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Old 01-29-2018, 04:33 PM   #21
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Default Re: Tuning a Band to Concert Bb

Originally Posted by Klondike Waldo View Post
Other than it's damnably inconvenient for other instrumentalists
Nothing says convenient for other instrumentalists like a chanter at 483.

Maybe keep going till we hit C.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:44 PM   #22
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Tuning a Band to Concert Bb

Well, since the thread has meandered towards how sharp chanters are getting...

I think raising low A to concert B = 494 Hz is a great idea.

That means your low G is concert A = 440 Hz.

Convert your C# into a C natural and what you end up with is an A major bagpipe chanter. Tune your drones to low G (which is now actually concert pitch A 440 Hz) and you can play in A major with the following scale:

low G => concert A
low A => concert B
B => concert C#
C natural => concert D
D => concert E
E => concert F#
F# => concert G#
high G => concert A
high A => concert B

And we already have the drone reeds sorted for tuning them to an A 440 reference. The only difference is A 440 is now fingered at low G instead of low A. The holes would move around a tad since you're tuning the drones to a different note on the chanter. I don't think it would be too onerous.

Trying to convince a pipe maker it's worthwhile, is a different story I've discovered. Unfortunate since it opens up more repertoire and doesn't really require you to learn any new fingering techniques. Same holes, just different tuning.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:41 PM   #23
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Default Re: Tuning a Band to Concert Bb

We have two bands that I know of here in Southern California which can turn out their pipe corps in Concert Bb when needed, LA Scots (grade one) and Kevin Blandford Memorial (grade 3).

The LA Scots performing with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing band


Kevin R Blandford Memorial with organist Jeff Rickard


It's no different than turning out a pipe corps in 485, you just need a set of 466 chanters properly reeded up.

And you need the piper's tenor drones to be able to tune out to 466.

I've got used to switching back and forth between 480+ and 466 for many years. At the moment I have two sets of pipes, each dedicated to one pitch.

But I've gone many years with one set of pipes, set up with the outer tenor at 485 and the middle tenor at 466, shutting off one or the other depending on which chanter I'm using.

Due to the fact that I usually play old Lawries, on which the tenors are up above the hemp line at 485, I can't just tune the tenors further out for 466. Many pipers can, due to their tenors tuning low for 480+.
proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first white settlers on the Guyandotte

Last edited by pancelticpiper; 02-01-2018 at 06:01 PM.
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