What are bagpipes tuned to?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Kraig99, Apr 27, 2002.

  1. My band would like to bring bagpipes into our music but we have had trouble playing along with it bedcause we don't know what it is tuned to. It isn't concert pitch. Does anybody know the tuning by any chance? Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    It's tuned one octave above the sound a cat makes when its tail is stepped on. :)

    J/k. I'll bet you can find out with a Yahoo search.

  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
  4. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    This is a guess. I remember my keyboard instructor saying somthing about a gig where he accompanied bag pipes and the band was in A or
    something and it really wasn't happening because of the bagpipe tuning. He said they,(bag pipes), were tuned to whole steps but I am guessing it is C.
  5. It you go to this link it shows you the parts of a BagPipe.
    Or go to www.amazon.com and do a search on The Book of the Bagpipe and click on the picktures.

    I couldn't find any thing on tuning but I found a page where a guy logged his progress on learning to play them.

    His first couple of months were practicing the C major scale.

    C-Fingernails on Chalkboard-E-Cat Run over-G-Bird Steped on-Nagging Wife-C
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    First, you get yourself a rooster. Then, you make yourself one of those little electro-shock thingies I described in that "Piercing" thread. Hook it up to the rooster. Shake it. Have a friend tune the bagpipe while you're shocking the rooster.

    Hmmm ... I think I'm gonna call it the "Korg Rooster-rama Automatic Bagpipe Tuner."
  7. Hitting a baby with a cat would also provide the correct pitch.

    Actually, I have no idea, but when I saw the thread title, I knew you were from Nova Scotia! Maybe some of the guys at Musicstop would know.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    LMAO!!! HAHAHA! He said tune and bagpipe in the same sentence!!!:p:D
  9. LOL! Even could be tuned to a sick cow.:D

    No, really tho. I am not sure what they are tuned to. Also I happen to like bagpipe's.
    Granted they can be annoying alone but with acompanyment like in Celtic and Irish music they sound nice.
  10. I did a show with 600 :eek: pipers on a football field. What a friggin' racket!

    Now that I think of it, that was at the College of Piping in Summerside, P.E.I. I bet they'd know how to tune a bagpipe! :D

    What's the difference between bagpipe and an onion?

    No one cries when you cut up a bagpipe! :D:p
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Scottish bagpipes have a constant "drone" note - so if this clashes with the key/chords of the song you're playing then it's probably going to sound horrible - but there are other types of bagpipes.

    So I have heard Alain Stivell, using Breton bagpipes in rock/folk fusion music successfully, with a live band - bass guitar etc.
  12. 'Absolutely love the sound of bagpipes (no, I'm not a Scotsman) :eek: :eek:

    I've never heard them in anything other than a military band so couldn't even speculate how they'd sound but bow to Bruce's superior knowledge on that one :D

  13. FWIW here is a link to some info on bagpipe tuning - not sure if this is what you're after!


    I must admit to be a little shocked at the total lack of respect shown on this board to a musical instrument and to those of us Scots who appreciate bagpipe music for what it is!!!!

    ;) - Haha - fished in!!!!! Hook line and..........

    Anyway, just to show I'm not really miffed, here's a joke for you -

    A man goes into a pub with an octopus under his arm and has a drink. He askes the barman if he can make an announcement, the barmna tells him he can. He gathers everyone's attention and says "I have here a musical octopus that can play any instrument. I will bet £100 with anyone who can give me an instrument that it cannot play. If it can play it then I win the bet!"

    Someone shouts - "Try it on the piano in the corner" The man looks at the octopus and nods. The octopus then slinks over to the piano. Limbers up and plays several beatiful and stirring pieces on the piano. The man wins the £100. Someone else produces a guitar. The octopus delights everyone with it talent on the instrument - the man wins another £100. Someone offers up a trumpet, the octopus again shows it's talent and the man wins £100.

    The barman has seen several of his best customers lose money. He goes behind the bar and produces a set of bagpipes. He tells the man that a pipe band left them and that he'll give the man £200 if the octopus can play them. The man nods and th octopus investigates ther bagpipes. First it circles them, then it turns them over and has a good look all over. It then turns them back over and circles them looking puzzled. The man says "Whats the problem??? There's £200 at stake here, just play it!!!" The octopus replies "Play it???? If I can work out how to get it's pyjamas off I'm going to **** it!!"
  14. :D :D

    No disrespect from me.

    I genuinely love the sound of bagpipes. Serious. I've watched many an Edinburgh Tattoo and seen the lone piper atop the battlements. And seen the massed bands with their super crisp snare drums. Makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    Yeh. Love it.

    Favourite tune? Black Bear. Absolutely brill.

  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The relevant bit from that website was:

    "Concert A is 440 Hz
    Concert A# is 466 Hz
    Bagpipe "A" is 468 to 474 Hz or "A# and a wee bit"
    The actual bagpipe scale is based on an A scale plus a low G: gABCDEFGA (the Mixolydian mode). "

    Scottish Technical term - "and a wee bit" - explains why they always sound "off", probably ! :D
  16. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Truth of the matter is: I love the sound of bagpipes.

    Apparently octopi love them too. :)

  17. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    So about B flat.
  18. my cousin has been playing the bag pipes for many years and gigs with our band now and then. We always play in Bb. being that what he told us he was in, and that's what sounds the best