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Practice chanter

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by W. MacDonald, Edinburgh, mid 19th century

Postcard of Practice chanter.
© National Museums Scotland

Practice chanter

Practice chanter by W. MacDonald of Edinburgh, mid 19th century. Chanter mounted with ivory sole and ivory ring on the tenon and the chanter top is mounted with nickel ferrule and mouthpiece strengthened at the tip with two bands of ivory and ebonite; the external diameter of the chanter top does not match the chanter although both are stamped 'W. MACDONALD / EDINBURGH'. Formerly stock of J. and R. Glen, Edinburgh, or from the collection of the firm's proprietors.

The practice chanter is used by pipers for learning and practicing the music of the bagpipe. It has a narrow cylindrical bore and uses a double reed with long blades. It is softer toned and deeper pitched than the bagpipe chanter.

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.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-580-007-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  K.2003.810
Date: Mid 19th century (date of manufacture)
Material: Ivory, nickel and ebonite
Dimensions: 273 mm L; 462 mm L over chanter top or wind cap
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)
W. MacDonald (manufacturer)
Where: Scotland, Edinburgh (place of manufacture)
Event: Festival of Flanders Exhibition, 1968
Description: Ivory and nickel mounted practice chanter.
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