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The dudey is drawn by Praetorius in the 17th Century. Its closest modern relative is the Scottish smallpipe. My Dudey is really a cross-fingering smallpipe designed to have the soft hollow tone of the samallpipes/northumbrian pipes. The drones provide a solid "humm" underneath the chanter and don't compete with it. That said, it is not an overly quiet instrument, it is happily played outdoors and with a variety of other instruments. The bag is mouth or bellows blown and the drones lie across the right arm.
The instrument is tuned to D in modern pitch (A440) so is good for tunes in D major, D minor and various modes. It can also be used to accompany tunes in G if the baritone drone is turned off.
3 Drone Dudey mouth blown in apple wood
Tone is all-important here. I have gone for the traditional hollow tone of cane reeded Smallpipes. I have then pushed it a bit further and left a bit of a hard edge to the timbre. This disappears when the drones are added but allows the chanter to cut through the hum better.
The reed is plastic and should need no maintenance. There is no second register, as this cannot be produced from a cylindrical bore and this kind of bore is essential to the tone of the Smallpipes.
The chanter is available as open fingered (close to recorder fingering) or half closed which allows for better gracing.
Cross fingering makes the chanter close to chromatic with the D instrument having F#, Bb, C# available. As a result the chanter is keyless and is only short of D# and G#.
The leading note (lowest) can be set to C natural or C#.
The drones are in a common stock with base and tenor sounding D and the baritone sounding A. The drones all have plastic bladed reeds and end plugs to allow them to be stopped from sounding.
3 Drone Dudey mouth blown in box wood
The instrument is available in apple
wood and box wood. The choice of timber affects the tone of the
instrument with box wood giving a slightly brighter louder sound.
D Flemish pipes (yew wood)
This type of bagpipe first appears in the
15th century in Europe. It has a good loud bright sound and hence
is depicted in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries being used at dances
and weddings etc. In the middle of France the tradition of making
and playing these pipes has not been lost and they are central to the
traditional music and dances of the Berry region.
Drone G border pipes mouth blown in damson
(with extra bellows inlet)
3 Drone G border pipes with bell ended drones mouth blown in maple
In Britain the much louder highland pipes have dominated but we have our own version of the French and Flemish pipes, the border pipes. As the name suggests it was played in the Scottish borders and is now having a bit of a renaissance. There is little difference acoustically between the traditional French bagpipe and the border pipes and my instrument, though called border pipes, leans more towards the French tradition. This is because I like the freedom of a chromatic scale and the extended range of the French system.
Both Flemish and Border pipes -
At present I am only offering the instruments in G and D. Both instrument go up into the second register as far as the forth with minimum drone disruption. The reeds are plastic making them the chanter and drones stable and reliable. They are available both mouth and bellows blown.
I go to a lot of trouble to get the chanter dead in tune against the drones. Well-tuned pipes are much easier to play than slightly out of tune pipes. This is because the player is not trying to adjust the pitch of each note by changing bag pressure, consciously or unconsciously. This also improves drone stability and register shift up and down the octave.
I use the traditional half closed system of fingering which is the best system for gracing. On the G instrument cross-fingerings give the accidentals Bb, C#, Eb, F#, G# and top Bb.
The instruments are available in maple or damson/plum wood.
My shepherd pipe is a student version of the Flemish and border pipes above and is available in G. I have minimised the cost by giving it a single drone and simple decoration.
The chanter has the same octave and a half range and chromatic notes and the drone is bass G. The reeds are plastic and stable.
It is available in maple.
Please contact me for more information.