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 make small pipes are made in the key of A, D, C, and Bb. We angle certain tone holes in order to make the tight spacing of the D chanter and the 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 15 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.
We still make on request a series of specialist chanters for the Scottish smallpipes which allow the piper to play a number of different modes like the Dorian and Aeolian and scales like the harmonic minor without changing from the standard fingering. The C chanters give the greatest number of different scales though many are possible in other keys depending on the note spacing. Enquires are welcome for any special requirements.
At last! Genuinly loud smallpipes for all those who have complained that the loudest 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. A sound sample will soon be edited and on the site showing our standard smallpipes (generally considered to have a fairly robust sound as smallpipes go) performing briefly with accompaniment, followed by our session smallpipes in an identical situation.
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