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Chanter of French bellows bagpipes or musette

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said to have belonged to Prince Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie

Chanter of French bellows bagpipes or musette
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Chanter for a set of French bellows pipes or musette, including grand chalumeau and petit chalumeau, purchased at the sale of the effects of Prince Henry Benedict, Cardinal York, in Rome. They are said to have belonged to his brother, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie.

In the French musette conventional drones were replaced by a cylinder or shuttle which contained four or six drones. Each drone is tuned or silenced with a slide or stop. Apart from the addition of keys to the chanter, the Parisian musician and maker Jean Hotteterre introduced an auxiliary chanter or petit chalumeau to extend the range of the main chanter, grand chalumeau, upward.

A fashion in Europe for the simple rustic life particularly influenced the French court in the 17th century. The bagpipe was the musical instrument that represented the pastoral and, refined by musical instrument makers, it was adopted by the aristocracy. Louis XIV (1643 - 1715) was so pleased with the musette that it was taken up by the court and included in the court band. It provided music for the court ballet and the entr'actes of operas, and played a part in any music that required a country atmosphere. Composers such as Bach and Vivaldi composed for the musette. It was popular in France for about 150 years and can be seen in paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries by artists such as Watteau. Some of its features were taken over in the Northumbrian small pipe.

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