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Old 11-05-2020, 12:38 PM   #11
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: WV to the OC
Posts: 10,500
Default Re: Chromatic bagpipe chanter

Originally Posted by Scot Kortegaard View Post
I had understood the question to be about a simple chromatic scale - not the full scale, all the sharps and flats included.
That is what a chromatic scale is, going up the scale playing every semitone, which for the Highland pipes would be (written pitches)

A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A

On my McCallum Bb chanter I can get the following in-tune notes using crossfingerings:

A B C C# D E F F# G G# A

in other words lacking the A# and D# required to complete a chromatic octave.

That's the rub: a sharp 4th degree (D# in the key of A) is very common, off the top of my head tunes that require D# if played in A

Star Spangled Banner
Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Eternal Father Strong To Save (MELITA)

and dozens of other hymn-tunes, popular tunes, etc.

However I've not had any Highland chanter that would do an in-tune D# with any fingering. Border chanters yes, Highland chanters no.

Of course musicians on many different kinds of open-hole instruments have got very, very good at half-holing. If you do then ANY bagpipe chanter is chromatic!
proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte
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