Can it be only 3 months ago when the last Chanter proudly announced the Society’s fantastic line-up for the Blowout? I was just a couple of weeks away from packing my bags to head off to the International Bagpipe Organisation’s conference in the States and a spring and summer full of festivals, concerts and events was mapped out in my diary. How can so much change so soon? I am, along with everyone else, saddened that our shared world of music-making has been one of the major casualties of the coronavirus pandemic.Read more »
Just a few brief notes to kick off this Spring 2020 edition – there’s no room for any more from me as it’s another packed, eclectic edition of articles and features. I never cease to be amazed at how wide a diversity of material is included in Chanter and this, I suppose, simply reflects the wide diversity of pipes, players, cultures, histories and music that this single (!) instrument shares. However, all bagpipes and bagpipers should come together to celebrate the instrument this coming 10th March as it is, of course, International Bagpipe Day!Read more »
Over the last few years, as editor of Chanter, I have tried to expand piping horizons by featuring bagpipes and traditions from across Europe and further afield. This is borne partly out of my own curiosity and interests and partly because I believe that bagpipes of all shapes, sizes and cultures deserve equal treatment and exposure to as wide an audience as possible. In doing so, I wonder whether I have neglected some instruments that are perhaps more widely known to the core membership of the Society.Read more »
I would hazard a guess (and do correct me if I’m wrong), that the majority of members of The Bagpipe Society are experienced players of at least one type of bagpipe. So, it is sometimes easy to forget that there are people out there who are interested in the instrument but have yet to make the brave move to taking up the pipes. It can be very difficult for the keen potential player to discover if, firstly, it is the instrument for them and/or secondly to find a teacher or experienced hand to guide them through the initial stages.Read more »
Jane Moulder The months and years seem to swing by in an instant (is this me getting old?) and I’m writing this with less than a month to go before the Blowout but my mind is already racing ahead to my annual pilgrimage to Le Son Continu. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of my first attending the festival. Back in 1988 my exposure to bagpipes had been fairly limited and mainly consisted of the Scottish, Irish and Northumbrian varieties and, through listening to David Munrow recordings, I had some awareness of medieval and renaissance bagpipes.Read more »
Jane Moulder Grace Notes - Jane Moulder Whilst writing this, I am looking out of my window at the snow falling down and thinking that it really would be great to go to Mallorca for the International Bagpipe Organisation conference in March! Sadly I can’t because of other commitments but whilst it may now be very short notice, if you can spare the time, then do see if you can find a last minute cheap flight as it really does look like bagpipe heaven to me!Read more »
Welcome to the Winter edition of Chanter and I hope there will be something to interest everyone whether a player, maker, researcher or simply an enthusiast. I am particularly pleased that Paul Roberts has submitted his work to date on the evolution of the “pastoral pipe” in Britain. I have heard Paul’s presentation at both the International Bagpipe Organisation’s Conference and the Blowout and as the majority of members were unable to be at either of these, it is good to be able to print it in Chanter.Read more »
Welcome to the first ever full colour edition of Chanter. As editor it gives me much pleasure in being able to write that sentence! It has always been something of a frustration that some of the articles are not reproduced to their best, as the colour photographs that are normally submitted by contributors do not always clearly convert to black and white. Hopefully, that is now all resolved. I am sitting at my desk writing this column whilst looking out at grey skies and frequent showers – a sad sight for the beginning of August.Read more »
Editor’s Note: There was something of an editorial oversight in the last edition. Somehow, Jon Swayne’s response to Andy Letcher’s question on tapering bores (p.11) acquired an extra paragraph at the end of his article. At this point I must confess I have no idea where the paragraph came from and who wrote it! So, I will reprint it as a “Call” and hope that there are some “Responses” – and to both Jon and the questioner – apologies!Read more »
Well, there I was, thinking that last Chanter’s bumper edition was going to be a one off – but here we go again! I’m very pleased that it is the gaita and the pipes of Iberia that have caused this second oversized volume in a row because there’s a special place in my heart for these instruments. What has become very clear to me in reading through all of the articles is that in the same way that the generic word “bagpipe” covers a multitude of different forms and type of instrument, so it is with gaita.Read more »
Jane Moulder Just a few brief comments from me this quarter as there is a pretty full edition for you. My quest to explore and feature some lesser known bagpipes continues with the Lithuanian bagpipe taking centre stage. Still relatively unknown in its native homeland, its resurgence is in the hands of a very small group of people who are working hard to bring the instrument back to the fore.Read more »
Welcome to this Bumper Edition of Chanter! It is, I think, the largest edition of Chanter to have ever been published. As editor, I was in enviable position that so many excellent articles had been submitted I was having difficulty in deciding which ones would be held back for the future – so I have resolved the issue by simply putting them all in! A big thank you to all the contributors.Read more »
Welcome to another edition of Chanter – the last in the Society’s 30th anniversary year. As we approach the end of 2016, I think the Society can look back with a degree of satisfaction as to what it has achieved over this period but also look forward to many more years of making a positive contribution to the world of bagpipes and bagpipers. In 2016 the Society has given financial support to various initiatives and this Chanter includes reports from two events which have benefitted.Read more »
Any comments from me will be short and sweet this quarter as this is another packed edition of Chanter with little room for superfluous words. An excellent state of affairs! I’m particularly pleased that, after a long absence, this edition contains a number of tunes, both old and new. The 30th Anniversary of The Bagpipe Society was celebrated at the Blowout with a tune competition and there was a plethora of excellent entries from Society members, a couple of which are reproduced here.Read more »
Since the last edition of Chanter, I have visited Glasgow and the National Piping Centre twice. This feels a bit like the arrival of the long awaited Number 64 bus — having not been to Scotland for over 30 years, I then have two forays north of the border within 3 months of each other. The two occasions were very different though. At the end of February I attended the bi-annual conference of the International Bagpipe Organisation (IBO) for the first time.Read more »
This is a celebratory year for The Bagpipe Society – it’s 30 years old! Further inside, Ian Clabburn, the Chairman, gives details of just one of the ways this event is going to be marked. With this anniversary in mind, it is particularly poignant that we received the sad news that the Society’s co-founder, Dave VanDoorn, died recently. It was Dave who first started producing a regular newsletter which, over time, morphed into Chanter.Read more »
Welcome to the Winter edition of Chanter where you will find articles covering quite a diverse range of bagpipes and subjects. As editor, it’s interesting the way it goes – almost like the number 29 bus. You wait for ages for an article on eastern European bagpipes to be submitted, then suddenly two of three come along in quick succession. Both in this edition, and the next Chanter, there are features on the volynka, gaida and pipes that I, for one, am less familiar with.Read more »
I have recently been in correspondence with Jenny Coxon, dulcimer player and music researcher, in connection with my ongoing search for Hale the Piper. As a result of our correspondence, she very kindly offered me some photographs of a Staffordshire pottery figure which she had in her collection and were now surplus to her requirements. I was, of course, a grateful recipient and I am pleased to be able to include the photos in this edition of Chanter (rear cover and left).Read more »
I was unable to get to Le Son Continu this year for personal reasons and its absence from my calendar brought home how important such gatherings are to me. It’s not just about the instruments and music but it’s also about personal relationships and the feeling of belonging to a community. In this way, the Blowout is also a vital part of my year. For one thing - I don’t have to explain about bagpipes!Read more »
I don’t know about you but I’m feeling really quite positive about the way bagpipes are now being reported in the media. Yes, they are still first and foremost associated with Scotland and they will always, no doubt, be the butt of a few jokes (the poor viola and banjo likewise suffer the same fate) but I think attitudes and approaches are slowly changing. In only 3 years, International Bagpipe Day has helped raise the profile of bagpipes and provided a focused vehicle for demonstrating the breadth and variety of the different types of bagpipes and their associated cultures.Read more »
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