wide bore' flat pitched chanter. How would they play ??


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 6:44 am 
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On 2002-02-01 06:30, Tony wrote:

Agreed Dave... but I'm still trying to find someone talk about a 'wide bore' flat pitched chanter. How would they play ??


They are scaled down concert pitch chanters which have all the bad characteristics of hte concert chanter but lack all the good things of a flat chanter. Some pipemakers that didn't get the point make them.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 6:57 am 
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Quote:
On 2002-02-01 07:44, Peter Laban wrote:
Quote:
On 2002-02-01 06:30, Tony wrote:

Agreed Dave... but I'm still trying to find someone talk about a 'wide bore' flat pitched chanter. How would they play ??


They are scaled down concert pitch chanters which have all the bad characteristics of hte concert chanter but lack all the good things of a flat chanter. Some pipemakers that didn't get the point make them.


YEAH MAN....!!!
Peter.. I knew you had the background to shed light on this subject... THANK YOU!!
Let's get back to narrow bore. Why are there so few narrow bore D pipemakers then??


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:20 am 
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Good morning, all;

Thanks for the replies, once again this had cleared up a lot of head-scratching I've been doing.

Quote:
On 2002-02-01 02:38, Dave Parkhurst wrote:
....imagine a cello versus a trumpet... that's a flat pitch/narrow bore chanter versus a concert pitch (wide bore) chanter. Flat pitch chanters are sexy sounding, calm and very warm in tone.


Dave, this is what I've been wanting, the sweetness and expressiveness of Monet, but I've been painting (to run with the metaphor) with Warhol's pallet.

I've found it quite frustrating to be limited to ungentle sounds, but it sounds from what you all have said that a flat chanter may well be the way to go. It feels like the set I've got has an on/off switch; the note is either sounding or it's not, there's not much room for the swooping and calling I can hear in my head and in the CDs I've been listening to.

Now, where can I find a flat set chanter that won't take 10 years to get to me? (ye gods, 10 years!) I've a practice set already, if the only thing I need to switch is the chanter.... well and the reeds.... and my ears.... argh, who let me start playing these things anyway?

Mark


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 9:07 am 
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Mark,
do not jump on that bandwagon too quickly. Whether you and your pipes sound good is to a GREAT extent up to you. And it is very likely that you will never be completely satisfied with how you play. Switching chanters at an early stage (I presume you have not been playing the pipes for too long) might well leave you in frustration.
I would encourage you to keep on practicing, listening to good players and exchange opinions with fellow pipers. Time will come when you know exactly what you want and where your preferences lie. Piping is what the Irishman had in mind when he invented the proverb "When God made time, He made a lot of it"
Christian


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 9:55 am 
On the other hand, if you have an image of the sound yoy like, why struggle on on a unsatisfactory concert set if you can make life easy by finding a good (and there's there problem you will have to solve) flat chanter. Musical instrument versus foghorn in my opinion. Make sure you make an informed desicion though, not because we are saying this here.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 10:27 am 
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Back to Tony's question though - - "Why are there so few narrow bore D pipemakers then??"

You'd think that a configuration that makes the sound nicer and the pitch easy to play with would be the perfect situation?

Paul


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 12:03 pm 
Geoff Wooff made a narrow bore D as an experiment around 1985. A few makers have followed the example. I have seen and played a narrow bore D Alian Froment made to Dave Hegarty's specifications based on (I believe) an old instrument owned by Breandan Breathnach.
The truth of the matter is that the narrow D chanter has never really caught on and remains a bit of a hybrid, it's OK but still lacks the appeal of a lower pitched instrument.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 3:26 pm 
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Quote:
Peter Laban wrote: Geoff Wooff made a narrow bore D as an experiment around 1985. A few makers have followed the example....
The truth of the matter is that the narrow D chanter has never really caught on and remains a bit of a hybrid, it's OK but still lacks the appeal of a lower pitched instrument.


But why?? aren't most session tunes in D??


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2002 3:44 pm 
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Quote:
On 2002-02-01 16:26, Tony wrote:
Quote:
Peter Laban wrote: Geoff Wooff made a narrow bore D as an experiment around 1985. A few makers have followed the example....
The truth of the matter is that the narrow D chanter has never really caught on and remains a bit of a hybrid, it's OK but still lacks the appeal of a lower pitched instrument.


But why?? aren't most session tunes in D??


Well, a lot of PIPE tunes are in D, but if you spend any time in sessions, you'll learn that a variety of keys are used. D major, Dminor, G major, A minor, A major, B minor, and E minor are the most common.

Why aren't narrow bore chanters more common? I think Peter did answer the question, but here it is again: they're a hybrid. Being pitched in D, they don't sound as good as a lower-pitched instrument and they're too quiet to play with more than one or two other melody instruments at any time. Most pipers figure that if you're going to end up playing it solo anyway, you may as well get the most appealing instrument you can afford. For most pipers, this is a C or a B instrument.

Likewise, if you're going to be playing in groups of three or more, then it makes sense that you should be able to hear yourself. Wide D chanters can be made to behave themselves, but it takes a lot of work, fine adjustments, listening, and most of all playing.

Consider the intentions behind the two designs: Narrow bore chanters developed during a period of time when the piper played solo and often in small spaces, where volume was trivial but sweetness of tone wasn't. Wide bore D chanters were a response to a new environment: big theaters and dance halls in 19th century America, where a piper needed volume to be heard.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2002 5:21 pm 
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"Wide bore D chanters were a response to a new environment: big theaters and dance halls in 19th century America, where a piper needed volume to be heard"


Perfectly clear Pat... thanks for the clarification.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2002 6:00 pm 
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Peter, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that concert D chanters started catching on with the ones made by Rowsome, in a time when essentially noone was making pipes anymore. If you're the only one making something, the way you make it is probably assumed to be the only way/most popular way. I agree with Peter on some things: narrow bore chanters are a treat to the ear, won't make the dogs dysfunctional, and are a bit less fussy than wide bore ones...but not of much use in a sessiun. However, most beginners if wise won't try to drag out their pipes in a sessiun for several years unless there's a very sympathetic audience.


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