Bagpipes Used in Pipe and Drum Bands and Entertainment Events
Bag pipes are musical aerophones; which use enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. They usually consist of an air supply, a bag, chanter and at least one drone.
Air supply is obtained from blowing into the blowstick or blowpipe and goes to the bag
The bag is an air-tight reservoir that can hold air and regulate its flow thus enabling a player to maintain continuous sound. Therefore a player is supposed to keep the bag inflated by blowing air into it.
The chanter is a melody pipe; which usually played with two hands. A bagpipe may have one chanter although others have two or more.
Furthermore, the Chanter reed is attached on top of a chanter and is used to produce a note.
However, the Drone is a special pipe; which needs no fingering. But instead can produce a constant harmonizing note throughout the play on its own.
Types of bagpipes :
The Great Highland Bagpipe
However, this is the most popular type of the bagpipe. It is a woodwind double reed instrument; which has its reeds enclosed into the apparatus; rather than being played by the mouth. It has typically one chanter pipe, a blowpipe, two tenor drone pipes, and a bass drone pipe. Its range spans just over one octave; typically from ‘G’ to ‘A’.
Moreover, the Uilleann pipes are the most common bagpipes of Ireland. They look like the Great Highland pipes although in size they are smaller than. They take a lot of skill to build because they are more complex. Also tune and play needs a person who is well versed with bagpipes; owing to the fact that they have two octaves in range; which places special requirements on the reeds inside.
It has three drones (bass, baritone and tenor). The pipes support various musical techniques; such as staccato, and have a quieter, “sweeter” sound than many other bagpipes. However, it is usually tuned in ‘D’.
The Gaita Bagpipes
The gaita is a Bulgarian bagpipe that was later played throughout the Balkans. Also a woodwind, reeded instrument, the gaita is of simple construction: It typically has a chanter pipe, a blowpipe; as well as a single drone pipe pitched lower than the chanter’s range. The chanter has one octave and is usually tuned to ‘A’ or ‘B’.
Furthermore, it typically consists of four drones that can be tuned to various pitches. It has chanters with seven 17 keys; and possesses some of the unique qualities of the Irish Uilleann bagpipes. However, it requires very tight fingering to play in staccato.
However, it originates from Brittany France. The Binou is designed to be mouth-blown. It is played one note above the octave scale and a flat lead tone below it. Nonetheless, it produces a sound that is one octave higher than the Great Highland bagpipe; producing a very high pitched sound.
Also known as the chevrette, the Center-France bagpipe is made of goatskin and is also a mouth-blown instrument. It is commonly used in the Bourbonnais, Morvan, and Nivernais regions of France.
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