Smallpipes are the descendents of the 16th century French musette. They eventually evolved into the three drone, cylindrical bore small pipe of which we have numerous museum examples .During the 1980's a revival of this instrument was led by Colin ross who had the insight to change the key from the original E flat to the most popular keys of D and A
My pipes are inspired by both the traditional appearance of the 18th century pipes and the work done by the likes of Collin Ross. I use indigenous hard woods, as in the early pipes and provide them in the keys of G, A,C and D with standard highland fingering. Closed fingering can also be provided. The mounts are only made of natural materials such as wood, vegetable ivory and horn. I use nickel silver as standard for the ferrules, brass can also be provided. Bellows blown pipes are recommended as there is no moisture and temperature changes which will cause the pitch to shift slightly. The mouth blown is still a good alternative for the highland piper who who still likes the feel of a full pair of lungs.
The reeds I have developed over the past few years provide a full warm rich tone.They are made of plastic for the mouth blown, I find this very stable with no compromise to tone. A cane reed will be fitted for the bellows blown pipes.
The recommended drone combination is tenor baritone and base. Bass and two tenors can be provided .The combination sets give the option of the alto tuning to E, D and C, tenor giving A and G, the baritone D and E and an A , G and a C, (when the middle section is removed and replaced with the top section) bass. with this drone combination it is possible for the same set of drones to service the four chanters I provide (A G D C ).
Bags and Bellows
My standard bag is made of pre-treated hide which requires very little seasoning. This bag system gives you a completely air tight bag. The bellows are double skinned with vinyl on the inside and leather on the outer, this eliminates the need for seasoning .The leather is then glued and nailed to the plates.
The plates are made of local and recycled hardwoods such as oak, ash, teak and larch.Bag covers can be provided in tweed.
Three drone set in either G, A, C, or D, hide bag nickel silver or brass ferrules and wood mounts.
Mouth blown £1000
Bellows blown £1200
Subtract £50 for D and C sets .
G, A, C, D four drone combination set with one chanters (A,D,G or C) hide bag, nickel silver or brass ferules and wood mounts.
mouth blown £1100
bellows blown £1300
Vegetable ivory (tagua nut) mounts £100 extra
Stag antler £100 extra
Rams horn £100 extra
Black buffalo £70 extra
Tweed bag cover £60 extra
High B Key £90 extra
Additional Chanter G, A, D or C £200