What is an Interchangeable Stock?

by Rob Say on February 1st, 2016

One of the features available on some sets of Northumbrian pipes is an interchangeable stock – here’s a description of what that means:

  • Non-interchangeable: Chanter is plugged into a wooden stock that is tied into the neck of the bag. Unplugging the chanter exposes the reed.
  • Interchangeable: A socket is tied into the bag and the chanter and stock are plugged in. Unplugging the stock protects the reed.

An interchangeable stocks is commonly used to allow a player with one set to switch between two or more chanters (e.g. 7k & 17k chanters or ‘F’ and ‘G’ chanters) whilst protecting the reed.

It is also possible to have an interchangeable dronestock – allowing you to swap sets of drones – but this is far less common and significantly more work to make.

Burleigh Smallpipes Timeline

by Rob Say on December 4th, 2015

Unnamed Schottische (NPS Book 1)

by Rob Say on 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.

Terry Conway – Haydon Bridge Sessions

by Rob Say on September 25th, 2015

The Haydon Bridge SessionsTerry Conway was a simply wonderful singer and an outstanding composer, he died in 2013 at the age of 66. Terry had an amazing way with words and his songs cover a wide breadth of subjects from local characters to world events; often including philosophy & comedy. Last night there was a celebration of his music at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham and in conjunction with this, a CD re-issue of Terry’s 1992 tape “The Haydon Bridge Sessions” was launched. The recording is excellent and is must have for anyone who remembers Terry or wants to hear his work. All the proceeds from the recording are also going towards Mesothelioma UK.

Here’s a track listing:

  1. Albatross
  2. Early Rising Bird
  3. Jemima
  4. Soft Easy Words
  5. Hawkhope Hill
  6. Midsummer Blue
  7. Cloudie
  8. Eve of St John
  9. Cowboy Song
  10. The Falcon
  11. Enrico Fermi
  12. Lady Fortune
  13. Darker Days Than This
  14. Julie
  15. Eastern Allan Runs
  16. Day Dreaming Girl (Bonus Track)

You can get a copy of the Haydon Bridge Sessions via Core Music or Gojo in Hexham – they will also have Terry’s later recordings with Liz Law; Premier(2001) and Of Riots & Rabbits (2008)