modern keywork and other bagpipe developments

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ston
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modern keywork and other bagpipe developments

Post by ston »

Is anyone doing any experimentation with more modern keywork on UP or other bagpipes? I'm thinking of stuff similar to modern classical instruments such as flute, clarinet, oboe, etc. It seems like with modern keywork one might be able to get greater range and greater consistency of tone and volume than is possible with the limited keywork used currently on UP.

For instance, I'm coming from the world of recorders, and several people/companies are working to introduce keywork and adjustable windways to give the instrument wider range, tonal, and volume capabilities.

I'm aware of the extensive keywork on Northumbrian pipes, but I'm thinking of something more intricate than the one-key-per-hole style that seems to dominate keyed bagpipes. (For that matter, is anyone aware of any other bagpipes that have keys?)

Oh, and this brings up another question: is anyone aware of work being done to develop new forms of bagpipe? Today I happened upon the <a href="http://jubileeinstruments.messianic-webhosting.com/bagwhistle.htm">Bagwhistle</a>, which seems to implement what I've wondered for a while if it's possible -- a bagpipe with whistle-style sound production.

On another related subject, is anyone aware of easy-to-build reeded bagpipes that can be made from synthetic materials? I'm thinking something like the Penny Chanter, but with a parallel bore so it can be built with, say, 1/2" PVC pipe and a yogurt container single reed.

Okay, this is the last thing, I promise. Has anyone done any work to make a "bass" bagpipe? Using keys one could make a chanter that plays significantly lower than what's usually found in bagpipedom. Probably the lowest chanter I've heard is a Bulgarian kaba gaida, though I'm by no means an expert (I still haven't heard most types of bagpipe). There's an issue though with the kaba gaida in that it requires a lot of air. Is this an unavoidable problem? Could a chanter be made to produce a quiet sound to keep airflow down? (I tried a great highland bagpipe once and was astonished by both how much air it took and how eardrum-blowingly loud it was.)

Okay, I'm done now :)

-David
(Feverishly playing around with my new Patrick Murray starter set)
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Post by Tony »

A website with many different types of pipes...

http://www.hotpipes.com/main.html
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anima
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Post by anima »

Brian Boru pipes feature a keyed GHB chanter
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Post by Dionys »

See the post "Parallel bore chanters" for information regarding your question and the reason it's not really feasable. If you're interested in instrument making, I can reccomend some basic and advanced books on making and the physics of sound as they apply to instrument construction.

Dionys
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Antaine
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Post by Antaine »

cylindrical bore won't work (trust me :wink: :lol: ) Daye's penny chanter is the current best option, though I'm working on simplifying it. His is rather complex to help keep weight down, but, well, when mine's done I'll post the specs and you guys can decide for yourselves. Pennychanter plans are available for free on the internet.
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Post by Patrick D'Arcy »

Hi ston,

Andreas Rogge has created his own key layout on the chanter, I suppose you could say that it is based on the bassoon/oboe key layout. His set up allows the thumb of the bottom hand to play each note that would traditionally be played by other fingers. See the image below:

Image
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Post by brianc »

Is anyone doing any experimentation with more modern keywork on UP or other bagpipes?

.......

Gay McKeown took delivery of a new concert set a couple of years ago (or so) that were made by Alain Froment (if my memory serves correct).

These pipes had the reg keys that were very flat - lying almost right on top of each other.
Gay demonstrated for us during the San Fran. tionol Sunday morning class that he could actually run the heel of his hand in either direction along the keys, while not even leaving his hand away from the keys.

I thought that was a pretty neat innovation.

Stay tuned,
Brian
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Post by Patrick D'Arcy »

Hi brianc,

It's a Cillian O'Brien set in D. Lovely machine! Here's a photo from the class I had with him in 2000 at Willie Week.

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Post by brianc »

AH! Cillian O'Brian!

I took the 50/50 gamble and went with Froment - such is my memory.

Thanks for the correction and the great pic - those ARE some innovative reg keys! When Gay played them by moving his hand back and forth, it almost sounded like a harmonica or a button box.

Cheers,

Brian
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ston
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Post by ston »

Antaine wrote:cylindrical bore won't work (trust me :wink: :lol: )


I trust you on that. I saw the thread where you were talking about cylindrical bore experimentation. I was actually talking about non-UP bagpipes when I mentioned cylindrical bore chanters, though. I'm interested in making a sort of practice chanter for my Bulgarian gaida and I was just wondering if anyone had done something like that before.

Dionys wrote:If you're interested in instrument making, I can reccomend some basic and advanced books on making and the physics of sound as they apply to instrument construction.


I would definitely be interested in seeing some books on that. A quick search of Amazon.com didn't turn up anything that seemed appropriate....

-David
(Feverishly playing around with my new Patrick Murray starter set)
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Antaine
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Post by Antaine »

my brother's a theory and comp major at Montclair S.U. - I'm sure he's got some interesting stuff, too - I'll have to ask him what he recommends when he comes home
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eric reiswig
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Re: modern keywork and other bagpipe developments

Post by eric reiswig »

Is anyone doing any experimentation with more modern keywork on UP or other bagpipes? I'm thinking of stuff similar to modern classical instruments such as flute, clarinet, oboe, etc.


On Brian Howard's page, there's some photos of his "Howard System" keywork, which seems different than the "standard," more like orchestral woodwind keywork.

http://www.howardmusic.co.uk/howard_system_keywork.htm

On another related subject, is anyone aware of easy-to-build reeded bagpipes that can be made from synthetic materials? I'm thinking something like the Penny Chanter, but with a parallel bore so it can be built with, say, 1/2" PVC pipe and a yogurt container single reed.


My home page has plans for a (parallel-bore) Scottish small pipe made from CPVC and brass tubing &c. The chanter uses a double reed from beer-cup plastic.

You can find it at http://www3.telus.net/ereiswig/ssp_make.htm.

Be seeing you,

eric.
magaeb
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"New" Keywork

Post by magaeb »

Hello,

I made for myself a "new" keywork for the UP.

http://cornemuse.de/loesung/up_key_neu/up_key_neu.htm
(sorry, german site).

The reason to build this keywork was that I had a chanter witout blocks to fit keys in the "traditional way".
This was a "prototyp", at the momemt I build a new chanter with this keys, but all keys used by the thumb know. I hope on the second chanter the keywork will look better :-)


markus
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Post by boyd »

Patrick [D'Arcy]

The Rogge chanters you show...do you use the thumb or left little finger for the F nat key?

Boyd
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Post by Patrick D'Arcy »

Hi boyd,

No, I use the bottom hand (right hand in my case) thumb for all the notes except the F natural. For the F natural I use the ring finger (E finger) of the bottom hand. The key is played simply by playing an E note and then depressing the F natural key with said finger.

Patrick.
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