What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

I have small hands and thin fingers, so I hope to have a chanter with a small distance between the holes. Who knows the difference between wide bore chanters and narrow bore chanters?

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Little difference in terms of finger spacing. The holes on a narrow bore are slightly smaller, but not meaningfully so. The narrow bore chanter is much quieter.

I would suggest getting some time with a borrowed set or attending a tionol before investing, as I suspect you’re likely to buy something sub-optimal if you buy sight unseen.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Is this thread likely to turn into a bore? Only joking!!!!

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

The distance between the holes won’t vary that much. As Calum says, the narrow-bore chanter is the same length as a wide-bore one (roughly, for all intents and purposes), but designed to sound and behave more like a flat set.

I have small hands and fingers but can reach the holes on any D set of pipes and on the vast majority of flat sets, which are longer and have much wider spacing (albeit smaller holes).

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

One of the things about narrow bore UP´s is that when well done, they will give a wider pallette of tonal effects and allow a greater diversity of fingerings for ´shading´. Not all so-called narrow bore concert pitch chanters will exhibit these characteristics…but some will. Geoff Woof´s will. To a certain extent modern renderings of ´flat´ sets will also show these characteristics the closer they follow the designs of the old masters, like the Kenna´s.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Theres a practice set on uilleann obsession in F , which will be quite a lot smaller. Notcheap as its from a master maker

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

I’ve heard the Taylor brothers of Philadelphia credited with developing the wide-bore Concert D chanter. Is this true?

If so, a narrow-bore chanter would be a restoration or recreation of the original Irish style of chanter?

Not surprising then that a narrow-bore chanter would have more tonal capabilities, which were sacrificed at the altar of loudness by the Taylors.

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

18th and 19th century people tended to be smaller than today and they had no issues covering the toneholes on either narrow or wide bore pipes.

Look at Paddy Moloney, he’s tiny, like literally 5’5 or 5’6 with the smallest, thinnest, and softest hands I’ve ever seen on a grown man, and he certainly has no problems with most chanters.

Covering the tone holes is more a matter of precision than hand size, although the very long, lower pitched B and Bb chanters might be too widely spaced for some hands.

Rubbing a drop of very light bore oil on your clean hands before playing can help stop leaks and give some confidence, but it won’t cover for sloppy finger placement.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

I’ve heard that too, Richard, but don’t recall the source or if it’s true.

Bill Haneman’s concert pitch chanter has the capability of tonal effects, more than others I’ve played, but it’s not narrow bore. I think tonal effects v. not is a bit more complicated than whether or not a chanter is wide or narrow bore.

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

I found where I read the story about the Taylors, the article
Historical Notes
by L E McCullough
which appeared in
A Manual For The Irish Uilleann Pipes
by Patrick Sky

McCullough says
"As far as can be ascertained the Taylors were the first makers to concentrate on coping with the demands presented by the performing occasions of urban, industrial areas (which) necessitated louder, concert-pitched uilleann pipes with bigger bores; some Taylor chanters were even slightly sharper than Concert Pitch."

He’s probably implying A=440 however at the time of the Taylors Concert Pitch in Britain, which many US ensembles followed, was A=452. Indeed I bought a Taylor-looking chanter in an antique shop in the 1980s that when reeded was around that pitch.

BTW McCullough, writing in or before 1980, implies an Irish origin of the uilleann pipes which doesn’t stand up in light of what we know now.

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Really Richard? I disagree strongly with that. The Irish pipes, call them uilleann or Union.Come from Ireland….

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

> The Irish pipes, call them uilleann or Union.Come from Ireland….

No. Certainly the later stages of their evolution in the 19th century occurred in Ireland, but the instrument it evolved from, the "pastoral" bagpipe, is not in any way a native Irish invention. It’s not even clear where the fashion for removing the pastoral footjoint came from or why, though this was the innovation that created a recognisably modern Union chanter.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

The musical instrument museum at Edinburgh University and the piping museum in Glasgow have a pile of uilleann/union pipes (not many full sets, but lots of chanters and bits and pieces of drones and regs) made in Scotland and England in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Show me the thousands of english or scottish or welsh corpus of 2 octave tunes in D and ill show the the massive corpus of irish tunes in A …..
They dont exist. QED

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

"Show me the thousands of english or scottish or welsh corpus of 2 octave tunes in D". English tunes in G, like Irish tunes, often go down to D but no lower. The tunes that go below D are often in D, dipping to the seventh as would use the C foot. Most trad tunes are two octaves or less.

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

You mean like the Tarbolton? 😉

Tunes travelled, and there was probably a fair bit of crossover. I don’t think you can easily put a wall between the Irish and Scottish repertoires, barring ones with known authors, i.e. Skinner.

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Were talking about pipe tunes. The tarbolton has scottish name indeed. Who composed it?
English pipe tunes, have you a recommended source?
There are a lot of myths that being repeated endlessly take on the semblance of truth , but digdeeper and there is little to no sustenance behind them .

As a pastoral player myself im familiar with the history and repertoire ; Most irish pipe tunes, scotts tunes can of course be played, in D but dont really have the kick they do in A
There is an awful lot of rubbish on the internet and print useing unfounded assertions to support opinions dressed as facts .
The whole story can not be isolated from the social and political bacground upon which history is founded .

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

> There is an awful lot of rubbish on the internet

I concur wholeheartedly.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

About uilleann pipe origins, if we go by the material evidence (surviving instruments) many instruments lack maker’s marks and provenance.

Known makers of Union pipes in the late 18th and early 19th century include
Malcolm MacGregor, London
John Dunn and Michael Dunn, Newcastle
Robert Reid and James Reid, North Shields
J Massie, Aberdeen
James Sharp, Aberdeen
John Naughton, Aberdeen
Hugh Robertson, Edinburgh (1760s, the earliest stamped pipes in Scotland)
Robert Scott, London
Nicholas Kerr, Edinburgh
Donald MacDonald, Edinburgh
Alexander Glen, Edinburgh
James Kenna, Dublin (making keyed pipes 1770-1790)

About documentation, documented late 18th and early 19th century performers on the Union pipes include

Larry Grogan, Wexford (called "the first performer")

Scottish and northern English performers on the Union pipes include

Billy Purvis (1784-1853)
James Allan (1734-1810)
Neil MacVicar
John Sutherland
William Mackie
Robert Millar (1789-1865)

Venues featuring Union pipe performances:

-Highland Society of London 1788-1822 including Union pipe performances by
Richard Fitzsmaurice
John Murphy
Patrick O Farrell
John MacGregor
Dennis Courtney
Malcolm MacGregor
James McDonnell

-Perth Gaelic Society
Malcolm MacGregor on Highland pipes, Union pipes, flageolet and German flute

-Aberdeen Highland Society

The repertoire on the Union pipes was Irish tunes, Scottish tunes, English tunes, and European "light Classical music". In other words at that time the divisions we now maintain between these various genres didn’t seem to exist.

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Were we to assume place of manufacture to indicate place of origin then clearly the violin guitar and most instruments come from china ….

Were we to consider the majority of players at any particular point in history to be indicative of The origin of the instrument then the GHB is clearly an american instrument.

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

> Were we to assume place of manufacture to indicate place of origin

If all the violins and guitars that dated from the 1600s came from China, then yes, I would absolutely agree that they were developed in China, that would be a very reasonable deduction.

> Were we to consider the majority of players at any particular point in history

If all the GHB players we knew of prior to, say, 1750 came from California then yes, it would be very reasonable to assume that that is where the GHB came from.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Exactly , so my point is all we can say from the evidence so far , and id like to see the referances , )because at the moment they are unsubstantiated claims ) is that the union pipes were manufactured inna number of different places at certain dates . Making claims above and beyond this is speculation . To claim that the Irish pipes are in fact not Irish would require conclusive evidence .
Just as would claiming the GHB are in fact Irish …. a lack of evidence is not evidence …..

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

> Exactly

Your idea of exactness is very different than mine. No-one disputes that the Uilleann pipe underwent huge development in Ireland. The idea that means it was invented there, in the face of strong evidence to the contrary, is tedious nationalism.

> id like to see the referances

Hugh Cheape, Bagpipes: A National Collection of a National Instrument, ISBN 978-1905267552

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

A topic I find very interesting. Just to note there is a back and forth between Hugh Cheape and a member of NPU on the subject and a review of his book somewhere in An Piobaire available to read in the NPU site.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/Papers/PT39_ScotlandsPastoralPipes.pdf


I thought the above was an interesting article. Maybe they’re English after all that might get some folk going, certainly the first tutor for the “New Bagpipe” was published in London and the tunes as Richard says above are a mixed bag.

Just as an interesting aside

The earliest pipe maker in America 1817 James Scorgie was making both Scottish pipes and Union pipes (to which he added Irish in his advertisement ) was from Aberdeenshire.

What ever the origin of the pastoral bagpipe in printed sources not long after performers are noted playing union pipes/ and just as often Irish pipes. Even when playing in Scotland they were numerous (I think there’s a reference to 16 in one boarding house in Edinburgh) and noted as Irish pipers so the association with Ireland seems to come rather quickly. Are there any references to pastoral pipe players giving concerts or their repertoire in print?

Anyway an interesting topic. Lots of info in Seán Reid Society Journals

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

I’m sure all the commenters in this post are aware of all these sources but for other readers here’s another good resource:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/itma.dl.printmaterial/book_pdfs/unionpipes.pdf

Interesting that Courtenay is described as playing the Union pipes in the engraving but it looks more like pastoral pipes.

There is also a great painting of an Irish piper playing a ‘long chanter ‘ to the fairies but I can’t seem to find it just now. There are also other ‘long chanter’ Irish images.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Great stuff, thank you all. Maybe I should practice more to improve my accuracy, and hopefully make up for my tiny, slender fingers.It’s also an interesting idea to put oil on your fingers and I’m going to give it a try.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Remember to use only a little - a drop should be all that is necessary.

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Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

A friend of mine uses “nose oil” yes it is what it sounds like. I use unscented talc .

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

To get an idea of the tone on a narrow bore D chanter you can listen to Nicolas Brown’s new album

https://nicolasbrown.bandcamp.com/releases

Re: What is the difference between wide bore D chanters and narrow bore D chanters

Brilliant album . Lovely reg playing , interesting material , lovely chanter work . What more can i say!!