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

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View Poll Results: What additional notes are highest on your wish list. Please pick your top 3.
High C# 6 30.00%
High B 17 85.00%
High A#/Bb 0 0%
High G# 3 15.00%
F-nat 3 15.00%
D#/Eb 2 10.00%
C-nat 4 20.00%
A#/Bb 2 10.00%
Low G# 4 20.00%
Low F# 7 35.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-10-2019, 06:09 AM   #21
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Additional note wish list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
As you point out C-nat, F-nat and high G# can be cross fingered on a GHB chanter. So by extension, for an SSP chanter, would your prioritized list be:

C-nat, F-nat, high G#, high B, D# then low G#?

...or would you rank them in some other order?
I had a one-key NSP chanter years ago and it only had that High B key!

I think that for an SSP chanter my first key would be for High B also, followed by High G sharp. For C natural I'd like a hole in the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
I am also curious about your selection of D#. I have only run into a need for it on one tune...
A sharp 4th is quite common in Hymnody, and in 19th and early 20th century songs.

Just off the top of my head:

Eternal Father Strong To Save

Anchors Aweigh

Wild Blue Yonder

Irish Eyes Are Smiling


When I need to play these tunes I generally play them in the key of G, in which the sharp 4th in the chanter's ordinary C sharp. A D# key would allow these to be played in the key of A.

Or, I stick my Si Bemol Gaita Galega chanter in my Highland pipes and have all the notes available!
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:15 AM   #22
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Additional note wish list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
While practicing my Seivane gaita chanter this afternoon this thread popped into my mind, particularly Richard’s last post...mine is in Do (C) ...they make them in B and Bb...
Si Bemol (B flat) is quite common in Galicia, the standard key for the so-called Gaita De Banda or Gaita Marcial.

I have a nice ebony Punteiro in Si Bemol and I play it in my 466 Highland pipes when I have a gig where I have to play tunes that need all the notes.

You have Low G sharp and High G sharp built into the scale, and can easily finger C natural, D sharp, F natural, and High B and High C sharp.

I've used it for "Irish" funerals etc where they want Irish Eyes Are Smiling, Danny Boy, and so forth, or military funerals where they need Eternal Father Strong To Save, Anchors Aweigh, Wild Blue Yonder, and other tunes that need all the notes.

And several Hymns require Low G sharp and High G sharp, and often also D sharp, for example the Hymn tune Dundee (which ironically doesn't go on the Scottish chanter).
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:00 AM   #23
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Additional note wish list.

About D#, I'm just now writing out the five US military service tunes, and three of the five require D# if played in the key of A.

And The Star-Spangled Banner needs D# too, if played in the key of A.

So if playing our National Anthem and the five service tunes, four of the six need that note, if played in the key of A.

It's why playing things in the key of G is so useful: what would be D#, High G#, and High B (in the key of A) are ordinary chanter notes in the key of G (the ordinary C#, F#, and High A).

The scales side by side, starting with the tonic:
Tonic: Low A = Low G
Major 2nd: B = Low A
Major 3rd: C# = B
4th: D = Cnatural
sharp 4th: D# = C#
5th: E = D
Major 6th: F# = E
flat 7th: High G = Fnatural
Major 7th: High G# = F#
8th: High A = High G
9th: High B = High A

The problem with the key of G (in addition to the drones playing A) is needing to finger Cnatural if the tune's scale includes the 4th.

Happily BUNESSAN (Morning Has Broken, Bridegroom And Bride, etc) has no 4th degree and fits perfectly on the chanter in the key of G and requires no "false" fingering.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 04-14-2019 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:22 AM   #24
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Additional note wish list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
The problem with the key of G (in addition to the drones playing A)
I have a set of highland pipes with drone reed extenders to tune the drones to low G. The chanter is currently set to play Cnat by default but I have thought to go back and make it C# in hopes crossfingering achieves a reasonable Cnat. With a finagled chanter, low A comes in around 464 Hz so itís just shy of being a G# major chanter. Iíve propsed the idea, here and to several makers, to push low A all the way up to concert B so that low G becomes concert A, effectively making a concert A major chanter if you crossfinger Cnat. No one has bitten yet; which is unfortunate because I think it would easily expand the repertoire and currently getting drones down to low G when low A is 464 is a stretch.

Blog post about the highland version:
https://www.patrickmclaurin.com/wordpress/?p=4008

I very much enjoy the custom smallpipe chanter I had Seth Hamon make me. Same idea, but utilizes the back thumb hole for Cnat.

https://youtu.be/yLlNxGfOhtI
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:16 PM   #25
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Additional note wish list.

Yes I have done the same thing, 20 years ago, my Pipe Major and I both set up our drones to play in "G" (Concert A Flat) because we had been hired to play Anchors Aweigh at a US Navy event, and that tune fits 99% perfectly in the key of G (but is horrid in the key of A).

The 1% is a single high note.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:00 AM   #26
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Additional note wish list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
Iíve wondered, at least for ssp, why the top hand could not be configured like the bottom hand: pinkie=E, ring =F#, middle=High G, pointer=High A, thumb=high G#. Birls on E, throw to high A. Learn to be bidextrous. Of course your hobby ssp, serious highland piper would hate this idea, but for a dedicated smallpiper it could be viable.
I think it COULD certainly be done. Like the Lindsay System (which gives you accidentals and another octave) it's a departure from the original ethos of the revived SSP, which was to make an instrument that plays highland fingering. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. It would be a versatile choice of those who want to learn another fingering system.
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