Archive for the ‘Northumbrian Pipes’ Category

Burleigh Smallpipes Timeline

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Unnamed Schottische (NPS Book 1)

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

In the first edition of the Northumbrian Pipers Society Tunebook published way back in the early days of the NPS there was a tune called simply ‘Schottische’. In the 2nd edition, a number of tunes were dropped from the book including this unnamed Schottische. In the third edition, the tunes were restored and ‘lost’ tunes tunes such as Bellingham Fair have been re-appearing in the wild – but I’ve yet to hear ‘Schottische’.

I was dipping into my library of old books yesterday on a search for something completely unrelated when the tune at the top of the page tripped me up – it took me about 5 minutes to make the connection – and now our unnamed Schottische now has a name. Kerr’s Merry Melodies¬† has this tune as ‘Such Chiming’ a melody from the ‘The Magic Flute’.

The NPS tunebook version is printed a 4th down (key of D) to fit the range of the pipes – but other than that, the tune is practically identical. I’m also not overly familiar with Mr Mozart’s original, and Youtube seems to suggest a different medody line for ‘Such Chiming’ – I’ll have to look it up sometime to see exactly where it can be found.

Dunn/Reid smallpipes: refurbishment part 1

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Here’s a very interesting set of pipes that came to me last year. It’s a hybrid set; a 9 keyed James Reid chanter (~1830’s) coupled with a much earlier set (1780’s) of John Dunn drones that almost certainly started life as part of a simple unkeyed set.

There are some interesting engravings on the drone sliders and also on the original stocks (of which more later). I’ve traced the set back through the 1900’s and back in to the 1800’s; this is the set of pipes illustrated in the painting which is currently on display at the Bagpipe Museum in Morpeth. The set played in the painting includes an early blackwood Reid chanter and Reid bellows. This chanter & drones became separated and formed part of another set in the early 1970’s and the drones were paired at that point with the current chanter. The chanter itself has been heavily played, snapped and long since repaired; unfortunately at some point the silver key pins have been replaced with copper wire which will prove difficult to extract.

I’ve been considering what approach to take to take with them – they’ll never be an everyday instrument but it will be great to bring such a significant set back in to full playing order. I’ll start by fitting everything to a new bag and getting the drones playing with a contemporary chanter – this should be completed shortly. Once this is done I can take a long slow look at the chanter to work out how to effect a repair that will hold the two halves together with minimal interference on the musical qualities.


Sold: Shaw 10k NSP (concert G)

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

This set is now sold.

Here’s a concert pitch set of Northumbrian Smallpipes made by Dave Shaw. Chanter & drones are Lignum Vitae, metalwork is brass. It’s a 10 keyed chanter with the standard 7 + F naturals and a middle B flat key; four drones with tuning beads and standard Shaw stoppers. The original rubberised bag has been replaced with leather – bellows are all original. The belt & bellows outlet as fitted are intended for a smaller person but these are easily changed. Fully reeded, full playing condition – soft case carrying case.

Fully reeded & in full playing condition – I’ve been playing this set for the last year or so having snapped my main ‘G’ chanter! I’ll have this set at ECMW (end of June) and at Rothbury Traditional Music Festival (mid July) amongst other places.

Price: £950 + delivery

Location: West Northumberland – and occasionally elsewhere

Contact me to buy or for more details.