Thread: Carved chanters
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Old 05-19-2006, 05:48 PM   #1
Forum Member - Shy or Quiet
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 13
Default Carved chanters

This question has been on my mind for quite a while. What is the purpose of carving / gouging / opening up pipe chanter holes to the size barely able to be covered by one's fingers?--which then results in their being taped down to their original size?
My theory (which has yet to be verified or proved which is what I'm after, I guess) is that a number of years ago (20 + or - ?) when the pitch of pipe bands started to move ever upward, pipe majors of bands owning beautiful, musical, powerful blackwood chanters were faced with maintaining pitch, and so the carving began. Bands that held on to chanters had more and more carving done as time went on. Can this be verified?
My theory #2 (see above) then has players with said bands, not knowing the reason for the carving just started carving as a matter of fact, regardless of date of manufacture, chanter maker, etc.
It would seem that there are certain musical properties of chanters that are changed by carving holes: besides pitch--tone, projection, stability, to name a few.
I'd appreciate any input on this before I get out my Dremel moto-tool (or worse, my router) and start from scratch ;-)
“These are bagpipes. I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made sound never equalled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig.”
~Alfred Hitchcock, 1899-1980
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