While playing in Medieval and Renaissance music ensembles, I came to realize because of the abundance of iconographic evidence how commonly bagpipes were played and that they could contribute to the realization of music from many ages.
In collaboration with Joan Kimball of Piffaro, I make a growing number of early bagpipes ranging from loud for ensemble use to soft for practicing in apartments, all displaying advanced musical flexibilities -- a fully chromatic chanter and an adjustable drone -- that allow them to play a broad range of music.
Cylindrical Chanter: these pipes are not at all as loud as Highland War Pipes but are loud enough to balance shawms. The chanter is fingered like a tenor recorder and its single drone can be adjusted to match the tonic of the melody. Gamut: c-d"
Conical Chanter: Brueghel and his contemporaries commonly depict bagpipes in their peasant scenes; lamentably none survive so this conical-bored instrument represents my interpretation. The instrument is louder than the cylindrical-bore version, and its sound is typically "full-throated." I make chanters in A, G, and D at A=440, 466, or any other pitch required (A, G, D etc. refers to the six-fingered note). This pipe has two drones, a Bass and a Baryton, both adjustable to match the tonic of the melody. The range is eleven notes, cylindrical chanters have a nine note range. more bagpipes
MP3 files of Flemish Pipes
click to play, pause, or stop