Tunes playable on smallpipes

Tunes playable on smallpipes

ghb, smallpipes, etc .. i wrote a script that took a look at each tune on here and determined if it was playable on smallpipes, ghb, etc.

anyway, here’s the list:

http://www.dallaslamers.org/thesession.html

each tune is linked back to the tune listed here ..

Re: Tunes playable on smallpipes

Replicant - By ‘smallpipes’, do you meam Scottish smallpipes, with the GHB scale? I’ve just had a look at a random selection of tunes from your list and I notice that a number of them contain G# and C natural. Of course, notes that are outside the scale of the pipes can be altered to the nearest available note (G# to G, C to C# etc.), and tunes are often treated in this way by pipers. But since you have included tunes which require a degree of modification to make them playable on the pipes, I am wondering what your criteria were. As some great pipers have shown - the late Gordon Duncan, for one - almost any tune in any of the common keys (D, G, A and related modes) can be reworked to fit on the GHB - and transposition opens up even more possibilities.

I am not a piper, so I’m not arguing with you. I’m just curious. As for writing a program to identify the tunes for you, that’s dead clever - I wish I could do stuff like that.

Re: Tunes playable on smallpipes

What’s the difference between GHB and whistle fingering?

Re: Tunes playable on smallpipes

Zazz - that’s a biggish question. I don’t know the ins and outs of GHB fingering, but it is not simply open fingered like the whistle - there are a few cross fingerings (keeping some of the lower holes closed whilst opening the upper ones). There are 7 holes at the front and one thumbhole.

In short, the GHB scale has (roughly) the same notes as an Eb whistle (excluding the Db), except it starts on the Bb - so it’s the Mixolydian mode. When the notes are written out, they are written a semitone lower than the chanter is pitched, so, theoretically it’s A mixolydian. However, there is also a G (Ab) below the bottom A (Bb). It cannot play in the second octave, so there are only 9 notes available:

G A c# d e f# g a (notated pitch)
A B_ c d e_ f g a_ b_ (actual pitch)

I’ll stop here and wait to be rescued by a gallant piper.

Re: Tunes playable on smallpipes

I hope this helps regarding the scale on the GHB most chanters are pitched loosely around Bb though most modern chanters are quite a bit sharper than concert Bb but a rough guide is
Ab Bb C D Eb F G Ab Bb
The music for the GHB is written in A
Your right spoon in saying the notation is a semitone lower than played and the scale is in theory A mixylydian.
Some of the old pipe chanters do play in A but they can be a problem reeding up with modern reeds.
Using smallpipes or borderpipes in A makes everyones life easier.

Re: Tunes playable on smallpipes

Just remembered this.
www.borderpipes.co.uk
Somewhere on this site is a fingering chart for border pipes the notes your interested in are
G A B Csharp D E Fsharp G A
The other fingering as you’ll see produces various sharps and flats not necessarily available or used on the GHB.
Hope this helps

Re: Tunes playable on smallpipes

http://www.bagpipejourney.com/articles/finger_positions.shtml
The above should help, I notice the Gravel walks in your selection which needs the C natural for the last part, which is possible on most GHB chanters with a suitable reed using the fingering above.
This type of fingering is called “half-closed” and similar fingering is used on UPs and Spanish Gaita.
It might seem at first site to be an unnecessary complication but it’s evolved for physical stability and access to lower grace notes with the movement of a only a few fingers simultaneously.

PP

Re: Tunes playable on smallpipes

Yes pied piper’s link better demonstrates the fingering for GHB.

Re: Tunes playable on smallpipes

yup .. sorry, scottish smallpipes and other types of scottish pipes that use a GHB type of scale/fingering.

i was basically searching on here for tunes that “could” be adapted w/o TOO much work to be playable on scottish smallpipes. basically, what my script did was report back anything that didn’t have the following notes in ABC:

C D E F b

while not perfect, it’ll suffice. here’s the code if anyone is interested, was just a quick perl hack:

http://www.dallaslamers.org/parse_thesession.html