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

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Old 06-15-2018, 03:44 PM   #11
Tedley
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Default Re: Fitting cane drone reeds

Many pipers, especially those with musical sensibilities are not happy with modern pitch and would like it to be lower. Unless the judges and piping associations put a top limit on pitch it will go on as it has. I would love a return to A466 as the upper limit.
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:55 PM   #12
el gaitero
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Default Re: Fitting cane drone reeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedley View Post

Many pipers, especially those with musical sensibilities are not happy with modern pitch and would like it to be lower. Unless the judges and piping associations put a top limit on pitch it will go on as it has. I would love a return to A466 as the upper limit.
Never happen...the adjudicators and associations are comprised of the majority,apparently, favoring todays pitch. I don’t think we’ve topped out yet. Those who wish to play lower still can.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:54 AM   #13
CalumII
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Default Re: Fitting cane drone reeds

Pitch is just a number, and I think we're at risk of getting a little bit diva about it. Yes it is higher pitched than it used to be, but then the Galicians and Asturians are playing up in C and beyond and don't feel the need to drop to something more sonorous.


A bagpipe designed to play at a certain pitch should sound it's best at that pitch. I agree at some point design becomes an issue but clearly we're not there yet, even if it could be optimised.


As for B flat, well, it has its merits, for sure. Does it matter? Not really.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:41 AM   #14
will103
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Default Re: Fitting cane drone reeds

I think the point is that many of the drone designs we see today are based on the designs being used when the pitch was closer to Bb. My set of relatively modern drones with cane drone reeds are comfortable at around Bb with a 1960s Hardie chanter. If I use my modern plastic competition chanter I need to shorten cane reeds to get the drone tops to sit a little above the hemp line when tuned in. This is not such a problem with synthetic reeds because they usually come with a built-in method to shorten the reed ( a screw or similar).

I wonder if a modern maker who re-designed their drones for the modern pitch would have a unique selling point?

One final point about the raised chanter pitch - I find the highest notes (high G and High A) are more difficult to get 'good' and can sound thin. Not so with a lower pitched chanter.

will
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:04 AM   #15
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Fitting cane drone reeds

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Originally Posted by will103 View Post

I wonder if a modern maker who re-designed their drones for the modern pitch would have a unique selling point?

l
I'm not seeing it, frankly. I have no problem getting either my antique or modern sets to tune at modern pitches. I understand the argument about the pitches that instruments are designed to play at, but for the vast majority of players, this just isn't an issue that's causing significant problems. Look at how many old bagpipes are being played in Grade 1 bands and in premier-level solos.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:20 PM   #16
will103
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Default Re: Fitting cane drone reeds

Hi Dan, agreed, and with synthetics there isn't a problem. My point was more speculative and based on personal experience with my pipes - so no way representative. I am interested in how modern drones have 'evolved' over time, when a number of modern makers advertise that their drones are based on 'X' drones (usually Henderson, Lawrie etc). Are there any pipe makers around that could chip in?

All the best, will
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:10 PM   #17
Graineag
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Default Re: Fitting cane drone reeds

I do recall now that Chris Armstrong's brand of pipes (made by Wallace Bagpipes) touted the fact that they're not based on any single previous model. OK, that's interesting, I suppose. But... According to the website, the design started with an averaging of the internal dimensions of 6 different "classic" sets (it didn't give further details), followed by some further modifications.

In other words, different, but not really all that different.

But as Calum pointed out, this is perhaps getting a bit carried away. I like to think that I'd prefer lower pitch, but the other night when my 1920s ebony Lawrie drones were absolutely ringing, I checked the chanter pitch and it was 478. Granted, I don't think I'd want to play at a much higher pitch than that, but if it ain't broke, no need to fix it, I suppose.
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