Branschke, Matthias

Tools of the Trade Mar 2015 in Chanter 2015 Spring

As a German bagpipe maker, I live in a region where there is a tradition of playing double and single reed bagpipes. That’s how I came to be making Säckpipa! You may not be aware, but the thickness of the wall of a chanter influences the tuning of the scale of a chanter. This fact creates some problems when it comes to making the scallops on a Säckpipa chanter. Sure, one could carve them.

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Tools of the Trade - A custom made Stebcentre May 2020 in Chanter 2020 Summer

A custom made Stebcentre Over the last ten years I have made a number of jigs, fixtures and small tools that are solving small problems in the manufacturing processes of my pipemaking. Most of them are for a very specific task and therefore useful, but they may only be in action for a few times per year. The tool I want to present in this article is quite the opposite, it’s in use on any kind of instrument a make, and it has really speeded up my work flow.

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Reducing the range of a melody to fit on bagpipes Nov 2018 in Chanter 2018 Winter

Everybody who plays the bagpipes knows about its limits in range and, according to the type, the available chromatics. This is no problem as long as you are living in a country with an ongoing tradition of bagpipe-music, if you are interested in a specific bagpipe-style from other countries or if you are simply writing your own music. When I started playing the bagpipes in 1998, most of the dance music played at BalFolk-like events in Germany was French inspired or, if not inspired, then copied from French players.

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Tools of the Trade Mar 2017 in Chanter 2017 Spring

Oval in 10 minutes – Making a Berrichonne Stock The topic for Tools of the Trade is the jig I made for sanding the oval chanter stock for my Berrichonne Cornemuse. The stock is oval in shape and has two parallel bores running through it. It is 120mm long for the G model and the challenge is to make the stock to a good and consistent shape. I hadn’t made one of these since setting up my own workshop so I had nothing in place to do the job.

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