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Uilleann Pipes

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Les in Chorlton 20 Feb 08 - 11:07 AM
Jack Campin 20 Feb 08 - 08:13 AM
Les in Chorlton 20 Feb 08 - 07:35 AM
GUEST 20 Feb 08 - 07:05 AM
Jack Campin 20 Feb 08 - 06:56 AM
Les in Chorlton 20 Feb 08 - 03:53 AM
Big Mick 19 Feb 08 - 11:19 PM
Paul Burke 10 Nov 06 - 05:52 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Nov 06 - 04:53 AM
Les in Chorlton 10 Nov 06 - 04:35 AM
Big Mick 09 Nov 06 - 07:09 AM
Paul Burke 09 Nov 06 - 03:23 AM
Big Mick 08 Nov 06 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,BillH 08 Nov 06 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester 13 Sep 03 - 12:42 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Sep 03 - 02:05 AM
LadyJean 13 Sep 03 - 12:09 AM
smallpiper 12 Sep 03 - 01:54 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 12 Sep 03 - 10:18 AM
smallpiper 12 Sep 03 - 09:10 AM
InOBU 12 Sep 03 - 09:02 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Sep 03 - 08:55 AM
AKS 12 Sep 03 - 08:28 AM
greg stephens 12 Sep 03 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,sorefingers 12 Sep 03 - 07:54 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 12 Sep 03 - 06:03 AM
smallpiper 12 Sep 03 - 05:29 AM
greg stephens 12 Sep 03 - 05:02 AM
smallpiper 12 Sep 03 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,sorefingers 11 Sep 03 - 09:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Sep 03 - 09:13 PM
Nerd 11 Sep 03 - 08:04 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Sep 03 - 07:25 PM
Nerd 11 Sep 03 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester 11 Sep 03 - 01:54 PM
greg stephens 11 Sep 03 - 06:38 AM
Pied Piper 11 Sep 03 - 05:26 AM
smallpiper 10 Sep 03 - 07:09 PM
Nerd 10 Sep 03 - 07:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Sep 03 - 07:00 PM
Nerd 10 Sep 03 - 06:53 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Sep 03 - 06:48 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 03 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Briton 10 Sep 03 - 05:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 03 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 10 Sep 03 - 05:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Sep 03 - 04:59 PM
Nerd 10 Sep 03 - 04:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 03 - 03:23 PM
Nerd 10 Sep 03 - 03:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 11:07 AM

Chietains, Finbar Furry, Dave erm, Liam Og O'Flynn


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 08:13 AM

Try the new CD by Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson.


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 07:35 AM

Don't let that stop from searching for some seriously exciting music - stands back and awaits lists!


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 07:05 AM

I heard some pipes the other day, they sounded like someone was playing a Game Boy!


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 06:56 AM

Back to Les's original question - there is a vast anthology of random clippings related to bagpipes in the National Library of Scotland which points to a specific inventor of the modern uilleann pipe (with regulators). He was a pipemaker in Newcastle in the late 18th century, and made enough of them to get a reliable product. And presumably made enough impact with them to get his idea taken up by makers in Ireland.

The NLS stuff only documents the production and sale of the instruments - looking in archives around Newcastle it might be possible to find some reference to what players did with them.

At any rate, this locates the development of the instrument right in the heartland of the Industrial Revolution, as Les guessed. (Isolated achievements of ancient precision engineering are irrelevant - they were custom jobs for such prestigious applications that there might be only one to an empire; bagpipes are a product). You need the infrastructure of good lathes, precision measuring instruments, reliable stockholders of seasoned exotic timber, people like clockmakers who can make custom parts of steel and brass. Dublin and Belfast weren't quite in the same league, but close enough to adopt the new technology.


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 03:53 AM

Thanks Mick, sounds like a real find and it's nice to se one of my children come home to visit after such a long time away!

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 11:19 PM

I received today, from Na Piobairi Uilleann, the DVD entitled "The Heart of the Instrument". It is a tutorial on reedbuilding and it has tutorials by Cillian O'Briain, Andreas Rogge, Benedict Koehler, and Geoff Wooff. I sat down and watched the first one, which had Cillian building a reed. What a wonderful tutorial that was, and if the rest follow suit, this is a wonderful bit of knowledge that would classify as a must have for any person who is playing the Uilleann pipes.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 05:52 AM

It's clear that the regulators couldn't have developed before reliable keys, and that these were kept to a minimum because of unreliable seating and leakage up to the end of the 18th century. Few flutes had more than 3 keys up to the start of the 19th cenury, and only the clarinet, where they were indispensible to bridge the gap between the registers, used many more. So the UP with regulators must date from this period, and the developments with musette, pastoral pipes, and the Northumbrian pipes fits in with this.

The unique characteristic of the UP though is not the regulators, spectacular though they may be, but the combination of conical bore and stopping on the knee (the bellows follows from that), leading to full 2 octave range and the possibility of staccato without it being obligatory.

The Northumbrian pipes achieved staccato by using a permanently- closed end, and the cylindrical bore meant that the range could only be extended by means of additional keys, and it's probably this fact that has led to the characteristic closed (pop-pop) sound of these pipes.

Generally, other pipes can not be stopped without reducing pressure so much as to affect the drones, so playing is necessarily legato, and the range is usually limited to an octave plus a leading note, and for cylindrical bores, about two or three notes above the octave.


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 04:53 AM

How's this then?

"The modern full set of pipes comprises bag, bellows and chanter, drones and regulators. The tenor or small regulator was added to the set in the last quarter of the 18th century. It was spoken of as a recent addition, not yet in general use, in 1790 and it was the only one referred to by O'Farrell in his tutor for this instrument which was published about 1800. The middle and bass regulators were added in the first quarter of the 19th century.

These pipes are now most commonly known as Uilleann pipes (pronounced ill-yin, from Irish uille, elbow). This name was first applied to the instrument as last as the beginning of the 20th century when it was foisted on the public in 1903 by Grattan Flood who then proceeded to equate it with the 'woollen' pipes of Shakespeare, thus providing for the instrument a spurious origin in the 16th century."


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 04:35 AM

http://www.aniar.net/pipes.html

http://www.aniar.net/pipes.html

Sorry failed blue clicky thing test but this sites, from post 2 above, seems clear to me. Is this clarrity a mistake?


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 07:09 AM

Does the Musette have a conical bore? It has always been thought that the Musette (French pipe) was what the UP's were influenced by.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Paul Burke
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 03:23 AM

My (American) neighbour derives the name from the Illinois pipes. And it's thought that Part of the Union was written by Lou Reed.

What's the evolution like compared with Northumbrian and Scottish Lowland pipes, or the Auvergnais cabrette? More to the point, my understanding was that pastoral pipes had a cylindrical bore, like the Northumbrian and Lowland pipes, whereas the conical bore of the Irish pipes gives access to a second octave, so was the Union pipe a hybrid, and if so what was its conical forebear?


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Subject: RE: Uilleann Pipes
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 02:31 PM

Nicely done, Bill.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: GUEST,BillH
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 02:07 PM

Consensus among union/uilleann pipe historians has shifted to accepting the Pastoral pipes as the predecessor/ancestor of the Union pipes. The latter was known as the "Union" or "Irish" bagpipes in printed works from around 1800. Since there were native Irish speakers writing about music in the 19th century, the absence of any plausible spelling of "uilleann" in reference to these pipes argues rather strongly against uilleann having been an alternate name in any wide circulation. Flood had his reasons for making up the name, and many people got the notion that the moniker "Union" pipes somehow referred to the notorious Act of Union - wrong, the term Union Pipes appears in print in the 1790's at least, well before the 1800 Act.

The Pastorals, the likely predecessor, were referred to as the "New Bagpipe" in contemporary publications. This suggests that they were innovative, even before the addition of regulators. There has never appeared any evidence for a bagpipe which was the "predecessor" for the Pastoral/New bagpipes to any meaningful extent (i.e. which is substantially similar). In any case they were NOT a "Folk" instrument when introduced, as they were quite expensive and marketed to wealthy gentlemen. (I know, I can hear the screams of protest, but this is the evidence tells.) Pastorals have a "foot joint" that attaches to the end of a chanter, rather like the bell of some orchestral instruments, and they are played "off the knee". Pastorals give one note below the tonic as their lowest tone, but are basically diatonic with a few notes in the upper octave.

It can be very difficult to tell an early Union set from a Pastoral set which has lost its "foot joint"; this both strengthens the case for one being an evolutionary adaptation of the other, and confounds the business of establishing when the Union pipes first appeared. The regulator was a feature of some Pastoral sets which seem to date from about 1770 or 1780, so the regulator does not appear to have been something that originated in the "Irish" form.

Earliest examples are actually often rather sharper than has been suggested here - 1770's would have had the pitch at about modern Eflat, but true enough by the first quarter of the 1800s C# would have been common, followed, or perhaps contemporary with sets pitched about modern B.

By about 1840 sets with 3 regulators had appeared, pitched in about modern B, and these may have been the sets referred to at the time as the "Grand Union Pipes".

In the late 19th century the Taylor brothers, originally from Drogheda but later of Philadelphia, do seem to have developed the first known "wide-bore" sets pitched near modern D, possibly in an attempt to fill the louder music halls of America. The idea caught on and similar wide-bore sets were made in the early 20th c. in Ireland.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 12:42 PM

Greg Stevens, you have identifies a link that I was hunting for:

'Cromford was a working musician before he made his spinning technolgy innovations, but the man who most beautifully personifies these links is the of course the very very famous James Watt, developer of the team engine which powered the whole revolution. And what was he up to before inventing the steam engine? Working in Glasgow as a maker/repairer of flutes and bagpipes, in the mid 1700's!'

I can't tell you how enlightened I feel. I haven't felt so elated since I first read The Ascent of Man by the Great Jacob.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 02:05 AM

There WAS a famous Gum-leaf player in Australia many years ago. I'm not sure if he was Aboriginal, but the instrument is uncommon, but known of, and still perfomed around the traps. It apparently just as fiddly as the one we erre supposed to be discussing here... :-)

Bob Bolton or some other Aussies surely know more than me about it, - may have even been in other threads - if not - then perhaps it should?

:-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: LadyJean
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 12:09 AM

The Duquesne University Tamburitzans, who perform Eastern European folk dances and songs, occasionally play the Polish bagpipe. As I remember, the pipe, chanter and drones were made of brass, while the large, square bag was covered with velvet. (It looked like a cross between a sopha cushion and a plumbing fixture.)
If the Tammies come your way, be sure to go and see them. They're amazing. I suspect If you got in touch with one of their directors, they'd be glad to tell you about any and all eastern European bagpipes.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: smallpiper
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 01:54 PM

Fionn you've just hit on the origions of Northumbrian pipes!


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 10:18 AM

Sorefingers, Bflat, D and C are the fairly standard keys for Uilleann pipes. I've only ever heard blades of grass played in F, but I suppose atmospheric conditions, central-heating etc come into it.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: smallpiper
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 09:10 AM

Hey Larry have you ever stretched a piece of grass between your thumbs and the heal of your hands and blown accross it? That's a very primitve reed isn't it, so why couldn't early cultures have sussed that one out as well. Its a short step from there to cane.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: InOBU
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 09:02 AM

"Oldest musical pipe they've found was in a Neanderthal camp in present day Slovenia, at least 43000 years old, maybe twice that.

Mind, there's no evidence that it's a bagpipe chanter - but for all we know it could have been... "

Dear dear Brother McGrath... anyone who has struggled to make a reed would doupt that mousterian culture could produce a read when they could not yet make a bivalve stone blade! A flute is another matter. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 08:55 AM

I can't remember wherre it was, but I once saw soemone playing a set of bagpipes with a small electric motor instead of a bellows.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: AKS
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 08:28 AM

Steam powered bagpipe - that would be spectacular, wouldn't it: Steam puffing out the drones and from under the fingers and whirling around the piper like morning mist upon hay rucks in the new mown meadows, while lingering echoes of pibroch fill the atmosphere like a howling hurricane ...

AKS


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 08:08 AM

Fionn,thanks for that additional info. My mention of Belfast might be a red herring, but I thought that we might be stereotyping the "lowland Scots ingenuity" idea by nececssarily trying to locate bagpipe developments there. I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't a few ingenious types around the Belfast linen trade as well. Not to mention Newcomen in Cornwall. Cromford in Derbyshire etc etc.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 07:54 AM

I don't have any letters after me name but I did finally get the name of Uillean's parents - thanks to Kirk Lynch Pipemaker Kansas City - 'cuislean(not sure about the spelling) pipes' - and made in Ireland where, and here is a little bit of history, Gaelic was still spoken by most people.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 06:03 AM

Certainly a developer, but not quite the inventor, Greg. Watt's contribution to progress was the separate condenser. By cooling the used steam outside the main cylinder he quadrupled power output. He also developed a rotary engine so that power output could be harnessed to drive (for instance) linear motion as well as to pump out coal mines.

If you're ever in the north Greg (I recall you were in Cork recently), the story of Belfast linen is encapsulated in a splendid museum at Lisburn, about ten miles along the A1 from Belfast. Well worth a visit. I don't remember seeing anything that might remotely have been applied to uilleann pipes manufacture, but I will be honest and say that such potential connections were far from my mind at the time. I have read a fair amount of Belfast history and spent many an hour in the city's magnificent treasure, the Linenhall Library, but I've never seen any suggestion that Belfast had any significant role in the development of uilleann pipes.

Where there certainly is a direct connection between a local traditional industry and the pipes is in Sheffield, the home of steel, precision engineering and cutlery. There is a pipemaker there, Brian Howard, who learnt his engineering skills with local tool-makers and who makes full use of many workshops around him that have lingered on.

I know, and he is the first to admit, that his reputation is not great with some of the Milltown Malbay afficionados. He can certaily put backs up, but part of the problem is the conservatism that objects when people put 12 volt electrics on Vincent motorbikes so so they can see where they're going. It can't be denied that some of the innovative Howard "patches and upgrades" for the pipes, derived directly from engineering-shop principles, actually do work, and render the things more dependable.

Article about Brian Howard's uilleann pipes and local engineering influences.

If anyone's interested and happens to be round my way, Papplewick pumping station, about five miles north of Nottingham, boasts two James Watt beam engines - almost certainly the last two to be built - which are under steam most weekends. These would be a bit bigger than the uillean pipes on which Watt cut his teeth.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: smallpiper
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 05:29 AM

Perhaps yer man was trying to invent the powered bagpipe and accidently discovered the steem engine in the process! Now there's a thort!


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 05:02 AM

The original query that started this thread, the possible linkage of the uillean pipes to the industrial revolution is very intriguing. I would guess the connectionof musical instrument technology to industrial machines is very close, and for a guess it is the musical stuff that probably came first in a lot of cases. The intricate metal work and ingenuity of the mechanical linkages in keyboards and woodwind instruments, and the whoe technology of controlling gas flow in bagpies etc would link very closely with the whole business of spinning jennies, blast furnaces and steam engines of the 1700's.
    Cromford was a working musician before he made his spinning technolgy innovations, but the man who most beautifully personifies these links is the of course the very very famous James Watt, developer of the team engine which powered the whole revolution. And what was he up to before inventing the steam engine? Working in Glasgow as a maker/repairer of flutes and bagpipes, in the mid 1700's! And incredibly luckily, his workshop tools and other paraphernalia still exist, so we know a great deal about what he made and how he made them. The intircate musical technolgy with which he was familiar was just the stuff he needed when working on the complexities of steam flow, valves etc.
    Here's an amusing bit of thread drift: among James Watt's effects (still in existence) were a hand-made metal stamp(for stamping wood) saying T Lot. Now Thomas Lot was a very famous and respected flute maker of that era. Thomas Watt was just a common or garden flutemaker. Now why did he own a stamp saying T Lot? Was the wily little bloke churning out counterfet Thomas Lot flutes?? Intriguing,huh?
    Anyway, my general point is that in the industrial revolution era the inventor types would be surrounded by the rapidly developing musical developments of the day, and the cross-fertilisation of techniques must have been considerable.
    Whether Newcomen(slightly earlier,working c 1700 on the earliest steam engines) had any musical connections I have no idea, but he would certainly have been surrounded by woodwind(and specifically bagpipe) technolgy, as would anyone in Scotland or England at that date.And this technolgy was not only extremely clever, but also in a state of continuous innovatory change. What I have no knowledge of, and I hopesomeone else could supply this information, is what was going on in the way of engineering/weaving technology in the Belfast linen industry in that era, that may be relevant to this discussion.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: smallpiper
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 04:31 AM

I thought that Pied Piper had identified the grandparents in the guise of the pastoral pipes - seems prety convincing to me.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 09:34 PM

"I should
have made it clear that I was looking for its mum and dad in 19 C Ireland"

Not really 19th century more like early 1700s, has no Regulators and two Drones, but is bellows inflated and usualy in C or Bb.

Best I could find.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 09:13 PM

No, we never really answered the question posed by Les. Somewhere in the 1700-early 1800s period there should be a better answer. So far, the only answers are anecdotal-speculative.

Lots of other interesting information came up, however.

Thanks to Pied Piper for reminding me of the Bruegel piper. I used to have a copy on my wall at school. Amazing the people who commented on his headgear- everything from an early aviator's helmet, early football (American) helmet to earmuffs. Somewhere I saw a picture of a 14th c. Catalan bagpipe- have to try to find it.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Nerd
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 08:04 PM

Yes, foolstroupe, and I did get what you were saying. Another fine example was people noticing that the Pyramids seem to have a side length that is a fairly exact multiple of pi in ancient Egyptian cubits. "Impossible that they could have built this!" some foolish people said, "it must have been aliens."

Until someone figured out that they must have used a measuring wheel on the end of a stick. The wheel would have a radius of one cubit (or a half cubit, or any multiple of a half cubit [call it 1/2 x cubits]) and they would measure the sides by pacing off the distance and counting the revolutions of the wheel. If you measure out a whole number of revolutions, you get a distance of pi times x times the number of revolutions, or an exact multiple of pi, without even knowing or caring about pi.

And what has this to do with bagpipes? Well, remember that pipe with a beating reed well down inside, found in an Egyptian tomb?

Well, erm...no, actually, it really is irrelevant, sorry!


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 07:25 PM

Well, Nerd

1) At least now he's having his childish tantrums in a different room, and we can't hear the noise from here...

2) I don't totally disagree with his basic premise. I'm not sure that my contributions there (or those of [greg stephens - above] and like minded people) would assist him at all though...

SOME "Academic authority" IS nonsense enough to be humourous - "Nothing heavier than air can fly"... etc. These ideas, based on poor science, may die, but can disrupt proper thought for a long time if we are unlucky.

You may note that above I made some comments about the "they couldn't do that in those days" line of "Technical Expertise - Academia" - and I notice nobody wanted to keep that line alive.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Nerd
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 06:55 PM

It turns out sorefingers did not suddenly become more civil; he simply transferred his veiled personal attacks against me to a BS thread called "BS: Is Academic authority a lie?" I thought I'd let the thread contributors here know, just in case his posts here amused you...it's certainly a fun read down there in the BS!

As to Les's clarification of his needs, I think the best answer is the one Pied Piper suggested at 03 Sep 03 - 08:06 AM. That is what the best evidence supports.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 01:54 PM

I love it all.

But for the time being I would like to stay near the 19C. When I asked about from what did the Uillean pipes evolve, I should have made it clear that I was looking for its mum and dad in 19 C Ireland or, as has been suggested, the USA. It has many, many distant relations, as do we all.

1 mother, 2 grandmothers, 4 greatgms, 8 Greatgreatgms, 16, 32 64......
Sorry I have jumped my own thread and will no doubt pay for it!


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 06:38 AM

The inhabitants of Britain and Ireland, just like anywhere else, were sensible and ingenious folk. On occasion they would come up with a good invention, which would then spread elsewhere.. More commonly they would see some new idea brought in by a neighbour/visitor. If useful, it would be taken up, used, maybe improved on to be more suitable for local conditions. A simple and obvious process, morally value-free.
    I don't think we need to drag in notions "of Celtic" "Gaelic" "English" etc etc to illuminate(or inflame) discussions of the possible origins and use of some rather clever and beautiful ideas in instrument construction.Galicia's Celticness(or not) are serious red-herringsas, as is all the other nonsense. Quite what is meant to be "Celtic" about Galicia, as opposed to say Denmark or Belgium (both historically riddled with "Celtishness") is beyond me. I like the original subject of the thread much better@ who invented those clever little brass mechanisms etc etc. They do deserve recognition, if we could only find out who they were. Whether they were "Celtic" or not....yawn, yawn, yawn...


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Pied Piper
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 05:26 AM

Here is more evidence supporting a medieval pan European origin of modern "Celtic" bagpipes.
The Chanters of Gaitas and GHB have 2 holes below the last fingered holes, one each side of the chanter at 90 degrees to the finger holes.
One of these holes is clearly visible in this Bruegel painting with Flemish Pipes.
Another medieval wind instrument characteristic; haveing 2 bottom finger holes (one on each side) to alow right or lefthanded playing (the one not used being blocked with wax or some such material) is present on the Gaita Chanter.

PP


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: smallpiper
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 07:09 PM

Fionn - I'm not sure what you mean but I understand there are several different ways of playing the Irish pipes. The way most people do - stopping the chanter on the leg and open ended, that is without stopping the chanter at all perhaps the set you have favours the latter of the two methods (I said several because I've heard that there are more ways of fingering the damm thing than there are ways of skinning a .... oops)


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 07:03 PM

That is so cool, McGrath!


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 07:00 PM

Oldest musical pipe they've found was in a Neanderthal camp in present day Slovenia, at least 43000 years old, maybe twice that.

Mind, there's no evidence that it's a bagpipe chanter - but for all we know it could have been...


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 06:53 PM

Actually, Guest Briton, that's not quite right.

"Britain" seems to have been an ethnicity before it was a Geographical description, though it originally seems to have referred to Picts, not the people later called Britons. Early indications are that they were called cruithini in old Irish and Pretani in old Brythonic, suggesting their name existed prior to the differentiation of the Celtic languages, and originally included the PRTN cluster found in the word Britain. The B, of course, is the voiced form of P, and the C replaced the P in the Gaelic languages, so they were BRTNs or PRTNs in P-Celtic and CRTNs in q-Celtic (Goidelic/Gaelic). It seems the name [Pretan=Breton or Briton] transferred from the Picts to the island where they lived, then from the island to the Britons who lived there later.

The "Great" in Great Britain is not to distinguish it from the smaller islands of the archipelago, but to distinguish the island of Britain from Brittany, which was originally a colony of British Celts. In French, the politically dominant language of both England and France after the Norman Conquest, "Bretagne" referred to both the island and the colony, hence "Grande Bretagne" for the island to avoid confusion.

I know, thread creep! Sorry!

Back to bagpipes. I think what sorefingers means (if I may) is that the earlier pipe on which a bagpipe is based is a reed-pipe similar to the ones played by snake charmers, and in that he is quite right, as Q notes.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 06:48 PM

See what you done, InOBU?

Certainly fascinating, all this history, anthropology, musicology, etc. I'm doing my best to absorb it, and congratulate Sorefingers for the way he's teased it out of you knowledgeable foiks.

Maybe someone could just pause to give me a word of advice, since I struggle along with no guidance within many miles. I've hit on playing low E leaving right little-finger down, and changer off the knee. This gives a note comparable in strength with D below and Fsharp above. The book (Armagh Pipers) says chanter down, both bottom holes uncovered, but this gives a noticeably weak note. My new way is a pain to get used to, so can someone tell me whether there's a downside (like it wouldn't work on any other chanter) before I get to the point of no return?


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 05:50 PM

Thi is some thread creep


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: GUEST,Briton
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 05:49 PM

British Isles is a group of islands, and is a geographical description. Great Britain is the biggest island, hence great=big - get it?


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 05:39 PM

A snake charmer was the first pipe?
Seriously, 'pipe' is too generalized since now you are looking at the ancestor of all the woodwinds, brass, panpipes and digeridoos of the world.
Of all the stuff above, I agree with the essayist in the Britannica who pointed out the importance of the discovery of a pipe with the beating reed well down in the pipe. This was found in an Egyptian tomb, so we have a "not later than" date for an important step. The bag in Roman times is another "not later than" discovery.

(Hmmm, I have been reading too many posts by Ian on narrowing down time of origin of songs).


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 05:22 PM

"The craftspeople who made the first pipes clearly based them on other pipes. Which ones and where"

I waited for that one. Thanks Les.

If a University would give me a degree today to bleather endlessly about this topic, I would decline it, since all I want to do is share what I already know.

In this case, Les, the 'first' pipes were not pipes at all, but something far more common and similar, the lowly snake charmer.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 04:59 PM

The term "British" in the expression "British Isles" should always be understood as having a purely geographic meaning rather than having any political implications, refering to the largest island in the group, and using it as a label to cover all the islands in the Archipelago, incuding Ireland and the Isle of Man. (But not the Channel Isles. I'm not sure about the Orkneys or Shetlands, but I suspect they shouldn't be counted in, any more than the Faeroes.)

The use of the term "Britain" as if it was a country, rather than an island is really just journalese. There ain't no such country, properly speaking.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 04:10 PM

Q: exactly so. Trade goods from China appear in Hallstatt Celtic graves. This is why, in the absence of linguistic evidence, it's hard to tell who is "Indo-European." Material objects, technologies of production, and cultural practices (like burial and cremation and sacrifice) can be communicated across groups. So one group's physical remains may look much like another's even if their language is different.

This is one of those problems that affects people's thinking about bagpipes (to subtly wrench this back in the general direction of relevance!) Because people associate the bagpipes with the Celtic world, they assume that people who have bagpipes must be Celtic, even though as we have seen, piping is a generalized European phenomenon. This has helped fueled Galicia's claim (or I should say "certain Galicians' claim") to be a Celtic country, despite the fact that there has been no Celtic language spoken there for ages.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 03:23 PM

Indo-European refers to a broad smear of languages and peoples- Middle-eastern, Persian, other parts of central Asia as well as India and later, Europe. Because of proximity and relationships in trade as well as language similarities, developments in one part of the area could spread to another- hence something developed in Persia would show up in the Indian subcontinent and work its way west as well. Later, something from Moorish Spain could work its way north and west.
Because of the emphasis on Caesar, Marco Polo and others who publicized or politicized their trips, we have the idea of insular, settled peoples who normally did not have contact with those in other areas. Not true. Migration and trade affected all peoples.

Even in North America, trade was long ranging before the Europeans; turquoise from New Mexico went to the Valley of Mexico, feathers from Mexican birds were used in the American west, shells from the Gulf of California were peddled all over western North America, obsidian and other goods from Oregon traveled with trader Indians to Texas, etc.


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Subject: RE: Ullean Pipes
From: Nerd
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 03:04 PM

Les,

You are probably right. My own area of specialization is considerably later. It certainly was assumed for years that the Indo-Europeans emerged from India, simply because Sanskrit was the earliest known IE language for many years. That assumption in turn led to the assumption that many common IE cultural traits originated in India too. But later research may well have shown the premise to be as difficult to maintain as the conclusion.

One of the problems here is "how do we decide that someone is Indo-European?" If we do not have linguistic records, it's a tough case to make. This is the same problem we encounter later, in the time period I am most familiar with, in deciding that people are "Celtic" (as opposed to, say, Lepontic or Iberian).

By the way, my unfinished sentence from the post above should be:

I firmly believe that the origins of many literary ideas ascribed to others, including some English people, will someday be found in unpublished Irish folklore collections.


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