Based on a drawing by Albrecht Durer 1514, the chanter is versatile and enormous fun to play. It is pitched in the D two octaves lower than a D penny whistle. It is theoretically a ‘smallpipe’, since it has a cylindrical bore. Further refinements in the design enable the player to produce intermediate notes in the scale using cross-fingerings. The basic scale is D. It also plays the notes C, B flat and F.Read more »
Bruegel Pipes, as the name suggests, are reconstructed from those depicted by Renaissance painter, Peter Bruegel the elder (whose ‘enflamed’ pipers were censored by the Victorians!) With their drones dramatically rising forwards and upwards, they are a striking bagpipe, the Hummelchen’s big brother. Fingering and keys vary, but often they sound and play just like a Southern English Border Pipe, the only difference being the ‘geometry’. Although no historical instruments survive, there are many detailed paintings which allows modern reconstructors to make informed judgements about likely pitch and drone configuration.Read more »
One of the sets of pipes described and depicted by the Renaissance organologist, Praetorius, Michael, modern day Hummelchen (or ‘bumblebee’ pipes) has been reconstructed from these original drawings. Mouth-blown, with one or two drones that project forwards, half-closed or Baroque recorder fingering, a nine-note scale and holes within easy reach, Hummelchen make an excellent beginner’s pipe for adults and children alike. They have a sweet, rustic sound, as befits their name, and are particularly suitable for playing Early Music.Read more »
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