Anders Norudde is a multi-instrumentalist and violin maker, most famous for playing in Swedish/Finnish band Hedningarna (‘the Heathens”). As well as violin, moraharpa, bowed harp, willowflutes and whistles, he plays Swedish bagpipes, which he took up in 1981. The most recent Hedningarna album, &, was released in 2012. What bagpipes do you play. I play the Swedish bagpipes. Until six months ago I just had my old set from the 80s made by Leif Eriksson, though modified by me with a new bag.Read more »
Let’s face it: As bagpipes go, the Swedish one doesn’t strike you as particularly impressive at the first look. In its most basic form, it really boils down to the essence of a bagpipe without bells and whistles: There is a leather bag, a blowpipe, one cylindrical chanter and one short, stubby drone (traditionally tuned to the unison of the chanter’s lowest melody note). Both the chanter and the reed are fitted with a single reed, giving the instrument its rather nasal – and typical – sound.Read more »
Swedish bagpipe reeds are traditionally made from the most suitable material growing in Sweden - Phragmites australis (common reed). Unfortunately Phragmites is a very fragile material and sensitive to humidity. Reed/tuning problems were most likely one of the main reasons that the instrument almost disappeared. Most active pipers today use imported cane, Arundo donax, the most common reed material for other reed instruments (including most other bagpipes). Arundo donax is harder and more resistant than Phragmites australis.Read more »
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