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GUEST,Dick Bagwell Taborer's Pipes : Help, please ? (11) RE: Taborer's Pipes : Help, please ? 18 Dec 08


Becky's on the right track. The bottom, i.e. lowest, tone of any pipe is the fundamental. On the 3-hole (tabor) pipe we don't use those bottom notes, because with 3 holes there's not enough of a scale to do much. (Also the notes are very weak.) So we start our scale on the first overblow, yes, the octave, and construct a scale using the overblows (partials)of the different pipe lengths, which of course is determined by how many holes you're covering. This is possible because if you continue to overblow the pipe, the next tone you get is the fifth of the basic tone, then the 4th, etc. It's a little more complicated to actually play tunes, because so many need the 4th below the tonic (which is the 5th of the basic scale)so most often on a D pipe, the most common, you'll want to be playing in key of G. And half-holing the the C# down to C natural. I seem to be recreating my "Pipe & Tabor Tutor," which (here a crass commercial move) can be ordered from Sweetheart Flute Co, Lark in the Morning, and--in the UK--the Early Music Shop. Also Susato, in NC, which is the only manufacturer I know of that makes C pipes. Very good ones, out of PVC. The practical scale of the tabor pipe can include the leading tone below the fundamental (reach your pinkie around and partially stop the end)up to an octave and a fifth (or even sixth if you really push your luck!) And as with all fipple flutes, you can cross finger and half-hole some addtional chromatic notes that might let you sleaze through a quick passage. So back to the original question, you can get a C scale on a pipe with a fundamental of C; but as noted above, unless the tune you want to play doesn't go any lower than the leading tone, for a better C scale you need a pipe in F. And that would be a problem, 'cause I don't anybody who makes them.


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