Everything else is turning digital, so why not bagpipes. So, there was I quietly checking what was hap- pening to my Facebook friends, when I noticed that Imogen had a new toy. It was what appeared to be a cross between a whistle and a Stylophone. After a few email exchanges I discovered that it was actually some- thing called a Technopipe. After a little extra research, I had my Will Smith moment, “I’ve got to get one of those.Read more »
The tulum of North East Anatolia is a drone-less, double-chanter bagpipe, equipped with single reeds. The identical chanters are of reed cane each with 5 finger holes. They lie parallel in a wooden yoke (usually of boxwood) terminating in a straight sided rectangular “bell”. Each pair of holes is covered by a single finger, allowing both chanters to be played in unison, or, by cov- ering just one of the pair, a double stopping ef-Read more »
Bagpipes have been in the news this autumn, with the authorities at the Rugby World Cup preventing Scottish supporters from bringing their national instrument into the games, and with Bob Dylan apparently availing himself of a set of R. G. Hardie pipes from Glasgow’s National Piping Centre (well, it surely beats that God-awful harmonica). In both cases the press got in touch with me, your Publicity Officer, to coax out a sound-bite and, with the Dylan story, a bagpipe rendition of ‘All around the watchtower’.Read more »
In the Autumn 2010 issue of Chanter Julian Goodacre drew our attention to a couple of previously unspotted entries in the nineteenth century diary of the Reverend Francis Kilvert describing Italian bagpipers turning up in his parish near Hay-on-Wye in the Welsh Marches: in July 1872 he writes of a “wild swarthy Italian-looking man, young, with a steeple-crowned hat, and full of uncouth cries and strange outland words” (Plomer, 1938: 375) playing his pipes to the delight of a group of dancing children, whilst on Midsummer’s day the following year he records hearing the “drone of the Italian bagpipes advancing” before “two men … came playing through the village” (Plomer, 1939: 217).Read more »
Dear John, I am not sure how many of the readers of Chanter also take the Times Higher Education but for those who don’t subscribe I thought they might be interested in the following picture which appeared in the 13-19th October 2011 edition. Rather surprisingly it accompa- nies an article on the question of whether some students who have been found guilty of plagiarism are being punished too harshly. Now I’ve al-Read more »
Having been praised at the AGM for keeping the costs of producing Chanter down, including saving money on postage by keeping it within the 100g limit for a standard 2nd class letter - I’ve kind of blown it with this issue, having found myself with rather more contributions than I’m used to! So please enjoy this bumper sized edition, and keep those contributions coming in… At the moment I’m looking forward to the Christmas period, for a bit of Morris dancing and of course it is our season for going around with the Mari Lwyd.Read more »
This article is about the creation of musical variations; something that has been part of the piping tradition, in England and elsewhere, for almost as long as it has had a re- corded history. The three most proximate roots for this piece all come from the Blowout held in 2011. The first inspiration was a conversation I had with Clive Mathews in which he deplored the “current habit” of playing through a set of variations more than once.Read more »
The meeting opened at 17:03 Apologies: Jon Swayne Minutes of previous meeting: The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. Matters Arising: Website — discussed later under Publicity Student Pipes — Nothing happened (no info from David Faulkner); it was agreed to drop the action. Pig Plate — Judy Rockliff did contact Don Ward who, after six months(!), did send the requested picture. It was agreed to continue the action (Judy to publish the picture in Chanter, or on the web site, and solicit suggestions for what kind of activity to do with it).Read more »
Dear John, Sometimes I feel like bagpipes are following me everywhere. My wife brought home an old book entitled Costume of Household Servants by Phillis Cunnington and I just opened it up at random to find a discussion of ‘bagpipe sleeves’ in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. I’d never heard of this before so thought I’d send it to you in case it interests others. Cunnington says “The sleeves were very wide, hanging low down, expanding to a funnel shape below.Read more »
John Tose: Arriving at Polesworth, and whilst setting up camp in the field behind the Abbey – looking forward to an evening chilling out over some cider, a barbeque, and a few tunes with the girls – I was collared by none other than Julian Goodacre. Apparently my pres- ence was required in the hall as he had some- thing planned about an assembly dedicated to producing a standard chanter. No rest for the wicked.Read more »
Ruth Bramley: I always look forward to the Blowout, and this year was certainly no exception, especially because I knew that the hurdy-gurdy workshops would be extremely good. This was my first year of running the box office, although I have assisted Robert for several years, so I wanted to get to Polesworth quite early on Friday, armed with all my paperwork, tickets for collection, etc. Almost as soon as we arrived, people started asking me for tickets, or wanting to pay for previously booked tickets.Read more »
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