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Border Pipes | Shepherd Pipes | Flemish Pipes | Uilleann Pipes

Flemish pipes 

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.

Border pipes

G Border Damson

3 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. 

Shepherd Pipes

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 damson.

Uilleann Pipes 

My Uilleann Pipes are available in concert pitch half sets, quarter (practice) sets and simple student sets with no key blocks.

Please contact me for more information.