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Uillean Pipes And Concertina?


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As I recall there has been discussion on these pages regarding Uillean pipes and concertina and the tuning discrepancies therein. It led me to believe that chances of an harmonious coupling were slim to none. Maybe so, but last night at session a young blond swain named Pelham recently of Atlanta walked in the door with a set of said pipes.

 

They were beautiful and mysterious to look at, but remembering things mentioned here I braced meself for a polytonal onslaught. Hah, was I worried for nothing! Sweet, beautiful and strong were those pipes and the lad could natural born make them sing. Damn near perfect intonation with my concertina.

 

The session members went wild. Oh, that was fun. Our bosouki player (top flight musician) started bobbing his head up and down as if he were standing before the Wailing Wall and if I'm not mistaken may have even levetated from his chair just a wee bit. I couldn't help but laughing in joy as we all were urged on to greater efforts by Pelham's energy. The smiles exhanged were, well freakin' fantastic!

 

I might have done a little levetatin' meself asking him if he could start Cregg's Pipes, he grinned, was off at a perfect tempo and the hair stood up on the back of my neck. I heard for the first time live, there in my face how well named that reel is. Bliss

Edited by Mark Evans
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I used to play the uilleann pipes myself, and now regularly play with a local piper. In a perfect world soon to happen ( New Suttner C/G on the way) a concertina can be tuned to "just" tuning. Being no acoustical expert I have a chart to show uilleann pipe tuning vs "well tempered" tuning.

A-440 pipe chanter tuning values

 

in Hz

 

 

E +4

F# -11

g -1

A +1

B -14

C -29

C# +10

 

The c and c# are not as big of an issue when playing with uilleann pipes as are the f# and the b. These are the third scale tones in D and in G, which seem to help the most. No matter how we try, the C natural on uilleann pipes is the characteristic note that just can't be imitated.

Another suggestion from my own experience is that having the left hand of the concertina next to the regulators of the pipes makes things better for copying regulator chords. The chords of the pipes are D,G, and a minor. The piper I play with also has a set in C which suits my Bb/F Suttner quite well. Even though my Bb/F is standard tuned, we match pretty well. He has taped some holes on his chanter to match the concertina better.

 

by using a pull d with any left hand a and a push d with any lefthand g, and an occasional octave g or octave a on the left hand one can sound very "pipish".Take a jig like Old Hag You have killed me, and experiment with getting those back beat chords to match a piper, and you will be amazed how easy it is to use.

 

Aside from the Vallely brothers recording, I suggest Time Collins and Brian McNamara "Reed Only".

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Sweet, beautiful and strong were those pipes and the lad could natural born make them sing. Damn near perfect intonation with my concertina.
Yes, but they can fix that for you at the Button Box. :P

 

Oddly enough, I just met a lovely young couple from Troy, NY on Sunday and we all played some tunes together. Jennifer and Fritz, I believe. She plays flute and concertina, he plays Uillean pipes and pennywhistles. I wasn't thinking about the temperament question while we were playing, but it certainly didn't raise any problems.

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Hi

concertina works pretty well with Northumbrian pipes and fiddle. Saw Jody Kruskal with piper and fiddler at Whitby this year-very nice blend-hope it's repeated :D . It was a good festival for Anglo concertina but not so good for English. -unless you want to get up at some unearthly hour and walk to the furthest venue at the festival -to get there for 10-00am :o It was good for English last year so may be they will alternate :)

 

looking forward to next year

chris

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Hi

concertina works pretty well with Northumbrian pipes and fiddle. Saw Jody Kruskal with piper and fiddler at Whitby this year-very nice blend-hope it's repeated :D .

 

chris

 

Hi Chris. Yup, that was Andrew and Margaret Watchorn from Alnwick, Northumberland. I had been squeezing with squeezers all day at the Royal in Bradfield and we were a bit weary and bleary with squeezing and beer when Margaret and Andrew got there with their fiddle and pipes. What fun! The three of us played a few sets of American tunes they knew and eyes popped with the refreshing sound after five hours of free reeds. They asked me to join them at their concert set that evening to great effect.

 

Later at Whitby, I called them up and the Washorns drove down on Friday to join me for my concert sets. We had a great rehearsal for a few hours before performing. Recordings were made and I plan to put some of those files on my web site “Tune of the Month” blog page when I get a chance.

 

Andrew has the more common F/C as well as higher G/D pipes. I did not bring my Bb/F concertina and so we stuck with the G/D pipes for our sets. I was playing my G/D Dipper Anglo which has a very rich low baritone sound. It worked very well with the pipes and fiddle allowing me to really define the harmony as we played. Intonation was not perfect between the concertina the pipes but close enough that it did not detract from the exciting sound and may have even added to the shimmer of our trio.

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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Check out Last Nights Fun at

 

http://www.lastnightsfun.com/

 

Chris Sherburn on anglo and Nick Scott plays Cillian O'Briain Uilleann pipes

 

several youtube clips at

 

http://uk.youtube.com/results?search_query=last+nights+fun

 

and of course myspace

 

http://www.myspace.com/lastnightsfun

 

fantastic stuff

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yes, i am very fond of "they'll be good yet," by kitty hayes & peter laban, as well as the recent release, "reed only," with tim collins and brian macnamara....not to mention, "the wind among the reeds," courtesy of jacqueline mccarthy and tommy keane....actually just learned "repeal of the union" and "my sweetheart jane" off that last one.

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...Sweet, beautiful and strong were those pipes and the lad could natural born make them sing. Damn near perfect intonation with my concertina.
Hi, Mark -

I will not (can't, I wouldn't know what I was talking about :D ) go into tuning details, only say that I just returned from Mrs. Crotty and went (along with with Larry, see above) to the CD launch of Tim Collins' and Brian McNamara's "Reed only" (technicians can giggle at the pun :huh: ). The best, lovely stuff I've heard in years - get yer hands on that CD, quickly as possible!

 

/Henrik

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Although this thread is about the Uillean pipes, I was wondering if anybody had expierence with playing along with Scottish small pipes?

 

I have been thinking about getting a set of small pipes and I have read that Scottish pipes are tuned sharp. I also had a friend (he moved and have lost contact) who did play the Scottish pipes, and I remember him mentioning that Scottish pipe players had migrated to sharper and sharper tunings.

Edited by Hooves
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Just heard a track on the late session of a new cd with, I believe, Brian McNamara and Tim Collins playing pipes and box respectively. It sounded great!

 

And one of my all-time favorite cds is Tommy Keane and Jacqueline McCarthy's The Wind Among the Reeds.

 

Jeff

 

FYI to all those who enjoy the "Wind Among the Reeds" CD. A while back I was looking through the Ossian.USA website and found a tune book for that CD, also one for the solo CD of Tommy Mc Carthy, and one for the CD "Hidden Note" (I think that 's the title?) by Jacqueline McCarthy. From what I remember the cost were reasonable and the transcriptions are good. I would recommend them. I have learned several of the them. They work well on the anglo. -- Steven

Edited by Stevenh
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Hi

concertina works pretty well with Northumbrian pipes and fiddle. Saw Jody Kruskal with piper and fiddler at Whitby this year-very nice blend-hope it's repeated :D .

 

chris

 

Hi Chris. Yup, that was Andrew and Margaret Washorn from Alnwick, Northumberland. I had been squeezing with squeezers all day at the Royal in Bradfield and we were a bit weary and bleary with squeezing and beer when Margaret and Andrew got there with their fiddle and pipes. What fun! The three of us played a few sets of American tunes they knew and eyes popped with the refreshing sound after five hours of free reeds. They asked me to join them at their concert set that evening to great effect.

 

Later at Whitby, I called them up and the Washorns drove down on Friday to join me for my concert sets. We had a great rehearsal for a few hours before performing. Recordings were made and I plan to put some of those files on my web site “Tune of the Month” blog page when I get a chance.

 

Andrew has the more common F/C as well as higher G/D pipes. I did not bring my Bb/F concertina and so we stuck with the G/D pipes for our sets. I was playing my G/D Dipper Anglo which has a very rich low baritone sound. It worked very well with the pipes and fiddle allowing me to really define the harmony as we played. Intonation was not perfect between the concertina the pipes but close enough that it did not detract from the exciting sound and may have even added to the shimmer of our trio.

Hi Jody,

Pipes and box are a great combination (especially with the Watchorns) - You can hopefully make a repeat performance at next years Bradfield Traditional Music Fest on August 8th-10th 2008. Put it in your diary, folks.

Edited by geoffwright
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Hi

concertina works pretty well with Northumbrian pipes and fiddle. Saw Jody Kruskal with piper and fiddler at Whitby this year-very nice blend-hope it's repeated :D .

 

chris

 

Hi Chris. Yup, that was Andrew and Margaret Washorn from Alnwick, Northumberland. I had been squeezing with squeezers all day at the Royal in Bradfield and we were a bit weary and bleary with squeezing and beer when Margaret and Andrew got there with their fiddle and pipes. What fun! The three of us played a few sets of American tunes they knew and eyes popped with the refreshing sound after five hours of free reeds. They asked me to join them at their concert set that evening to great effect.

 

Later at Whitby, I called them up and the Washorns drove down on Friday to join me for my concert sets. We had a great rehearsal for a few hours before performing. Recordings were made and I plan to put some of those files on my web site “Tune of the Month” blog page when I get a chance.

 

Andrew has the more common F/C as well as higher G/D pipes. I did not bring my Bb/F concertina and so we stuck with the G/D pipes for our sets. I was playing my G/D Dipper Anglo which has a very rich low baritone sound. It worked very well with the pipes and fiddle allowing me to really define the harmony as we played. Intonation was not perfect between the concertina the pipes but close enough that it did not detract from the exciting sound and may have even added to the shimmer of our trio.

Hi Jody,

Pipes and box are a great combination (especially with the Watchorns) - You can hopefully make a repeat performance at next years Bradfield Traditional Music Fest on August 8th-10th 2008. Put it in your diary, folks.

That would be great. Fortune willing.

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