Chanter for a set of Highland bagpipes

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by J. and R. Glen, Edinburgh

Postcard of Chanter for a set of Highland bagpipes.
© National Museums Scotland

Chanter for a set of Highland bagpipes

Chanter for the Highland bagpipes, stamped 'J. & R. GLEN / EDINBURGH'. The chanter is missing the sole.

John and Robert Glen were the proprietors of a bagpipe-making and musical instrument repair business in Edinburgh in the late 19th century. The business was founded in 1827 in the Cowgate, moving later to North Bank Street, Edinburgh, by their father, Thomas McBean Glen (1804-1873), who in 1833 described himself in the business directories of the city as 'pipe and flute maker'. His sons, John (1833-1904) and Robert (1835-1911), took over the business in 1866. In 1911, the premises moved to 497 Lawnmarket where it survived as 'J & R Glen, Highland Bagpipe Makers' until 1978.

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.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-626-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  Chanter.3
What: Chanter
Who: J. and R. Glen (manufacturer)
Where: Scotland, Edinburgh (place of manufacture)
Description: Chanter for a set of Highland bagpipes, by J. and R. Glen, Edinburgh.
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