Smallpipes

Introduction

The popularity of Scottish smallpipes has grown steadily ever since the revival in Scottish bellows blown pipes which started in the 1970s. Their rounded tone which is quieter than the border pipes has made them ideal for practising at home, particularly where restricting the volume is a consideration, they also harmonise well with other instruments in small groups. The fingering is the same as for the Highland pipe chanter. We only make small pipes in the keys of A, and Bb now We angle certain tone holes in order to make wide spacing of the A chanter more comfortable. Small pipes don't produce cross fingered accidentals, but keys can be supplied for some of these other notes if required. Our aim over the years with the smallpipes has been to maximise the volume of what are essentially fairly quiet instruments, whilst retaining their characteristic sound, and keeping the pressure at a moderate level.

Originally the bright sounding D smallpipes were the most popular, but over the last 30 years the A sets have taken over, and now account for 90% of the smallpipes that we make. The warm rich tone has attracted many pipers to them and, as with the Border pipes, the preferred key of other traditional players of Scottish music has also been a factor. Although we are mainly known as Border Pipe makers we have also established a good reputation for our Smallpipes over the years.

Left and right: Fully mounted Scottish smallpipes in A, Blackwood with art. Ivory mounts and Hand engraved solid sterling silver ferrules. Price on application.

Left: Standard Scottish smallpipes in A, Blackwood with Boxwood end caps. Antique leather case not for sale.

Middle: Drone parts and chanter end from fully mounted Scottish smallpipes in A, Blackwood and Bloodwood.

Right: Fully mounted Scottish smallpipes in A, Blackwood with art. Ivory mounts and Nikel plated ferrules and drone sleeves.

Scottish Session Smallpipes 

 Louder smallpipes for all those who have complained that most smallpipes around are hard to hear clearly in combination with even a small number of other instruments. This instrument features a different chanter and reed design to the one we use in our standard smallpipes, and the one - with limited variation - which is also common to most other smallpipes on the market. 

 Combination border pipes and smallpipes

In the past we made combination sets of small pipes, with for example an A and D chanter and 4 drones, I always felt that there was a problem with any of these I heard with relative drone volumes. We still make these now, occasionally but only by special arrangement. We do offer a set of border pipes with split stocks and a separate small pipe chanter. The louder drone volume turns out not to be a problem, although the Session smallpipe  chanter works best.


 
 
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