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TITLE
Highland bagpipes
EXTERNAL ID
AB_ACHILTIBUIE_016
PLACENAME
N/A
DATE OF IMAGE
2006
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Achiltibuie Piping School
SOURCE
Achiltibuie Piping School
ASSET ID
260
KEYWORDS
chanters
blowpipes
pipers
recorder
recorders
Highland bagpipes

A set of Highland bagpipes consists of a covered leather bag, into which are inserted a chanter, a blowpipe, a bass drone and two tenor drones. These pipes are made from wood, turned on a lathe. African blackwood is the wood most commonly used in present-day bagpipe making, as it is considered to be good for both tone and stability. In the past, many different woods were used, and some of the best antique bagpipes are those made from cocus or ebony.

Traditionally, projecting mounts have been made of horn, pewter, silver or ivory. Today, real ivory is beyond the reach of most pipers but an artificial ivory has been developed from coloured resin, which does not fade or crack. These mounts serve not only as decoration, but prevent the wood from splitting.

The piper blows through the blowpipe to inflate the bag which he holds under his left arm, with the drones over his left shoulder. He uses the bag as a reservoir of air to maintain pressure on the reeds of the three drones, which sound a continuous fixed note to accompany the melody. The melody itself is played on the chanter, a recorder-like instrument with finger-holes which the piper covers and uncovers.

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Highland bagpipes

2000s

chanters; blowpipes; pipers; recorder; recorders

Achiltibuie Piping School

Bagpipes from Achiltibuie Piping School

A set of Highland bagpipes consists of a covered leather bag, into which are inserted a chanter, a blowpipe, a bass drone and two tenor drones. These pipes are made from wood, turned on a lathe. African blackwood is the wood most commonly used in present-day bagpipe making, as it is considered to be good for both tone and stability. In the past, many different woods were used, and some of the best antique bagpipes are those made from cocus or ebony. <br /> <br /> Traditionally, projecting mounts have been made of horn, pewter, silver or ivory. Today, real ivory is beyond the reach of most pipers but an artificial ivory has been developed from coloured resin, which does not fade or crack. These mounts serve not only as decoration, but prevent the wood from splitting.<br /> <br /> The piper blows through the blowpipe to inflate the bag which he holds under his left arm, with the drones over his left shoulder. He uses the bag as a reservoir of air to maintain pressure on the reeds of the three drones, which sound a continuous fixed note to accompany the melody. The melody itself is played on the chanter, a recorder-like instrument with finger-holes which the piper covers and uncovers.