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Al James, from Vancouver B.C., Canada, says that although the pipe is now returned to the museum from whence it came, he still has access and will be pleased to check on any points that readers may raise. And he has since come upon a catalogue entry describing the pipes as "Set of Highland Small Pipes (bag pipes) donated by Lord Seaforth to a gentleman".

I was interested in Hugh Cheape’s article in the Dec. ’91 issue of the Journal on Sir David Wilkie's painting "The Bagpiper’, particularly in illustration 2 which showed a late 18th century Pastoral or Hybrid Union bagpipe.

Last month I was assisting with work in a small museum which is maintained by members of the Regimental Association of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, and happened upon the remains of an old bagpipe, stored in a carton. The bellows, the leather bag, the chanter foot-joint, a couple of drone end bells, the metal ’U'-tube of the bass-drone fold and all of the reeds were missing. The remaining pieces were tied into a bag made of old kilt material and some of the pieces were damaged.

The pipe was taken home with me for investigation and measurement, and was found to be almost exactly like the pipe of Illustration 2 and very similar to Plate X1/31 of Anthony Baines’ "Bagpipe" book.

Accordingly I photographed and measured the pieces, and recorded the actual dimensions. Dimensions of some of the missing pieces were estimated by comparison to IIlustra.2 and Plate XI/31 and also recorded.

Without a doubt, the pipe is of 1780 vintage (See also below. Ed) and though in its present state it cannot be reeded and played, it could be restored by a competent pipe-maker.

For anyone who would like to make a replica of this fascinating bagpipe I have drafted my measurements and estimations except for those of the bag and bellows which can easily be obtained elsewhere.

Photos 1 and 2 are same object, different perspective. Set up on a cabinet top with blanket back-drop, two flood lights and the family camera, the chanter is stuffed with tissue paper to highlight the finger holes. Photo 1 shows finger holes plus black shadow, photo 2 shows no black shadow and no finger holes and in both shots the two-foot rule is a disaster.

‘The items L to R are the chanter stock which has been thrice longitudinally split apart and missing one slice of about 1/8" thick, then the chanter minus the footjoint. Item 3 is the two-foot rule and item 4 is the drones stock with all existing pieces assembled. In the stock the small drone (sans end-bell) is front centre, flanked on the right by the bottom piece of the bass drone which would hold the reed and on the left by the down-coming section of the bass drone, which is connected to the tuning section (behind the down-comer) by a horizontal channel in the stock plug. The mid-drone at right rear is complete. The fifth item is the blow-stick stock holding the blow-stick, from which a piece of the mouth is broken away and missing.

For the ferrules and stock-plug cap the metal used is something like pewter but brighter, for though tarnished dull is cleans easily as shown by the smali-drone ferrule which was given a lick of Brasso. The metal appears to have a high tin content but is fairly ductile, the plugcap seeming lathe-spun to form the sidesof the cap. The average metal thickness is 15thou.

The workmanship of the pipe is excellent and its maker was a good crafts-man. His pipe has seen plenty of playing for the chanter holes are well worn. The chanter, incidentally, now has a fine but definite crack on one side for almost the whole of its length.

Photos 3 and 4 show the pipe dissembled as far as then was possible. Later the small drone and the bass-drone tuning sections were detached from the stock plug. The remaining pieces appear to be cemented in by a combination of jute thread and fish-glue, and will not budge. Photo 4 shows the bottom thickness of the drones stock and the three reed holes in the disc in the bottom of the stock plug.

The drawings, sheets 1 to 4, show the pertinent dimensions as accurately as I could make them, using steel rule, dial-calliper and twist-drill-bit diameter gauges. The decorative embellishments have been left un-dimensioned as they will now be a matter of personal preference. All of the spigots for holding ferrules, for stock-fitting and for the tuning slides are parallel grooved, while the bass and mid-drone end-bell spigots are screw-thread grooved.

The "U" tube of sheet 2 is purely speculative and the actual height/length could be deduced from experimentation with pieces of plastic tube during the final stages of manufacture.

Similarly, the chanter foot-joint of sheet 3 is speculative and may be improved by             experimentation. The mid-drone end-bell on the same drawing is shown detached and     dimensioned so that the other drone and end-bells can be made to suitable proportion.

Drawing sheet 4 is somewhat complicated and is an attempt to depict a very tricky piece of woodwork. The plug is of box-wood whereas the other pieces are of black-wood. It is made to very fine tolerances so that the spigot and spigot-hole diameters are very close, and the wall thickness between the spigot-holes and the outside of the plug is very thin. In the thin areas there are now some longitudinal splits in the wood.

The fitting of the drone pieces in the plug appear to have been difficult as some drone flanges and spigot holes have been scraped in some areas.

To make the cross-connection in the plug between the spigot-holes of the bass-drone down-comer and the bass-drone tuning section, the bottom of the plug was recessed to a depth of 7/32" by face-plate turning in a lathe. It was then sealed by a tightly fitted and glued, box-wood disc of depth thickness in which the three reed holes were drilled, after the 3/8" high and wide channel was cut.

These holes were drilled to different depths, the small-drone spigot-hole being drilled through plug and disc, so that the reed would seat in the drone and have vibration space in the plug. The bass-drone spigot-hole was drilled into the plug to a depthof 1+1/8", then through plug and disc at 11/32" to form a long reed seat in the plug and the disc. The mid-drone spigot-hole was drilled through the plug to the inside face of the disc at 17/64" to form a reed-seat in the disc. Both bass and mid-drone seats appear to have been lightly flared by hand.

To conclude, there are numerous ways in which the modem pipe-maker could improve on the manufacture of a similar pipe. Still, it is interesting to speculate on how the pipe would have sounded in its prime, so using high-school physics I have attempted to estimate the fundamental frequencies of the instrument. Based on the simple equation of Frequency = Speed of sound divided by four times the drone length, and with a sound speed of 1125ft/sec.,I calculated the bass-drone frequency to equal 80Hz.

Assuming the chanter low A to be two octaves higher, the low A would be 320Hz. i.e. well below the modem standard of 440Hz. The spacing of the chanter holes requires a long low-hand span to cover the low A hole, which at 1/8" diameter is the smallest of the chanter holes; so that it probably was low pitched and soft-sounding too.

This sparks speculation concerning the function of the small drone, the fundamental frequency of which calculates to 320Hz. at its shortest length; thereby matching the frequency of which calculates to 320Hz. at its shortest length; thereby matching the frequency of the chanter low A, which would not only provide harmony but would also augment the volume of the low A. Very interesting! Does, for instance, a small diameter A hole ease any chipping/skirling problems that may stem from a stiff-shouldered reed combined with a large diameter A hole?

The middle drone doesn’t back up my logic very well, for it calculates to 169Hz. at its shortest length and therefore is a little higher than the theoretical 160Hz. for a tenor drone to its bass drone’s 80Hz. It is too low for a theoretical E drone of 240Hz. so probably is a tenor drone.

Comments from anyone interested in the fore-going will be very welcome and if someone can supply information on, and dimensions of, the reeds and missing pieces, they will be hugely smiled upon.