Pipes of Moidart: An Explanation
are reputed to have been played at the Battle of Bannockburn by a MacIntyre;
although there is no proof that that is the case, equally there is no proof
that it is not. In any event the pipes are certainly at least some 300 years
only one original drone and that is unplayable, being cracked - possibly
there only ever was one. In order to play with drones, Archie had to put the chanter
from the Faery Pipes in his own bag. The drones are therefore his,
only part of the Faery Pipes being played being the chanter.
ancient chanter (whatever its true age) is not accurate in note pitch across
the scale, which makes proper tuning of the drones impossible. Also, the
chanter is not suited to modern reeds, so with only a very short time
available from release from the West Highland Museum to playing, a modern
reed had to be adapted. Modern reeds do not sit well in such an ancient
instrument and the primitive workmanship of the instrument makes the scale
inaccurate and tuning impossible. In addition, the unusual placing of the
holes compared to modern spacing and the great amount of wear in them
makes it very hard to play them at all without error or squealing.
less, Archie managed to coax out “Scots Wha Hae” from the ancient
chanter. A testament to his skill
as a Piper.
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