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Old 09-12-2019, 10:11 AM   #51
el gaitero
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

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Originally Posted by magsevenband View Post

It's because the top bands /PM's ...and ....competition judges agree ..that higher pitch is a winning sound.
...and so,itís why theyíre all doing it and still winning....
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:39 PM   #52
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

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Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
Nothing really changed .itís just Capitalism...ie ..Marketing creating a market demand.... +..have you heard a local yahoo playing a 475-480 chanter with the bailiwick boys at the pub?

Heck...Ive got 2 Bb chanters ...used infrequently...but there when needed.
I disagree just a little bit. Trad groups that include highland pipers are having a sort of renaissance right now, probably largely driven by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Various bagpipe related folk musics are seeing similar upticks since even 2008-09.

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Old 09-12-2019, 12:52 PM   #53
el gaitero
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

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Originally Posted by jackhawkpiper97 View Post
I disagree just a little bit. Trad groups that include highland pipers are having a sort of renaissance right now, probably largely driven by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Various bagpipe related folk musics are seeing similar upticks since even 2008-09.

Jack
..agreed . I should have written Ď..creating and/or filling a market demandí..
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:00 PM   #54
David Murry
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

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Originally Posted by PRAIRIEPIPER View Post
I'm interested in setting up one of my set of bagpipes in "B" Flat. I have a chanter from the 1960's but not sure what they were tuning at around then. And I was wondering if anyone knew of any reed maker making "B" Flat drone reeds and chanter reeds?
I JUST addressed this issue.. funny. I had not even seen this post yet. Too funny...

See my post above on how to lower drone reed pitch. Its a highly effective solution- self hack to bring a reed down in pitch yourself.

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Old 09-14-2019, 05:40 AM   #55
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

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Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
...and so,itís why theyíre all doing it and still winning....
It would be interesting if a G1 band came in at a markedly lower pitch...and won...what would the other bands do the following year?..would they lower their pitch in response?..are they all just chasing each other or do they actually believe that higher pitch is better as some assert?..or would it prove it just a guessing game as to what the judges prefer...I'd love to see it..grist for the mill.
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Old 09-14-2019, 05:55 AM   #56
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

My stream of consciousness wonders if the weakening top hand (or however Bob puts it during the grade 1 WPBC livestream) isnít due to the higher pitches? How much of that would be alleviated by playing at a lower pitch? Some bands manage well enough (the winners) so itís not all pitch, but...

I remember when my band decided to play at 466 permanently, the first thing we noticed was how much more robust our sound immediately became.

466 is nice. Been playing at 440 a little here recently. Now thatís a beefy tone!
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:42 PM   #57
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

I wish some Bb contests would be held, either for bands, or for an invitational open level solo comp. Would probably also sound a little more accessible to non-pipers.

I think one issue is that there is constant noise at a pipe band competition. There's never not anyone playing. I think it's easier to hear if your own pipes are in tune if you're at about the same pitch as everyone, or slightly sharper, when there's a background din. I've only competed solo a few times, but it was difficult to tune a lower pitch instrument with a constant background din going at ~480Hz. You just hear frequency beating the whole time you're playing. I imagine it could be distracting to tune a band to a drastically different pitch in such a setting as well.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:28 PM   #58
David Murry
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

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Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
My stream of consciousness wonders if the weakening top hand (or however Bob puts it during the grade 1 WPBC livestream) isnít due to the higher pitches? How much of that would be alleviated by playing at a lower pitch? Some bands manage well enough (the winners) so itís not all pitch, but...
Without question.. the top hand is "thinner" as pitch climbs.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:52 PM   #59
William McKenzie
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

I also wonder why manufacturers continue to inch up the pitch, because if their new chanter was centered at say 476 it would more than likely still sell just as well. We're looking for new chanters with even comfier shortened finger spacing, easier reeding, and different types of tone from each note. All of these to my mind are irrespective of pitch.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
My stream of consciousness wonders if the weakening top hand (or however Bob puts it during the grade 1 WPBC livestream) isnít due to the higher pitches? How much of that would be alleviated by playing at a lower pitch? Some bands manage well enough (the winners) so itís not all pitch, but...

I remember when my band decided to play at 466 permanently, the first thing we noticed was how much more robust our sound immediately became.

466 is nice. Been playing at 440 a little here recently. Now thatís a beefy tone!
I've also noticed Bob W. mentioning the top hands a lot. Are you all still playing 466? I find my ear does adjust to it within a tune or two and then going back is a bit 'whoa..'

440 is crazy business. I remember watching an EJ Jones 440 video and couldn't tell how I felt about it but I was still captivated nonetheless.

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Originally Posted by DapperDan View Post
I wish some Bb contests would be held, either for bands, or for an invitational open level solo comp. Would probably also sound a little more accessible to non-pipers.
That would be pretty interesting. I personally don't feel like it would have to be at Bb even, anywhere around 470 would be very neat to watch. Definitely agree on the accessible to non-pipers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DapperDan View Post
I think one issue is that there is constant noise at a pipe band competition. There's never not anyone playing. I think it's easier to hear if your own pipes are in tune if you're at about the same pitch as everyone, or slightly sharper, when there's a background din. I've only competed solo a few times, but it was difficult to tune a lower pitch instrument with a constant background din going at ~480Hz. You just hear frequency beating the whole time you're playing. I imagine it could be distracting to tune a band to a drastically different pitch in such a setting as well.
If you're referring to Highland Games then I know what you speak of but I just find them terrible to compete at regardless. I did play at a lower pitch and I certainly heard the shrillness of bands and singular pipers around but it was just overly challenging no matter what. So many pipers and pipe bands.

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Originally Posted by David Murry View Post
Without question.. the top hand is "thinner" as pitch climbs.
Probably true though I've heard (experienced) it both ways. I feel like a lot of the professional pipers must have ears that are acclimated to this because many of the solo competitions I've watched online lately are at or above 480 with slightly raspy High A's and thinner top hands overall despite playing chanters that can play much relatively with other reeds. The Peter Henderson and McC2 both can play at 475 or 480 for me with very different top hands depending on the reed. Much of it I have to conclude is what you're used to and surrounded by. The Gandy chanter is arguably the most comfortable chanter I have played for me personally but it is very bright and thin in the top hand both in my hands and what I've listened to. Quite the opposite of Bb.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:53 AM   #60
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

My band also plays Gandy chanters, Will. With good solid reeds the top hand at 480 - 482 is not thin, but full and powerful. It is because today's reed makers produce a product far superior, IMHO, than was the case 30 years ago. The ideal then seemed to be to get McAllister reeds that few humans could blow, and struggle away until they were blown in before the players were done in.

Ridge cut reeds WERE thin on the top hand. I played both an early 1990s Warnock and a Dunbar Eller which played at 471 - 474. Both had to be severely taped down on the F, G and A to get them balanced, thus making those notes even thinner. I got out the Dunbar a couple of years ago after it had been laid to rest for over 20 years, and it plays perfectly at 472-3 with no tape at all with a Gilmour reed, and with little taping with other reeds. Not only are today's chanters superior, but the reeds are pretty universally heads and shoulders above those of days of yore which NEVER could have played at the higher pitches.

Nonetheless, I play the Dunar Eller/Gilmour combo for my own pleasure.
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