Anybody here know about bagpipes?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Buckocaster51, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Perhaps you answered the question in a roundabout way, or else nobody noticed.

    When the OP ended his post, he said, verbatim, ...”or are they like harmonicas?”

    I think that what he meant was “diatonic”. Many people are unaware that chromatic harmonicas exist. They do!

    As far as the bagpipes are concerned.....

    http://www.leodpypz.com/skmqa082.htm
     
  2. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    This little documentary is very entertaining and covers bagpipes in Greece, Italy, Gallicia (spain), England , ireland, france. The greek one is kind of amazing and charming and really pretty awful

     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  3. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was going to ask do all countries that can claim Celtic culture have pipes of some sort but reading through this it appears probably. Not sure I’ve s’en France mentioned but most of the others.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  4. tubejockey

    tubejockey Tele-Meister

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    My wife plays the vst version in our church band. Very authentic sounding, but in tune and plays in any key, any note.
     
  5. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I took lessons a few years years back, still want to get good enough on my chanter to actually justify buying my own set of pipes someday.

    This guitar stuff keeps getting in the way, but I really do hope to get there someday

    Regarding the "tuning", this is a pretty authoritarian yet fairly plainspoken word on that subject:

    http://www.themacleods.net/qanda/skmqa019.htm

    What musical key does the bagpipe play in?

    This is a very confusing point for many people. It's sad to say that many amateur musicians (read "most pipers"!) do not know the difference between the tuning pitch and the key. Terrible mistakes can result from this misunderstanding. It's generally only an issue when bagpipers try to play with guitars, organs, orchestras or other bands.

    I know of pipers who've told orchestras that they'd be happy to play Amazing Grace in B-flat with the orchestra. I know of people with smallpipes tuned to concert A and told folk musicians that they'll play Amazing Grace in A. This can lead to very embarrassing situations and can potentially ruin a musical program. Please read on to find out why this DOESN'T WORK.

    For the benefit of all, it must be known that the key of the instrument is not necessarily the pitch to which it is tuned.

    The low A on the modern chanter of great highland bagpipe (and the drones) are commonly tuned to above concert B flat, which is 466.16 Hz. With the application of some tape and a bit of adjustment of the reeds, the instrument can be adjusted such that low A on the chanter (and the drones) vibrate at 466.16 Hz. This is a concert B-flat tuning of the instrument, but it is not necessarily the key.

    (Please note that most bagpipes today tune at 476 to 480 Hz! This is roughly halfway between B-flat and B. Setting up a concert B-flat bagpipe can be challenging. Setting up a concert A pitch instrument is difficult.)

    Musical "key" is defined in the Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music as "something like "tonal center" or "main note" of a composition and, by extension, all of the notes related to the central note and forming the tonal material for the composition."

    As an example, a B-flat clarinet sounds 466.16 Hz when it plays a C. This is defined as a B-flat instrument. However, since it is a chromatic instrument, which can play all sharps and flats, and has a wide range, almost four octaves, it is capable of playing most pieces in any key. That is to say that it can start any tune on any note and play appropriate intervals to play the tune.

    The bagpipe is much more limited. Because it is not a chromatic instrument, the music is generally written without sharps, although C sharp and F sharp implied. Because of the lack of chromatics and the limited range of an octave plus one note, tunes usually only sound decent in one arrangement on the bagpipe. For example, Amazing Grace must start with pipes playing the notes Low A ("Ah"), D ("a-maz"), F(#)ED ("zing") and then F(#) ("grace") or the tune cannot be played. Hence the bagpipe can only play Amazing Grace in one key.

    So what key is this? The easiest way (and generally correct) to find out what key your tune is in is to determine upon which note the tune ends. This is generally the "resolution" of the tune and will commonly be the tonic of the key. Since, the note called low A on the great highland bagpipe tunes close to concert B flat, let's assume that the piper adjusts the tuning (with tape, sealing way, dowels, baling wire and other stuff) to become pitched to "true" concert B flat. Now Amazing Grace ends on a D on the chanter. For a chanter tuned such that when an A is sounded it comes out at 466.16 Hz, the note fingered as a D is pitched concert E flat. In communicating with other musicians, they should be told that Amazing Grace will be played in E flat.
     
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  6. Telegazer

    Telegazer Tele-Holic

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    Indeed, they may not be boisterous warpipes, but they can still really toot!

    Like you mentioned, 6-hole flutes and whistles are boot camp for the job and sure make the uilleann pipe wrestling experience a lot more manageable ;) For the sake of cost, I for one initially purchased a David Daye practice kit that I assembled. Although it needs help every now and then (mostly just re-wrapping the teflon seals on connecting portions) it still serves me well and was used in the following clips

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BprCoCHl-7x/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs0PwZeFoqw/
    .
    .
    .
     
  7. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    There’s a paper here on the tuning of the 9 notes which a Highland bagpipe can play, and the various different schools of thought on how to tune some of those notes, such as the D and G — http://publish.uwo.ca/~emacphe3/pipes/acoustics/pipescale.html
    Basically, trying to play along with a bagpiper is going to be a bit hit & miss... they’re meant to be a solo instrument!
     
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  8. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Yes france has bagpipes--it's in that little film I posted
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  9. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    LOl that cracked me up even though it sounds great, because I have a bodhran, and basses, and guitars, and tin whistles, and low whistles, and a flute. I'm going the full traditional though--I'm writing a book about Francis O'Neill and digging deep into the "traditional" repertoire. I have a set of 14 or so jigs and reels that I keep practicing till I get them comfortable at 100 bpm.

    I've looked at the David Daye kits and they seem like the most affordable way to get into the pipes with a reliably good sounding and playing instrument. Maybe someday, although at my relatively advanced age maybe not.


    For those that aren't aware, the Irish pipes are inflated by a bellows. You put the bag under one elbow and strap a bellows on the other elbow, and the bellows keep the bag inflated. In the scottish pipes and most other pipes you're blowing into the bag to keep it inflated. The irish pipes have a two octave range, as opposed to basically one octave in the scottish pipes, and they have a much mellower tone
     
  10. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    After providing production services for the funeral of a police officer (whom I knew) that was killed in the line, I can not hear bagpipes without the urge to shed tears. That was by far the most difficult gig of my entire life, and hope to retire before placed back into that role ever again. Sgt. Jason Goodding EOW Feb. 8, 2016, Seaside, OR.
     
  11. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Here's the Irish Uilleann pipes played as part of the "Transatlantic Sessions" in which American, Scottish and Irish players were brought together to explore the musical commonalities. Jerry Douglas plays the dobro on this and Bela Fleck plays the banjo


     
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  12. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Tele-Afflicted

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    Bagpipes are diatonic and kind of locked in by the drone which can't be changed.

    But it seems to me that you could treat the drone note as either fifth or tonic. So you'd have the option of a major scale in one key or the corresponding mode in another key. The mode option would be mixolydian if the drone is the fifth in your major scale, or lydian if the drone is the tonic in your major scale.

    Yes?
     
  13. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's

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    Q: What do bagpipers use for birth control? A: Their personalities.

    Q: Did you hear the joke invented by a drunk Irishman? A: It's called the bagpipes and the Scots still don't get it.

    Q: Why does everyone hate a bagpipe right off? A: Saves time.

    Q. What did the bagpiper get on his I.Q. test? A. Drool.

    Q. What's one thing you never hear people say? A. Oh, that's the bagpipe player's Porsche.

    Q. Why do bagpipers always walk when they play? A. Moving targets are harder to hit.

    Q: What's the first thing a bagpiper says when he knocks on your door? A: "Pizza!"

    Q. How do you know if a bagpipe band is at your front door? A. No one knows when to come in.

    Why did the bagpipe player cross the road?......I thought while accelerating.
     
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  14. Deebs3

    Deebs3 Tele-Meister

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    Heard all those jokes before, but with bagpipes replaced with banjo. But seriously, my cousin played the bagpipes at my mums funeral, it was the most powerful and appropriate thing I've ever heard. Not much else to say.
     
  15. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    I get to work with the Army in Scotland occasionally. You’d have to be soulless not to be taken by the evocative sound of massed pipers.

    Does help if you are in an ancient castle :).

    Northumbrian pipes do sound more musical to my ears though. I occasionally dep in function celiidh bands and if we have the pipes turn up too, it’s always nice.




     
  16. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Bagpipes are unique in that they are indeed a "musical" instrument of war, designed to strike terror in the heart of the enemy by the powerful chaotic force of the sound.

    My pipes instructor shared with the class a story about how the vikings actually "invented" the bagpipes

    I'm not sure how accurate is. For anyone interested, here is a "Concise History of the Bagpipe"
    http://www.bagpipehistory.info/rome-ancient-world.shtml
     
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  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Now I'm BPAS'ing.

    ...and wondering how to build one into a Tele :)

    .
     
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  18. Blue

    Blue Tele-Holic

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    Didn't Paul McCartney change the key to A for Mull of Kintyre because the bagpipes are in A?
     
  19. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's

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    You may have struck upon something NoJazz. I've been drawn "to the pipes" since I was a kid and have no idea why however, like yourself, I have roots in Scotland as my grandmother was born there.
     
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  20. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted

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    Well -- you get two octaves of D major scale plus a C natural (and a few other notes that aren't often used). Most Irish music is in the ionian, dorian, mixolydian, and aeolian modes of the D and G major scales: D major, E dorian, A mix, B minor, G major A dorian, D mix, and E minor. And you can turn the drones off if you like. It's an incredibly flexible instrument compared to the Scottish pipes.

     
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