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Subject: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
John Mitchell
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Date Posted: 15:22:25 05/22/03 Thu

We are being told that lower pitched chanters are not flat!

What a load of horse manure that is! A band that comes on with a flat tone sounds dull and not very clean. It's unplaeasant to listen to and I wouldn't buy any band CD that had a dull flat pitch.

Lower pitch is flat by definition and if you were a conductor of a band that had a violinist tuned at 466 and everyone else was at 474, they would throw your Flat Ass out!

Sorry, I ain't buying it!

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Replies:
[> Subject: Re: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
Mike Miller
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Date Posted: 19:58:48 05/22/03 Thu

>John,

Most of these discussions are around 466 vs every one else at 474 or what ever numbers you want to choose. But if you are a soloist, and there is no one else around to compare it to and the chanter is perfectly balanced at 466. Would it still be Flat?

If a tree falls down in the woods and no one is around, it would be flat!!

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[> [> Subject: Re: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
Brian MacColl
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Date Posted: 22:03:55 05/22/03 Thu

Mike,
Excellent point, one of the best made so far in the debate.

BUT...if a soloist is on the boards at 466 after a few "brighter" 474 or so players, than that 466 piper may get a comment of "chanter not bright" or something similar. That could be the difference between first and second. I am not saying which one I prefer is best, but you have to admit, a brighter higher pitch projects better and has a certain crispness that is desirable. Eventhough it is a soloist out there on their own, they are still going up against each other. And some of these judges have memories like elephants...they'll remember who was higher and lower pitched even if their roster for the day had 20 pipers on it!

Brian

>>John,
>
>Most of these discussions are around 466 vs every one
>else at 474 or what ever numbers you want to choose.
>But if you are a soloist, and there is no one else
>around to compare it to and the chanter is perfectly
>balanced at 466. Would it still be Flat?
>
>If a tree falls down in the woods and no one is
>around, it would be flat!!

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
Jock
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Date Posted: 07:03:26 09/23/04 Thu

>Mike,
> Excellent point, one of the best made so far in
>the debate.
>
>BUT...if a soloist is on the boards at 466 after a few
>"brighter" 474 or so players, than that 466 piper may
>get a comment of "chanter not bright" or something
>similar. That could be the difference between first
>and second. I am not saying which one I prefer is
>best, but you have to admit, a brighter higher pitch
>projects better and has a certain crispness that is
>desirable. Eventhough it is a soloist out there on
>their own, they are still going up against each other.
> And some of these judges have memories like
>elephants...they'll remember who was higher and lower
>pitched even if their roster for the day had 20 pipers
>on it!
>
>Brian

Don't agree with you at all Brian, the common perception of a flatter pitch is actually derived from people hearing discrepancies between where top hands and bottom hands are pitched- 'flatter' chanters are often percieved as such because (for example) a reed has taken moisture and the bottom hand flattened relative to the top hand- even a slight change and it can easily be percieved as flat in general. I have played at bang on B flat all season, with a Naill chanter with the problem bottom hand notes (b and d) sharpened by drill, this is not bravado but they sound fantastic there- loads of harmonics. Our ears adjust really quickly- judges will notice a change of pitch when you first blow up, but by the time you have tuned and are halfway through the ground they will just be focusing on whether it sounds good or not. Pipes can sound great at any pitch, take a listen to Chris Armstrong then Gordon Walker in quick succession their pitches are miles apart but both sets of pipes sound mighty.

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[> Subject: Re: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
Scot Kortegaard
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Date Posted: 20:37:16 05/22/03 Thu

>We are being told that lower pitched chanters are not
>flat!
*SNIP*

John, lower pitched chanters are NOT flat. And I know this is going to raise your dander!! ;-)

Check the difference in the words "flat", and "flatter".

Lower pitched chanters are "FLATTER" than modern pitched chanters.

"FLAT" is a relative term. One note can be "flat" in relation to another, and one chanter can be flat in relation to another. But a chanter on it's own, can't be flat. It can be flatter than another chanter, but not just "flat".

So you see, it's a matter of semantics. It's in how the language is used. You're right in what you're trying to say, that old chanters are flatter than todays. They're not flat on thier own though :)

>Sorry, I ain't buying it!

Can I interest you in some swamp land in north central B.C? If you're in the buying mood!!!!!!

Cheers,
Scot.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
Andrew B
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Date Posted: 23:35:26 08/18/03 Mon

we are playing around 477 - 480, I think that at that pitch you are able to get clarity from the chanters that you may not get at a lower pitch. The most important thing however, is achieving a balanced chanter. There is no point in aiming for 480 or what ever you think the magic pitch is if you can't have a matched low a and high a. What about the effects of humidity, temperature . . . these too can affect the balanced frequency of the chanter.

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[> [> Subject: BUSINESS OFFER


Author:
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Date Posted: 05:46:41 01/04/07 Thu

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[> Subject: Re: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
Chris C.
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Date Posted: 12:24:05 05/24/03 Sat

>We are being told that lower pitched chanters are not
>flat!

They're only flat if they've been run over by a large truck. Then they are indeed truly flat.

>What a load of horse manure that is! A band that comes
>on with a flat tone sounds dull and not very clean.

I think the higher pitched pipe bands sound very shrill, and rather thin sounding. They are sounding more and more like tinwhistle bands than bagpipe bands.

>It's unplaeasant to listen to and I wouldn't buy any
CD......

You could always move up the pitch control on your CD player, if you have one on yours, and make it even better sounding to your ear. You can increase the pitch on the CD by 10% or more on some players.

I think most pipers who dislike higher pitched chanters, do so because they dislike the screech of shrill bagpipes. All the soul is being taken out of the sound of the instrument.

When I took up the bagpipes, I wanted to play the bagpipes, not a piccolo with a bag and drones attached.

Cheers,
Chris C.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
Brant
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Date Posted: 15:02:16 05/28/03 Wed

Is this just my observation, but do pipers in the lower grade bands prefer a flat pitch because that is what they are used to?

Maybe the bands John has played in had higher pitch and that is what he is used to.

I don't think anyone is right or wrong, but the upper grade players sound better then the lower grade players.

Wonder why?

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
Mike Miller
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Date Posted: 20:04:09 05/28/03 Wed

snip>
>I don't think anyone is right or wrong, but the upper
>grade players sound better then the lower grade
>players.
>
>Wonder why?


Why?

Usually because the higher grade player has better fingers, blowing, good ear, and sense of rythym. John Mitchell is one of many pipers that would sound better than me if his chanter balanced at 440 and mine was at 476 even if he played Scotland the brave at 130 bpm. So as much as John worries about flat pitch, I am sure John would agree that pitch is only one of many things. In Competition brightness dose help butdoes that mean you have to keep it climbing?

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Lower Pitched chanters????


Author:
John Mitchell
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Date Posted: 13:51:49 05/29/03 Thu

Mike, would have to agree with the other poster about pitch as proved by the St. Thomas Alumni band this weekend.

The reason that the top bands sound better is because they are higher pitched and I think that 480 is the optimum pitch for the bagpipe as it sounds much cleaner at that range.

STB at 130 BPM sounds much better at 480 too! ;-)

Lets hope the massed bands learn something else, your point on Dunsires was missed!

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