Thread: Sharpness War
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:27 AM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: WV to the OC
Posts: 10,262
Default Re: Sharpness War

Originally Posted by bob864 View Post
I think our pitch creep is more about the drones than the chanters.

That's an interesting twist!

Especially because so many players are playing old drones which were designed to play around A=450 to A=460, or modern copies of those drones.

I was playing in bands when the huge pitch leap from 466 to the mid-470s occurred (from the late 1970s through the 1980s) and most serious pipers were playing drones from the 1890-1930 period. The trick was to find small enough tenor reeds to overdrive the drones up to the higher pitch. (We're talking cane reeds then.)

A fictitious parallel situation would be if top clarinet players were all playing old clarinets designed to play a quarter-tone lower than today's standard, and mouthpiece and reed makers were constantly experimenting with ways to force those old flat clarinets to play up to modern pitch. I was talking to a professional clarinetist about it and he said that such a thing would be inconceivable in the clarinet world.
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