Best of Individual Virtuoso Pipers - World

Wednesday 19 January 2011 at 1:43 pm

work in progress

Jack Lee: World Champion Bagpiper Live on Maui '06

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Best of Simon Frasier University - Vancouver

Wednesday 19 January 2011 at 1:38 pm

work in progress..

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Best of Pipe Bands in Competition

Wednesday 19 January 2011 at 1:26 pm

These are videos of the greatest bands in the world in 2010.  Aficionados of Piping are in awe at the precision of fingering movements, syncopation, quality of tone, steadiness of play, speed of movements, execution of breaks and duration of play of these bands.

What sets Grade One bands apart are:  long hours of practice from early child hood (for most) as a band.  Bagpipes have four reeds that must be played under constant pressure (therefore the need of the bag for air resevoir) at all times.  Competition points are deducted for the slightest waver in tone or beat.  For high quality tone to be achieved every piper and every reed must be in unison through at least the first four harmonics on every note.

The scale of the bagpipe is unique and close to a mixolean scale.  It was originally based on an old Gaelic Vocal Scale.  Years ago, the pipes ranged from Low G to High A.  The low A was close to concert A at 440 hertz.  Over the past hundred or so years, the chanters were made with higher pitches because it was more pleasing to the ear.  Currently, the Low A on pipe chanters is above 480 hertz.  

One distinctive feature of piping is the grace note.  There are more than 100 grace notes, some of which have as many as nine notes. Most melody notes are played with an accompanying grace note.

Even the world's greatest symphonies and orchestras would be challenged to  maintain this level of viruosity at the band level. 


Simon Fraser University at the Worlds 2010

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