Double chanter for a set of small pipes or a practice chanter

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Scottish, early 19th century

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Double chanter for a set of small pipes or a practice chanter

Double chanter for a set of small-pipes or a practice chanter, Scottish, early 19th century. Made of fruitwood mounted with an ivory sole. The fingerholes and thumbholes are set in pairs for the fingers and thumb to cover both pipes which sound in unison. The wall of the chanter has been made in two pieces which have been set flush together and strengthened with three metal bands.

Small pipes are a small version of the bagpipe which has been made and played in Scotland but which has been most familiar in Britain in the form of the Northumbrian Pipes, a small, bellows-blown instrument with a keyed chanter and variable drone accompaniment. Both Northumbrian Pipes and the Scottish small pipes probably derive from a Continental bellows-blown bagpipe developed by wind-instrument makers in European cities in the 17th century for chamber music and operatic performance by professional musicians. Known as the musette in France, it became a fashionable instrument in the late 17th and 18th centuries for court and drawing room recital.

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: 000-000-580-004-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  K.2003.807
Date: Early 19th century (date of manufacture)
Material: Fruitwood and ivory
Dimensions: 259 mm L
What: Double chanter
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)
Description: Double chanter for a set of small-pipes made of fruitwood and mounted with an ivory sole.
  • Cheape, Hugh,. A Checklist of Bagpipes in the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. Edinburgh: Reid School of Music, 1983, p. 37.
    Find in NLS: Title, Author, Title+Author or British Library: Title, Author, Title+Author
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