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

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Old 10-29-2018, 05:41 PM   #11
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

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Originally Posted by Dan Bell View Post
I've also set up standard Ezeedrones to play at 466: it can be done with many sets of drones, but the tuning screws will be almost all the way out, which can make them unstable.
On my Starcks ordinary EzeeDrones work great, the tuning screws are about in the middle. The drones are very stable. BTW the reeds are pushed nearly all the way into the reed seats; I don't have to have them sitting high in the reed seats to make them flatter.

So last Thursday I piped at a memorial service where I had to play quite a bit. I used the 466 Starcks because 1) they sound great and 2) it gave them a nice warmup for the rehearsal Friday for the church gig Sunday.

At both the Friday rehearsal and Sunday gig the pipes were bang-on at 466 and perfectly in tune with the organ with no adjustments required other than touching up the drones a hair. Actually the tenors tuned right at the hemp line Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

For sure my 482 band pipes are going great and I could have used them for the memorial service, but why?
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 10-29-2018 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:31 AM   #12
rflynn30
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

I play a lot of weddings and funerals. I often play with organ accompaniment. Until recently, I've used an old War-Mac chanter with a McAllister reed tuned to 466, and drone reed extenders.

I recently purchased a G1 chanter in B flat, and a Shepard B flat reed. It was okay, but not great. I have a G1 reed in b flat on order, so we'll see how that goes.
My question is what key does the organ play in when I'm in B flat? It's obviously got to be different than the standard E flat accompaniment?
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:38 AM   #13
Dan Bell
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

Depends on what key the tune you're playing is in. The organist will need to play a half-step up from as-written to be in tune with you (so, E-flat for tunes in D-major, such as Amazing Grace or Highland Cathedral).
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:40 AM   #14
John McCain
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

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Originally Posted by rflynn30 View Post
My question is what key does the organ play in when I'm in B flat? It's obviously got to be different than the standard E flat accompaniment?
It depends on the tune. Eb would be our written equivalent of D major on a Bb chanter.

So what would be an A major tune? Bb, right?

How about a Bm tune?

Or an Em?

See the possibilities of accompanying harmonies?
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:55 AM   #15
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

FWIW, I have two older chanters that pitch at (or about) B flat, and both can be set to play dead-on Bflat ("a" =466);
1. 1979 Mcleod ( my original chanter, which came with my G&M AB2 in late 1979, though with some reeds, it will pitch between 470 and 472Hz. I played with a local symphony orchestra last month and it tuned dead-on B flat with A MacLellan reed.

2. late 60's/early 70s RG Hardie, which I have played with organ, brass and percussion with members of the BSO and BostonPops.


If I can't scrape the reed to cure a sharp high G, I'll set that reed aside for a different chanter.



For whichever chanter I use, I have Selbie Drone reeds that tune at A=Bflat 466Hz and others that tune slightly higher, around 470 HZ.


I have a pair of older Gillanders chanters that pitch even lower, so they don't get much use. I'll probably experiment a bit with them over the winter.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:59 AM   #16
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCain View Post
It depends on the tune. Eb would be our written equivalent of D major on a Bb chanter.

So what would be an A major tune? Bb, right?

How about a Bm tune?
C Minor
Or an Em?
F minor
See the possibilities of accompanying harmonies?

Answers in Bold above, however, if the tune is really in A major, rather than A Mixolydian , it will have G#.
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:42 PM   #17
John McCain
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

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Originally Posted by Klondike Waldo View Post
Answers in Bold above, however, if the tune is really in A major, rather than A Mixolydian , it will have G#.
(donít give away the answers. the learning is in the discovery)
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:14 PM   #18
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

Sounding in three flats, a Highland pipe chanter gives the key of E flat Major.

So if you're playing a full-scale Major tune (not a gap scale) then E flat is best, unless you want to play accidentals.

You can't play a full B flat Major scale unless you can play "High G sharp" (sounding pitch A natural).

In hymnody there's an oft-tunes hymn tune NETTLETON which is a nice example of a tune requiring the High G sharp fingering. Or the Christmas tune Joy To The World, which is quite horrid using the ordinary pipe's High G (natural).

Now, there are loads of tunes that have a Major effect without needing the note High G sharp; these are gap-scale tunes that lack the 7th degree. The ear imagines that if there was a 7th it would be sharp.

It's like Paddy's Leather Breeches, which the ear imagines is in a minor scale. It is not. The tune, in fact, is neither Major nor minor, lacking the 3rd degree of the scale. You can play the tune with equal effect in the key of A.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 01-05-2019 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:28 PM   #19
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
Sounding in three flats, a Highland pipe chanter gives the key of E flat Major.
SNIP

You can't play a full B flat Major scale unless you can play "High G sharp" (sounding pitch A natural).

In hymnody there's an oft-tunes hymn tune NETTLETON which is a nice example of a tune requiring the High G sharp fingering. Or the Christmas tune Joy To The World, which is quite horrid using the ordinary pipe's High G (natural).
SNIP
A.
Or Going Home, which is another tune that pipers often play wrongly and which bothers other musicians no end. There's an extensive list of tunes which can be played correctly =in B flat Major ( Our A) if the piper can finger the G#.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: "B" Flat Set up

Has anyone tried the drone extenders that go on TOP of the drones rather than on the reed? They look weird but they seem like they'd be easier to use.



https://www.mgreeds.com/bagpipe-shop...40Hz-p41938326
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