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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:23 pm 
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There is so much discussion about chanter bore measurements and the little deviations from straight bores I am curious to know if anyone has ever made a chanter with a perfectly straight bore (which i suspect is not
as easy as it might seem)and if they did what would be wrong with it ?


RORY


Last edited by rorybbellows on Thu Jun 24, 2004 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:55 pm 
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I haven't made one, but if you have been following the many other threads on this topic, the main input seems to be that you can get one octave to sound in tune with a straight bore, but not all three, so the bore gets modified at certain points, tone holes get moved slightly, or are modified with undercutting, etc. My understanding from flute design is that modifying the slope of the bore at certain points also serves to intensify the sound, or certain harmonics at different points, so the shape of the bore allows the maker to sculpt the sound somewhat.

djm

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:56 pm 
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rorybbellows wrote:
There is so much discussion about chanter bore measurements and the little deviations from straight bores I am curious to know if anyone has ever made a chanter with a perfectly straight bore (which i suspect is not
as easy as it might seem)and if they did what would be wrong with it ?


RORY


I have. Here are a couple of pictures:

Image

Image

What would be wrong with it? Well, it would sound a lot like a Northumbrian chanter, probably.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:07 pm 
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Flutes used to be conical too until they invented the straight bore system.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:49 pm 
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Jim McGuire wrote:
Flutes used to be conical too until they invented the straight bore system.
cane and bamboo flutes were naturally cylindrical.[straight] http://www.flutehistory.com/Instrument/17C.php3

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:03 am 
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Swedish bagpipe is also with a straight bore (6mm), and with single reed in the chanter, so i guess it is one of the more simple bagpipes to make, but of course, you have to learn how to make and adjust the reeds..

Image

/trivsel, Anders


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:10 am 
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Did the original question mean to ask about why not make a straight, even taper bore (i.e. one consistent taper) as opposed to a cylindrical bore?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:38 am 
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I think you’re right Liestman.
GHB and Gaita Chanters are strait conical bores.
I have a Turkish Zurna,
http://www.fromnorway.net/yaylas/zurna/zurna_faq.htm#1
that has a steeply conical staple on which the Reed fits. This slides into a cylindrical bore tube with the tone holes in.
It's overblown octaves are true.
I've a feeling that early Medieval Chanters might have been made this way, as making a conical staple is a lot easier than reaming a conical Chanter.

John S


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:50 am 
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there may be nothing "wrong" with a chanter with a "straight bore" it just would'nt be an uilleann pipe chanter, thats all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:58 am 
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Thanks for that enlightening post.

John S


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:00 am 
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Just a couple additional things...

They use to make cylindrical bores in wooden flutes before they made
conical bores. I use to have a really old one. It was louder and the
toneholes were bigger and much farther apart. The conical bore brought
the toneholes closer together, making it easier for women to play the
wooden flute (smaller hands, ie), and lowered the volume, giving it more
of a reedier tone (like with recorders). The cylindrical metal (and some
wooden) flutes have inner connecting levers that open the lids at the
correct location, a shortcut if you will, so that the finger stretch isn't
required. The fingers remain close together, but the actual holes opening
are far apart.

I've never played Northunbrian pipes, but as I understand it, the two
octave range in the cylindrical bore is obtained by adding numerous key
up and down the lengthy chanter...that is, it doesn't overblow like an
uilleann pipe chanter. Cylindrical chanters reeds can overblow, but don't
produce the perfect octave like a tapered bore. The pitch strays.

The variances in the uneven tapered bore can be used for tuning a
particular note--which would affect the size of the fingerhole required, and
the spacing between holes. The larger the bore, under or just above the
tonehole, the smaller the tonehole...a kind of compensation. The
undercutting in the chimney of the tonehole would also tune the note as
would scalloping the surface of the hole. Keenan undercut his old
Rowsome chanter when he was a kid, trying to tune the notes rather than
getting the reed right, and says he almost ruined it, filing away. But he
discovered it helped him slur or bend the notes easier. Only works for
large bores as I understand.

I don't know what I'm talking about, so take it with a grain of salt. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:13 am 
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giles b wrote:
there may be nothing "wrong" with a chanter with a "straight bore" it just would'nt be an uilleann pipe chanter, thats all.


A couple of years ago, Benedict yielded to the blandishments of a desperate beginner and agreed to try to make a reed for a chanter by Martin Preshaw. The job went fairly easily, and the chanter was very well behaved. It did not have the richest tone I’d ever heard, but it sounded far better than many other chanters of modern make that we’ve come across, and the intonation was really very good indeed. This last point seemed important enough to justify measuring the bore, so we did. When I took the numbers home and graphed them out on the computer, it became very clear that Mr. Preshaw was using a perfectly straight taper. I’ve measured many chanters, including ones made by makers who openly endorse the idea of the simple straight cone, and I have never seen a plot that was quite as straight as this one.

We had been under the impression that a “phrenologically complex” bore was necessary, and that it couldn’t be done otherwise. The evidence of this chanter blew away that patch of mist. (I just love the rich possibilities of the Germanic languages.)

The fact remains that BK and I are still pursuing the traditional complexities of bore, and I certainly feel that there are some important subtleties of tone which are missing with the straight bore. If the presence or lack of these subtleties is in fact what makes a chanter “uilleann” or not, there is no real argument. Still, I’ve handled and heard many chanters with complex bores, old and new, which were much less appealing than this one of Mr. Preshaw’s with a perfectly straight bore. Like any other feature, the profile of the bore is only one of a whole complex of factors which make up the instrument. It is certainly the most important. I am not rushing to make reamers that will cut a straight taper, but I don’t think it is reasonable to dismiss all chanters with straight tapers simply because they have straight tapers.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:31 am 
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I wasn't sure whether to laugh or not at your use of the term "phrenologically". I've only ever heard this term used for the pseudoscience of determining a person's character by feeling the bumps on their head. Is this a correct usage of the term, or are you just having a bit of fun? :)

djm

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:50 am 
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Maybe to clarify the terminology a bit . . .

This straight-id-est-cylindrical bore is often called a "parallel bore."

As for the conical bore that's perfectly "straight," I have seen people mention a bore without perturbations. I prefer the learned Mr. Quinn's use of "phrenologically complex," though, perhaps because I find phrenology more appealing (whimsically speaking) than perturbation.

Etymologically, however, perturbation might be more appropriate. Phrenology comes from the Greek phrenos, meaning "mind," with the -logy ending that has come to mean "the study of."

Stuart


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:00 am 
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I know nothing about chanters (except that my buddy plays a beautiful sounding and looking Quinn chanter), but I do know about phrenology, a wonderful 19th-century "scientific" fad.

Image

Franz Gall, the father of phrenology, thought that all capacities of the mind are represented in the physical shape of the brain and that the skull takes its shape from the brain: Hence you could study a person's mind by measuring their skull. Wonderful stuff and surely the reason that Lenin's brain is floating around in a spirit jar somewhere in Russia.

More than you wanted to know about phrenology at: http://pages.britishlibrary.net/phrenology/

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