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bolon border pipes bulbultarang cajon chromatic harmonica circle flute clarinet classical flute
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Border Pipes (Scotland)
The border pipes are a musical instrument that is a close cousin of the Great Highland Bagpipe. It is commonly confused with the Scottish smallpipe although it is a quite different and much older instrument. The name, which is modern, comes from Scotland's border country where the instrument was once common and many towns used to maintain a piper. The instrument was found more widely than this, however; it was noted as far north as Aberdeenshire and, south of the Border, in Northumberland and elsewhere in the north of England. Other names have been used for the instrument - Lowland pipes in Scotland, and in Northumberland, half-long pipes, this term now referring particularly to surviving examples from the 1920's when there was a partially successful attempt to revive the instrument.
The Great Highland Bagpipe is probably the best-known variety of
bagpipe. Abbreviated GHB, and commonly referred to simply as "the
pipes", they were developed in Scotland and Ireland. The pipes
seem to have been played in Scotland by the Romans although were
also played by invading Dalradian Gaels upon their exodus from County
Antrim in 470 A.D., when Prince Fergus MacErc lead his clan in the
invasion of the lands of the Picts at present Argyle.
A modern set has a bag, a chanter, a blowpipe, two tenor drones, and one bass drone. The scale on the chanter is approximately in mixolydian with a range from one degree lower than the tonic to one octave above it (in piper's parlance: Low G, Low A, B, C, D, E, F, High G, and High A; the C and F could or should be called sharp but this is always omitted). The two tenor drones are an octave below the keynote (Low A) of the chanter) and the bass drone two octaves below. This "A" of the GHB is actually slightly sharper than B-flat, around 480 Hz, and within the realm of competitive pipe bands, seems to get sharper each year. In the 1990s, there were a few new developments, namely, reliable synthetic drone reeds, and synthetic bags that deal with moisture arguably better than hide or older synthetic bags.
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