Record

Highland bagpipe chanter with keys added

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Scottish, c. 1959

Postcard of Highland bagpipe chanter with keys added.
000-000-579-985-C
© National Museums Scotland

Highland bagpipe chanter with keys added

Highland bagpipe chanter, Scottish, c. 1959. Closed key added to give octave B; open key added on A; open key added on low G; vent key added probably for use on G; open standing bottom key added for lower F sharp which also closes the low G hole. Made of laburnum, ivory mounted.

In its origins, the Highland bagpipe in common with other European and World bagpipes is a prehistoric wind instrument. Its main elements are the melody pipe or 'chanter' on which the music is played with the fingers (usually on a scale of nine notes) and with an accompanying fixed note or chordal accompaniment from the drone or drones, all of which are held in stocks tied into an animal skin bag (now coming to be replaced by synthetic materials). The player blows into the bag to supply a constant pressure and flow of air onto the reeds which are set into the chanter and drones and which make the sound. The air flow is controlled by a simple non-return valve on the blowstick.

This piece comes from the Glen and Ross Collection of musical instruments which were preserved in the shop of 'J & R Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers' until it closed about 1978. This was the business founded in 1827 by Thomas McBean Glen in the Cowgate in Edinburgh, dealing in and repairing musical instruments. His brother, Alexander Glen, specialized in bagpipe-making and was succeeded by his son David. Thomas' sons, John and Robert Glen, succeeding to the business in 1866, probably did most to collect instruments and their antiquarian interests were carried on by Andrew Ross who acquired the business from the Glens in 1947. The National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland purchased the bagpipe collections from the family in 1983.


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Online ID: 000-000-579-985-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  K.2003.780
Date: c.1959 (date of manufacture)
Material: Laburnum and ivory
Dimensions: 374 mm L
What: Highland bagpipe chanter
Subject:
Who: Andrew Ross (successor to John and Robert Glen)
Glen and Ross Collection (musical instrument collection)
John and Robert Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers
Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh (place of display)
Where: Scotland (place of manufacture)
Event:
Description: Highland bagpipe chanter made of laburnum, ivory mounted.
References:
  • Cheape, Hugh,. A Checklist of Bagpipes in the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. Edinburgh: Reid School of Music, 1983, p. 27.
    Find in NLS: Title, Author, Title+Author or British Library: Title, Author, Title+Author
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