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Do It Yourself (DIY) Making and repairing of instruments, accessories, and more.

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Old 09-28-2018, 05:11 PM   #1
Rob MacDonald
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Default Wanted: tone-hole spacing for Robert Burns' stock-and-horn

(Not sure if this thread should be here or in the 'History' forum)

Has anyone ever measured the sizes and spacing of the tone holes of Robert Burns' 'stock and horn' (NMS K.1998.43.1 and .2)?

I've been asked to give the Immortal Memory at Vancouver's most posh and prestigious Burns Nicht. Rather than a) trot out the usual precis of Victorian half-truths or b) be the sort of ghastly self-appointed revisionist boor who hijacks a social evening, I've decided to present a selection of the sort of pipe-music that was played in the Lowlands in Burns' time - played on the appropriate instruments.

The materials of a stock-and-horn are difficult but not 'impossible' to get: a sheep's shin-bone for the 'chanter' (I'll ask the local Halal butchers), a cow's horn for the 'foot', and in lieu of a reed made from a stalk of six-row barley (unlikely to be available in Canada) I'll compromise with a cane practice-chanter reed.

Any roads - has there anything been published on the particulars of Burns' instrument?

Given a few shins to practice on, I could possibly work out the spacing and size of the tone holes, although the photos I've seen give no indication if there's a high 'a' (thumb) hole.
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Old 09-29-2018, 02:48 AM   #2
K Sanger
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Default Re: Wanted: tone-hole spacing for Robert Burns' stock-and-horn.

There is information on it published in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Vol 84, (1949)

The Stock and Horn by Lyndesay G Langwill.

The volumes are accessible online and hopefully this should take you to that volume.
http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/...rdType=Journal

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Old 09-29-2018, 10:25 AM   #3
Rob MacDonald
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Default Re: Wanted: tone-hole spacing for Robert Burns' stock-and-horn.

Mr. Sanger:

Thank you very much indeed!

R
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:41 PM   #4
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Wanted: tone-hole spacing for Robert Burns' stock-and-horn

There's a pipemaker in central California who makes those, Brian Steeger.

I don't see them on his site now but I'm pretty sure his site used to offer them.

About the hole-spacing, on many traditional woodwinds the holes were uniform-spaced giving a scale with neutral intervals. It's likely old hornpipes were made that way.

EDIT: here they are, even hole-spacing as I expected

http://www.mochpryderi.com/Resources/Langwell.pdf

You'll get a neutral 3rd with that, and probably a sharp 4th and neutral 7th as with old Highland chanters.

BTW traditional hornpipes had horns at bottom and top, modern (18th century) ones had a wood top like a practice chanter. These instruments are still used in a number of countries; they're pan-European and not at all unique to Britain.

The bottom horn often had a serrated edge, no-one knows why.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 09-29-2018 at 06:00 PM.
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