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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 05-26-2010, 02:53 PM   #1
piobaire76
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Default Solo chanter pitch

What is the current chanter pitch of professional and top amateur soloists currently? Or another way to ask: how high is too high --and-- how low is too low?
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:16 PM   #2
Steve Anderson
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Default Re: Solo chanter pitch

My instructor plays at 480 and seems on par with the other players at the recent pro competition in Batesville, AR. One of the players (the winner) is active on this board and I'll let him answer for his chanter setting if he so desires.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Solo chanter pitch

I think that really depends on you. I've read and talked to a number of people (including local instructors and adjudicator/judges here) about pitch now, and there seems to be a general understanding that as long as everything is in tune with itself, pitch isn't that big of an issue.

Although a new piper, I've practiced and played at all pitches from A466 to A480 as I have a Kron Medalist, a McCallum McC2 and a Shepherd Orchestral. Soon will have Jim McGillivray's "The Gael" at A470 when my MacLellan set arrives. Overall I continually find myself preferring a lower pitch, around or less than A475Hz. I believe ultimately I'm fairly certain that I'll be sticking with an ABW McC2 for it's sweetness and excellent projection when I compete, but I'm still planning on trying the MacLellan solo chanter and a McCallum A466 to be sure.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Solo chanter pitch

I think this would be dependent on the level of the person playing and the type of set up they have. Within a few bars the judges ears are attuned (is that a word?) to the pitch and if it is a well balance sound and a nice bagpipe you will get credit for it.

At the top level I think that 476ish is the aim, although often some are lower. I would try not to go above 484ish. These are all pretty flexible and depend of weather, chanter, reeds etc. Too high and the bagpipe tends to lose its brilliance, too low and you stand possibly to have a psychological disadvantage in at least the first few minutes of playing.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:08 PM   #5
Jimmy Bell
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Default Re: Solo chanter pitch

It has far more to do with balance of the chanter/ reed combo rather than the pitch itself. The same chanter will pitch a little differently with a reed change. In IL I would be looking for 478-482 depending on the weather and the bag setup.

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Old 05-26-2010, 06:26 PM   #6
Robin Beck
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Default Re: Solo chanter pitch

I took a reading from Brian Donaldson a couple of years ago. Brian widnae ken a kilohertz from kilobycycle and widnae care iether. He was bang on B flat though! That has to tell us somthing.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Solo chanter pitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Beck View Post
I took a reading from Brian Donaldson a couple of years ago. Brian widnae ken a kilohertz from kilobycycle and widnae care iether. He was bang on B flat though! That has to tell us somthing.
Pardon my ignorance, but what does that equate to in hz? Can't be as low as 466.16 Hz, could it? I usually play around 472-4ish, but I guess I am old school these days.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:52 PM   #8
magsevenband
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Default Re: Solo chanter pitch

That's brilliant. I'd love to see more competitors with a spot on bflat
sound winning. The pendulum has swung too far.
Good on you Brian.

Last edited by magsevenband; 05-26-2010 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:34 AM   #9
William McKenzie
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Default Re: Solo chanter pitch

Quote:
That's brilliant. I'd love to see more competitors with a spot on bflat
sound winning. -magsevenband
I agree; or even in that ballpark up to 470Hz instead of 480Hz.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:41 AM   #10
Robin Beck
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Default Re: Solo chanter pitch

B flat is 466 where concert A would be 440 Brian hasn't budged his pitch. He does not need to raise it to be noticed.
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