View Full Version : Scottish Smallpipes.
12-16-2001, 02:27 PM
I've put down the deposit for a set of Ian Kinnear Smallpipes and expect them in about 6 months (May 2002).
Could anyone suggest some tunes that are particularly suitable for this instrument? I suspect that a competition MSR is not the type of tune to be playing. I thought that air's, reels and hornpipes would be more the type of tune to play. Hopefully I can get some off on the practice chanter before delivery of the pipes.
Thanks in advance for any ideas.
12-16-2001, 09:30 PM
I think there are some good books out there now for smallpipes. Check Hamish Moore's web site... think he has at least one book of tunes. There is also a smallpipes society (actual name escapes me) that publishes stuff.
12-17-2001, 10:05 AM
It rather depends on what you want to play. There are those who use smallpipes as a scaled down version of the GHb, and those who treat it as a separate instrument and play more folk and traditional tunes on them.
Hamish Moore, Gordon Mooney and the Lowland and Border Pipers' Society (http://www.lbps.musicscotland.com/merchandise.htm)have produced books of the non highland repertoire.
It is worth considering what and how you will play tunes on these pipes. The chanter has a straight bore rather than the conical bore of the highland pipes and consequently the higher notes are more dominate than the lower. So Highland tunes that rely on the weakness of the high A to blend into the drones, and thereby trick the ear into giving the impression of stacatto, such as Glasgow City Police Pipers or Clumsy Lover do not work well. The low A is the note that tends to blend with the drones. This reverse of the dominant notes also shows up on things like grace notes, and you may find you prefer to thin out some of the ornamentation in tunes rather than have lots of G grace notes blipping away loudly.
12-17-2001, 11:18 PM
Ian's covered most of the SSP specific collections, but also take a look at Matt Seattle's publications. Even though Matt's obsession centers on the Border/Lowland pipe, you'll be looking at the same nine notes.
It should be said that you'll notice that collections aimed at SSP and B/LP usually do not indicate any kind of gracing. The reason is that this is left up to the individual piper's taste. It is also based on the fact the B/LPers have their own, distinct tradition, which does not include modern (i.e. post 1800) GHP ornamentation. In fact, many makes of modern BLP will only tolerate subtle and simple ornamentation, otherwise they double tone or the notes break in other ways. Would you agree, Ian?