Bicego, Daniele

In Chanter n. 30, vols. 3 and 4 (2016) I talked of the müsa in the Edinburgh museum, concentrating on that specific instrument with technical drawings, but many pages were dedicated to a general description and background of the müsa, no need to repeat it here. I will just give a short note about it as the aim of this article is to enlist all the surviving instruments and to propose an hypothesis on its tuning as since the ‘70s, when musicological research started, one of the most debated topics was the scale of the chanter and which note the drone played, a question still debated today.

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The Edinburgh Müsa - Part II Nov 2016 in Chanter 2016 Winter

The Edinburgh müsa is a wonderful instrument. There’s a reason why I have dedicated much attention to: it is probably the best surviving exemplar of this type of bagpipe which is specific to a small region in Northern Italy called “Quattro Province”. Fine moduloSo, it was a truly exciting opportunity to see it, measure it, and make a comparison with her ‘sisters’ in Italy. Without exception, the Edinburgh instrument shows all the distinctive features which single the müsa out from all other bagpipes – and these are summarised at the end of the article.

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The Edinburgh Müsa Aug 2016 in Chanter 2016 Autumn

The müsa is a small bagpipe with a single drone, typical of the valleys branching out from the heights of Appennino, approximately around the top of Mt Chiappo (1700mt. high) in the North of Italy. This small area is divided between the provinces of Pavia, Genoa, Alessandria and Piacenza and known locally as the “region of the Four Provinces” This area has a wide repertoire of traditional music, dances and songs, handed down by word of mouth and played on the piffero, a loud shawn typical of the area.

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