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This IS a music thread-key of highland pipes

Peace 08 Mar 09 - 02:49 PM
Megan L 08 Mar 09 - 02:55 PM
Peace 08 Mar 09 - 03:02 PM
curmudgeon 08 Mar 09 - 03:03 PM
Megan L 08 Mar 09 - 03:04 PM
Peace 08 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM
curmudgeon 08 Mar 09 - 03:06 PM
Peace 08 Mar 09 - 03:12 PM
Amos 08 Mar 09 - 03:15 PM
Megan L 08 Mar 09 - 03:20 PM
Peace 08 Mar 09 - 03:27 PM
High Hopes (inactive) 08 Mar 09 - 03:30 PM
Peace 08 Mar 09 - 03:34 PM
Megan L 08 Mar 09 - 03:35 PM
High Hopes (inactive) 08 Mar 09 - 03:36 PM
Megan L 08 Mar 09 - 03:36 PM
Leadfingers 08 Mar 09 - 04:10 PM
Peace 08 Mar 09 - 04:12 PM
maeve 08 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM
Peace 08 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM
Nick 08 Mar 09 - 04:55 PM
maeve 08 Mar 09 - 04:56 PM
curmudgeon 08 Mar 09 - 04:58 PM
M.Ted 08 Mar 09 - 05:05 PM
Megan L 08 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM
Peace 08 Mar 09 - 05:10 PM
Tangledwood 08 Mar 09 - 05:23 PM
Jim Lad 08 Mar 09 - 06:37 PM
open mike 08 Mar 09 - 09:08 PM
Jack Campin 08 Mar 09 - 09:30 PM
Effsee 08 Mar 09 - 11:31 PM
Azizi 08 Mar 09 - 11:48 PM
Effsee 09 Mar 09 - 12:00 AM
Azizi 09 Mar 09 - 09:32 AM
Jack Campin 09 Mar 09 - 10:16 AM
Mark Ross 09 Mar 09 - 04:29 PM
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Subject: BS: This IS a music thread.
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 02:49 PM

Folks, I have a problem. Has to do with the Scottish highland pipes. I've read about them and I am confused as to the key they play in. There is a friend of mine who's going to put some pipe music on my next CD--assuming there IS a next CD. He's a young fellow with whom I've shared fire response calls and some ambulance calls (he's cross-trained EMS/fire and one gutsy sob). He tells me A or Ab--he thinks. The one instrument he plays is the pipes. The writings I've read start with Hz or something like that and say the 'key' ranges from A440-about A476. Right. Like, man, that means nothing to me, and for sure A476 is not flatter than A. Does anyone know?


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Subject: RE: BS: This IS a music thread.
From: Megan L
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 02:55 PM

Ok lad I ken wiki isny the b all and end all o information but its a start. I canny get a haud o the boys frae the legion tonight to check whit they play in.


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Subject: RE: BS: This IS a music thread.
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:02 PM

Thanks, Megan. I need to know if the instrument has any known relation to something I'd understand, like a piano or a guitar. What's it in in relation to concert C.


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Subject: RE: BS: This IS a music thread.
From: curmudgeon
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:03 PM

Pipes are in an "A-ish" key, concert pitch or a ch higher. If his pipes are too far off, the engineer can slow down his track just enough to be in tune. Then you can put your singing and other instruments behind him. A bit complicated, but workable - Tom


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Megan L
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:04 PM

Chanter notes are G A B Csharp D E Fsharp G A (the C sharp is flatter than the tempered scale and the A of the chanter is close to B flat). The practice chanter is unique to Scottish and Spanish piping. It is the same length as the bagpipe chanter but sounds an octave lower. There are two major categories of bagpipe music.

Makes no sense tae me


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM

OK. NOW it's starting to make sense. Tom, are pipes like say trumpets where ya can alter the mouthpiece to slightly shart of flat the notes a little bit?


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: curmudgeon
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:06 PM

Pipes are in the key of A, more or less. Another thought, if you're not using keyboards or free reed, strings can be tuned to the pipes.

But do listen to him first; he may be close enough to make no noticeanble difference


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:12 PM

Excellent advice. Your info has been a blessing. Thanks to you also Megan.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Amos
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:15 PM

Herz, abbreviation Hz are cycles of movement up and down per second. A concert "A" in most parts of the world (but not all) is a note produced by a string vibrating 440 times a second, abbreviated 440 Hz.

Electronic waves such as electricity are also measured in Herz --for example most of your standard 110/220V household current arrives at either 60 Hz or 50 Hz.

A


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Megan L
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:20 PM

Amos ma loon they want tae play the things no electrocute them :p

*grabs coat and leaves


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:27 PM

Amos, is that like Hiz and Herz?


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:30 PM

do bagpipes have any relationship to anything...?just asking.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:34 PM

do bagpipes have any relationship to anything...?just asking.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Megan L
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:35 PM

PEACE SKELP


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: High Hopes (inactive)
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:36 PM

and the sound's about the same when you squeeze as well *LOL*


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Megan L
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 03:36 PM

OI watch it pal


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 04:10 PM

MOST Military Pipe Bands are in B Flat , rather than A !


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 04:12 PM

AAAAAARRRRGHHHHH.

OK, now I'm fooked.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: maeve
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM

You must be confuddled, or we'd have observed you dissolving into a bemused, delighted puddle when you got a skelp from Megan.

So walk backwards until you get to the posts that made sense to you, and follow that wee bit of advice. Remember to dissolve at the sign o' thon skelp.

maeve


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 04:32 PM

Jaysus, I'm on a thread with folks talkin' in tongues. BUT, I now know this--Highland pipes are played somewhere between a slightly sharped Bb and a slightly flatted A with special attention paid to the Herz or Hiz things on the cow's udders.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Nick
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 04:55 PM

My wife's nephew is a bagpipe player if you need any more help do shout.

There is a handy thing on the Hobgoblin site about pipes.

I have played a bit with small pipes players (Scottish and Northumbrian) and pitch didn't seem too much of a problem. A 'D' set of smallpipes were fine to play along to in a normal session. You could ask Gedpipes on here who plays Northumbrian and all the fiddle players do a bit of a retune to play along - 'F'ish plus a bit I think.

Paul McCartney managed to do it with Mull of Kintyre so it might be worth seeing what that's in!!

Could you not get him to play a few notes onto something that records and email it to you? You'd get an immediate frame of reference then wouldn't you?


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: maeve
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 04:56 PM

Just you be careful what ye grab and what gets plugged in.

m


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: curmudgeon
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 04:58 PM

First, get a tuner that can read what key your man's pipes are actually in.

Then you can tune your guitar, banjo, fiddle to his pipes.

Next, get a recording of a military pipe band that is playing with a military brass band. That way you can hear how the pipes can be worked along side regular instruments. Look for recordings with lots of trad tunes that you may be familiar with.

It's really not that complicated.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 05:05 PM

The trick being for you to tune to his A--keeping in mind that he should be good and warmed up before you do it.

I haven't played with anyone with those fancy modern pipes, but played a bit of Balkan music with Bulgarian/Macedonian gajde players--gajde being a much more primitive version of the instrument --best practice was to tune the guitar to an open tuning that featured the fundamental and drone notes of the pipes and work from there.

What really worked was to hang everything else up and let the piper play with the drummer--next best was to ask the gajde player to play his shephard's flute/kaval instead;-)


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Megan L
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 05:09 PM

Peace I couldn't find a track of them with a singer but this is a local Orkney band that has a piper in the lineup Shoot the piper


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Peace
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 05:10 PM

Got it. Thanks to all of you for the excellent suggestions. I don't understand about the cow's udders but I'll get along without that.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Tangledwood
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 05:23 PM

Slight thread drift - there are some software downloads for tone generators that relate frequency in Hz to musical notes. This is one that I tried but although appearing as freeware it turned out to be a trial and more expensive than I needed.

Tone generator


For most of us it's probably more for interest than practical use.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Jim Lad
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 06:37 PM

I did a couple to the pipes on one of the earlier albums and was told that it was close to Bb.
However, with today's DAWs it's easy enough to nudge any musical instrument (And this includes bagpipes) into step with everything else. You can do this at home.
So not nearly the problem it was 10 years ago.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: open mike
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 09:08 PM

now just to confuzle the situation just a bit more..
some music in europe (Scandinavian and German) uses
an H for the key of -- well, what is it? A? Bb? any
way there is an aich "H" in there some where...
(not with a z though)that's zed for you canucks..


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 09:30 PM

The scale of a Highland pipe chanter is described among pipers as if it was G A B c# d e f# g a.

The notation doesn't bother printing any sharps or flats in the key signature, so you read it as if it had two sharps.

Modern Highland pipes play a semitone higher than this, so as far as other musicians are concerned their scale is Ab Bb c d eb f g ab bb.

When pipe tunes are played by groups that don't have pipes in them (like fiddle/acccordion bands), they are played as written, i.e. in the two-sharp key signature and with written A sounding as A.

There are still a few old sets of pipes around that play in concert A. Unless you hang around with historical bagpipe wonks you will never hear them. Some modern pipe bands tune a bit sharp of B flat to get a brighter sound (they think this will win them competitions).

It is possible to change the tuning a bit, so you can get the pipes dead on concert B flat. If your friend's pipes were significantly different from that, it will take time to get them into the pitch you want. Be patient.

Some notes of the scale will always be very differently tuned from other instruments, the "c#" in particular.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread-key of highland pipes
From: Effsee
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 11:31 PM

It's Hertz ffs!
http://aolsearch.aol.co.uk/aol/redir?src=websearch&requestId=1cda6bd2c36d5832&clickedItemRank=5&userQuery=hertz&clickedItemURN=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FHertz&title=%3Cb%3EHertz%3C%2Fb%3E+-+Wikipedia%2C+the+free+encyclopedia&moduleId=matchingsites.jsp.M&clickedItemPageRanking=5&clickedItemPage=1&clickedItemDescription=WebResults

Can somebody make that a Blue Clicky?
You don't need to hire a car! :-)


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread-key of highland pipes
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Mar 09 - 11:48 PM

Ebbie, that URL doesn't go anywhere but to the aol seach page.

http://aolsearch.aol.co.uk/aol/redir?src=websearch&requestId=1cda6bd2c36d5832&clickedItemRank=5&userQuery=hertz&clickedItemURN=h

**

Were you looking for something like this?

http://www.physlink.com/Education/askExperts/ae165.cfm


Excerpt:

"What are the frequencies of musical notes like G and G# in k-hertz?

Asked by: Undisclosed Sender

Answer

There are two accepted musical pitch standards, the so-called American Standard pitch, which takes A in the fourth piano octave (A4) to have a frequency of 440 Hz, and the older International pitch standard, which takes A4 to have the frequency of 435 Hz. Both of these pitch standards define what are called 'equal tempered chromatic scales.' Mathematically, this means that each successive pitch is related to the previous pitch by a factor of the twelfth root of 2. That is, the ratio between the frequencies of any two successive pitches in either standard is 1.05946309436. There is a third Scientific or Just Scale that is based on C4 having a frequency of 256 Hz, but this is not used for musical purposes"...


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread-key of highland pipes
From: Effsee
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 12:00 AM

Thanks for that Azizi....who's Ebbie?


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread-key of highland pipes
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 09:32 AM

Sorry 'bout that. Thanks Effsee.

As to who's Ebbie, she's another wonderful Mudcatter.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread-key of highland pipes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 10:16 AM

The reference pitch DOESN'T define a complete equally tempered scale. It's perfectly possible to tune to A=440 and use any number of differently-tuned scales based on that.

Azizi will probably have encountered the problem with African music (since sub-Saharan Africa probably has a greater variety of scale patterns than any other region of the world). Highland pipes need to be accurately tuned with each other if they're going to play in a band, but their scale has never been complately fixed, there are several variants used for different traditions, and none of them use either equal temperament or just intonation.


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Subject: RE: This IS a music thread-key of highland pipes
From: Mark Ross
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 04:29 PM

Peace, just remember that the reasons pipers walk when they are playing is get to get as far away from the noise as possible !

Mark Ross


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