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Northumbrian Pipes

DeeRod 21 Nov 06 - 09:46 PM
Little Robyn 30 Oct 06 - 01:51 PM
Gedpipes 30 Oct 06 - 11:07 AM
GUEST 30 Oct 06 - 07:32 AM
John Routledge 28 Oct 06 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Julia in Northumberland 28 Oct 06 - 12:08 PM
GUEST 28 Oct 06 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,Julia in Norhumberland 20 Oct 06 - 07:24 AM
8_Pints 20 Oct 06 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Julia in Northumberland 20 Oct 06 - 04:10 AM
Big Mick 19 Oct 06 - 08:49 PM
8_Pints 19 Oct 06 - 08:41 PM
rab haw 19 Oct 06 - 01:12 PM
Paul Burke 19 Oct 06 - 12:26 PM
rab haw 19 Oct 06 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,rab haw 19 Oct 06 - 12:07 PM
Tootler 19 Oct 06 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 18 Oct 06 - 07:12 PM
8_Pints 18 Oct 06 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 18 Oct 06 - 06:13 PM
rab haw 18 Oct 06 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Guest, Julia in Northumberland 18 Oct 06 - 05:26 PM
rab haw 18 Oct 06 - 04:55 PM
rab haw 18 Oct 06 - 04:31 PM
Big Mick 18 Oct 06 - 04:10 PM
8_Pints 18 Oct 06 - 03:56 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 06 - 01:29 PM
Big Mick 18 Oct 06 - 01:22 PM
Paul Burke 18 Oct 06 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,bob 18 Oct 06 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,bob 18 Oct 06 - 12:56 PM
Big Mick 18 Oct 06 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,bob 18 Oct 06 - 12:17 PM
Big Mick 18 Oct 06 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,bob 18 Oct 06 - 12:12 PM
Big Mick 18 Oct 06 - 12:05 PM
Paul Burke 18 Oct 06 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,bob 18 Oct 06 - 11:49 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 06 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,bob 17 Oct 06 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,bob 17 Oct 06 - 04:29 PM
John Routledge 17 Oct 06 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,bob 17 Oct 06 - 04:03 PM
8_Pints 13 Dec 04 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,garys@samesplc.com 13 Dec 04 - 08:00 AM
8_Pints 10 Dec 04 - 11:40 AM
Little Robyn 03 Dec 04 - 01:31 AM
Guy Wolff 02 Dec 04 - 09:18 PM
Anita Evans 02 Dec 04 - 03:20 PM
8_Pints 02 Dec 04 - 02:37 PM
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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: DeeRod
Date: 21 Nov 06 - 09:46 PM

My pipes are on the way out of Mark Cushing's shop. It's a Burleigh D set w. 13 keys. Yes, compatable with guitar and fiddle but don't let the bastards keep you down! Softly, softly.
    I'm a kitchen piper, not a session piper. I play "Back in the Saddle Again, and I can't give you anything but love, Baby" because I can. I have big fat fingers, so the G pipes (thinking of G recorder) was never an option. Yes, the low notes are not only hard to finger, they're hard to keep from overblowing,i.e. Dum


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Little Robyn
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 01:51 PM

There has been a lot of discussion on different oils to use, including scented ones.
One very simple rule (that I still favour) is animal oil for animal products - ie leather, and vegetable oil for vegetable contents - wooden bits.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Gedpipes
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 11:07 AM

Liquid paraffin or neatsfoot oil

but as Julia says you might want to get onto the NSP list for more in depth discussions

To get on or off this list see list information at
> http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~wbc/lute-admin/index.html

Cheers
Ged


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 07:32 AM

O.k. so what type of oil would be used for cleaning the chanter?Also,what (if anything)should be done to the drones as far as oiling etc.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: John Routledge
Date: 28 Oct 06 - 12:15 PM

I have a Ross chanter and a Burleigh chanter and oil the bore of each about every six weeks. They NEVER sound worse and often sound better.

Otherwise as Julia says.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,Julia in Northumberland
Date: 28 Oct 06 - 12:08 PM

Depends who made the pipes, and what your own feelings are on the matter. And if it's working satisfactorily just now (the "if it ain't broke...")
Some makers say yes, others prefer not to. Some chanters, it is said, are designed for 'fluff' to build up in the bore to stay in tune. Others are designed the opposite way and rely on a polished bore.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Oct 06 - 08:56 AM

should the chanter bore be cleaned regularly or left alone.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,Julia in Norhumberland
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 07:24 AM

I don't think Colin has....Adrian Schofield did, about 15 years ago. If that's the one you're thinking of, it describes Adrian's own / Billy Pigg's approach to decoration and gracing, and I think Adrian himself has probably altered his playing style a bit since then.

Discussion on appropriate decoration for nsp can raise a major storm amongst nspipers almost as quickly as some of the "What is folk" type discussions seem to do here on mudcat. Perhaps they're more relevant to a specialist list?

Cheers
Julia


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: 8_Pints
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 07:04 AM

I believe Julia that once said Colin Ross had written an NPS article on decoration. Is there any chance this could be re-published?

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,Julia in Northumberland
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 04:10 AM

Rab

Fingering depends on what you want to do with the instrument in the longer term.

However, the instrument was developed to utilise its unique closed end feature - to enable the production of detached notes. (We no longer prefer to use the word staccato, since this can convey the wrong impression). Detached notes are what nsp does best - if you want the open slurred effects, maybe you really would be more comfortable with a different breed of bagpipe.

Also, it can be more difficult to learn closed fingering after a period of playing with open fingering. I would always advise people to go with the tried and tested methods for the instrument first, to learn its traditional capabilities.
Then if you want to branch out, that's up to you. Open or 'sloppy' fingering is very difficult to unlearn.We see quite a few beginners who have learnt in isolation and have had to correct bad habits later - it's difficult, believe me.

There'll be an article on fingering styles in the upcoming NPS Magazine.

Hope this helps
Julia


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 08:49 PM

Look at the very top of the page next to the "The Mudcat Cafe" logo.

You will see a line that says "You have 1 message". Click on that line and it will take you to your personal message page.

Thanks to the Northumbrian Pipers helping this lad out. That is what Mudcat is all about.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: 8_Pints
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 08:41 PM

Hi rab,

Sorry to have confused you!

There should be line that reads something like "You have 1 messages".

Click this link and it will display a message header showing who sent it and the message title.

Click on the message title to read the text.

You can then click on "reply" to respond with a private message of your own.

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: rab haw
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 01:12 PM

hi paul .i totally agree with what you just said.closed fingerihg is the way to play and i do practice the scale and also simple tunes this way .i know this can only improve.after all that was the reason i liked them to begin with.in saying that ido tend to enjoy a wee bit of "freestyle" playing just to mix things up a bit,and it don't sound all too bad either.i uunderstand how this may offend the long time hardened northumbrian player but i am working on bettering myself.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Paul Burke
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 12:26 PM

I think that the closed fingering is really an integral part of Northumbrian pipe music. If you want to do open fingering, there are various sorts of smallpipes that are better suited to that. But persvere, learn from pipers and listen to recordings, I'm sure you'll get it together after a while. After all, there's no overblowing to worry about.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: rab haw
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 12:23 PM

8 pints? after goin to personal page what do i click on to to read your message .there's a message from ya but i can't get to it.also,for the frequencies check what do you suggest i use.i have a guitar tuner here.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,rab haw
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 12:07 PM

thanks to jack, 8 pints and tootler for taking the time .it's good to know there's help for me if and when i have a querie.i'm very much the beginner on nsp and will not pretend otherwise.i just got this lovely instrument about a month or so ago from mr.burleigh.a seven key chanter in D with "complicated drones".i chose the D chanter because i don't have small hands .also i thought D would be ok if sitting around with guitarists for instance.since i'm not around established playsr's i've been playing an "op[en fingering" style since i listen to a lot of folk music by the likes of the corries.all that said i do need to be around nortumbrian pipers to get their knowledge and be able to play "closed fingering". how do you guys view what i'm doing as a complete beginner?[go easy on me lads and lassies].


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 10:26 AM

First of all while what Jack Campin and 8 Pints say is correct. If you play G fingering on a D chanter it will come out OK only a fourth lower. However if you wish to play with others, don't be tempted to do it.

More useful is to get a fingering chart for a G chanter - or even a traditional F chanter as the music for Pipes in F is written in G. Traditional NSP is a transposing instrument. Under the notes in your fingering chart write the not a fourth lower, so for G, write D underneath, for A write E and so on. That will then give you your fingering chart for your D chanter.

I have known recorder players who have learnt treble by simply using their fingerings from the descant. (Treble recorder is a fourth below the descant, so the difference is the same as the G/D chanters for NSP) Works fine until they wanted to play with others. They then had to unlearn what they had learnt so they could learn the treble fingering and the whole process took a lot longer than it would have done if they had learnt the correct fingerings in the first place.

Once you are familiar with the system knowing you can follow other fingerings to transpose easily can be useful.

I would echo the advice others have given and find another Northumbrian piper and get lessons. If you have to travel for a bit, it will be worthwhile in the long run. I have done Middlesbrough to Glasgow and back in a day for a Recorder Society meeting.

If it's any help the Sage in Gateshead periodically run absolute beginners days. They did some for Northumbrian pipes recently. I don't know if they have any more planned but if you go here there are contact details. They do have a general absolute beginners day in February, though.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 07:12 PM

That page about pitch standards is quite fascinating in a sick and twisted sort of way.

I have a page giving audio versions of their table of modern frequencies - http://tinyurl.com/9xvdp - designed for buying and selling fixed-pitch instruments like ocarinas on eBay, it hasn't been used much for that yet.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: 8_Pints
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 07:00 PM

rab,

To access the personal message I've sent you click on the "personal page" hypertext link at the head of your page and you alone will receive it.

Concert pitch frequencies are given in this url: they show D (293.66Hz), A (440Hz) and D' (587.33Hz)

As Jack Campin described, if you play the G fingering on the D pipes they will sound 'correctly' but lower in pitch.

Good luck

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 06:13 PM

It shouldn't matter much that the book is written for pipes in G, just play transposed to begin with (i.e. do what Butler says with your fingers and let the pitch take care of itself).

You will eventually want to play untransposed, because folk tunebooks are written at sounding pitch and you won't want to manually transpose every tune on paper before playing with other people. Recorder players all do that mental trick, it should only take a few days to get the hang of it.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: rab haw
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 05:34 PM

would love to go to that one but alas i won't be able to julia.as far as books go i have richard butlers basic guide but its written for pipes in G .what other books do ya recommend.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,Guest, Julia in Northumberland
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 05:26 PM

Rab

If you can get down as far as Penrith next weekend (28th) there's a pipers day organised by Richard & Anita Evans (www.evansweb.co.uk)

This would tell you maybe more than you want to know (for now)

Don't know about any tutors in Glasgow, but Ian McDonald of the Neilston Pipe Band plays Northumbrian pipes as well. Or there's books designed to help the isolated piper....

More info on request
Julia


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: rab haw
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 04:55 PM

the Hz frequencies would be a good help 8 pints as it would hopefully allow my ears to become accustomed to the proper harmonics.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: rab haw
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 04:31 PM

thanks lads.ok am under rab haw now not bob.bobis gone for a while.8 pints i was thinkin about celtic cons when they come up again jan 07 i think.been goin for the last few years now.so theres an option but its a wee bit away still.what about these other contacts ye mentioned and how do ye do it in the confidential manner you mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 04:10 PM

AAAAHHHHHHH, there's the Northumbrian piper I was looking for. Good man ya are, 8 pints.

Mick, back to the pipes he knows.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: 8_Pints
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 03:56 PM

Hi Guest,

From the NSP Members Handbook there seem to be about nine pipers in the Glasgow, Strathclyde, Ayr & Galloway regions but I don't know if they would be willing to offer tuition. Dave Shaw ran a 'taster' session for the 'small pipes' at Celtic Connections'2005 so it may be worth checking to see if this will be on offer again in January.

I will send you contact details if you join Mudcat (via the Personal Message service to preserve confidentiality).

Decreasing the playing pressure does slightly flatten the pitch but there are limits to what can be done.

As John Routledge said earlier, my D chanter is concert pitch and doesn't require modification as regards pitch.

I have a standard set of drones that are tunable using the tuning beads on the largest and third largest drones.

These gives D & D' (virtual C) but my middle drone requires a second tuning bead to be able to play A and as I only have one I make do without!

If it helps I can provide the Hz frequencies for each drone in concert pitch.

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 01:29 PM

thanks to ya both.i dwell just outside Glasgow ,so anybody who knows anyone in my vicinity that has the time as a tutor ,please get in touch.thanks again guys.bob.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 01:22 PM

I agree completely, Paul. I would suggest you use the link I gave you above, and locate tuition in your area. Most pipers that fail, do so because the instrument wasn't set up properly to begin with. There is a fellow at the Getaway here in the States, who has a lovely old set of Northumbrian Pipes. He is constantly tinkering with them, and can't get them to play right. But the reason is because there are leaks every where in them. bob, the number one enemy of bellows blown pipes is air leaks. Everything depends on you being able to control the air pressure in the pipes.

Find someone to get you started right, and you will be a wise man, and very soon, a good piper.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 01:18 PM

Don't touch the reed until you know what you are doing. You're likely to damage it if you aren't careful enough. You REALLY need to get hold of a local piper who can take you through to stage 1.

Even an Irish piper will be better than no one at all, but ideally lessons in every aspect of playing and maintenance from a good Northumbrian piper will save you possibly years of frustration.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,bob
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 01:03 PM

anyway i'll try again.i was saying that my guitarist friend was saying that the pipes sounded a bit sharp and he had ta tune up his box.do you think i was maybe puttiing too much pressure through or can something be done with the chanter reed?also i've been using a guitar tuner to see whats what,is this o.k.?


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,bob
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 12:56 PM

cheers mick.don't know that my last message to ye went through.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 12:31 PM

bob, I play Irish Uilleann pipes, and I am only minimally familiar with Northumbrians, but here is my understanding. Typically the two outside drones are pitched an octave apart based on the bell note. So a D set would have the bass and the tenor drone set an octave apart in D. The baritone drone would be pitched to the dominant which would be A. As I understand it, the fourth drone is there so that you could also play the set in G, and set the drones for that. I will let a Northumbrian piper correct me if I am wrong.

The short answer for you is to pitch your tenor (smallest drone) at D, and the third drone at D. Add the baritone at A if you are comfy.

May I suggest that you check out the homepage for the Northumbrian Pipers Society. You should be able to get all the help you need there.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,bob
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 12:17 PM

hi mick and thanks.i have four drones .will i only ever use the smaller three?or all four?


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 12:14 PM

How many drones does the set have, 3 or 4?


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,bob
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 12:12 PM

cheers paul.so with a D chanter wil the d drone be higher pitched {middle drone}.and what about the A drone.i'm only using the middle two for now.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 12:05 PM

Northumbrian drones are usually tuned to the tonic or the fourth. On a D set with three drones, you would tune the drones D-A-D.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 11:54 AM

Do it by ear, to the chanter. Whatever the chanter is pitched at, the drones should sound harmonious to that.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,bob
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 11:49 AM

i've been told that the smaller of the two middle drones will be in a and the larger one in d.will these notes be concet pitch ,sharp or flat?


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 04:43 AM

Ged
Where are you?!


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,bob
Date: 17 Oct 06 - 04:35 PM

this ones about the drones...if i'm only using the two middle drones what would the tuning of these be.i'm a beginner guys so layman's terms are very much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,bob
Date: 17 Oct 06 - 04:29 PM

thanks john. these pipes are actually in the same D as D whistle,so is that compatible with playing along with guitarists for instance?


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: John Routledge
Date: 17 Oct 06 - 04:17 PM

Pretty sure D and G NSP chanters are generally concert pitch.

F chanters are frequently F plus 20cents rather than F or F#

Any real experts out there :0)


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,bob
Date: 17 Oct 06 - 04:03 PM

can a set of nsp in D # be tuned to D. i'm pretty sure they're about 20 cents #.obviously i'm talking about the chanter reed.guitarist friends say they would have to tune up to the pipes each time.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: 8_Pints
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 08:55 AM

Graham Wells is the NPS contact for London, Garys, so he may be able to help.

Mailto:Grahamwhwells@aol.com

Bob vG


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: GUEST,garys@samesplc.com
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 08:00 AM

Hi,

Does anyone have any details of someone who could teach me to play the pipes in london??

I'm an exiled geordie living in Dulwich.

Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: 8_Pints
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 11:40 AM

Pauline Cato & Tom McConville are performing in Halifax next Thursday.

Bob vG

See details ....


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Little Robyn
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 01:31 AM

My pipes are closer to concert F which is more convenient for lone pipers. It means I can accompany singers who use a guitar or join the flute, fiddle, guitar etc. at our local session.
I don't know how I'll get on when the NZ piper's tour gets under way next January - someone will have to fettle them a little, to bring them up to F-and-a-bit.
I just hope I can lower them again afterwards!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 02 Dec 04 - 09:18 PM

Richard thanks for the clarification ! Very specifiic and very helpful indeed . All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: Anita Evans
Date: 02 Dec 04 - 03:20 PM

The usual pitch of the modern 'F' set is 20 cents sharp of concert F. Way back in the early 1970s, when I used to go to Northumbrian Pipers' society meetings, there was much less agreement about this, and the sessions were not always easy listening! The older sets were really solo instruments so absolute pitch was less of an issue.

At around that time, Colin Ross made dimensions for a true concert F chanter, and matching reed, freely available. This helped the situation, but concert F chanters have a quieter tone than the sharper, older chanters. Now chanters are still mostly made to the concert F dimensions, but reeded to sound 'F plus 20', for a nice bright tone. They can be made to play true F with a suitable reed.

The G chanter dates back to the mid-sixties (I think) but has always been in a minority, and can suffer from a tone which some consider to be over-bright. It also has the tighter fingering.

Northumbrian Pipes sessions are often advertised as 'F' or 'G'.


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Subject: RE: Northumbrian Pipes
From: 8_Pints
Date: 02 Dec 04 - 02:37 PM

Hi Guy & Shepherdlass,

Broadly speaking yes I think that F+ was the standard concert pitch of its day, and most other instruments were later built with A = 440 Hz as in today's convention. Interestingly this only appears to be a recent development. See link ....

Even today I know some pipers who prefer a 'sharper tuning' to their pipes, so its not as harmonious as might be assumed!

I don't know about the ratio of 'D' sets in existence as opposed to 'G' sets but perhaps some authority might advise us on this in due coarse.

Bob vG


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