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Dick Grindley once again puts forward some web sites that readers of Common Stock might find interesting or useful.

This time, rather than a random roam over some of the piping web sites available, I thought I’d see if I could find something useful that might interest other readers of Common Stock. Ever wished for the musical equivalent of a word processor? If so, here are four sites to have a look at:


Pipewriter is primarily aimed at writing GHBP music and consequently the only notes cov- ered are Low G to High A, however as the tune replay facility does allow for changing both individual chanter and drone sound as well note pitch it should meet the needs of most Scot- tish & Border smallpipers. Musical notes, including grace notes, are written into the system using a simple, fairly logical, shorthand notation that can be picked up in a matter of min- utes. I found the web page a bit messy to read but it’s worth persevering, as Pipewriter does have one major advantage over other similar software packages - it can now be downloaded for free from the Net, the down load version appearing to be the same issue I paid pounds for fairly recently!! The package comes with a selection of 140 well known GHBP tunes.


A more sophisticated piece of software than Pipewriter and designed for general musical notation rather than specifically GHBP music. Musical notes are written onto a stave with the mouse after selection from a comprehensive range of toolbar menus, grace notes being initially written in as individual notes and then converted. The music appears as if on one continuous stave but this can be split as you want for print preview and final printing. Re- play sound can be varied by selecting various instruments but I’ve yet to find a method of changing individual note pitch. There is a User Defined Key Signature facility that I’ve used to provide a coarse approximation to the Scottish Bagpipe scale. There are no specific arrangements for providing for drones but the addition of a suitable sustained chord to an additional stave is a possibility. Demo versions of Noteworthy, with a 30 day life, are avail- able for down load from the site while a full version costs $39.


My original, copy of Noteworthy 2 was designed for use on an MS-DOS system and the Windows compatible 30 day demo version, available for down load from this site (version date 5/97) still has that DOS program feel about it. Although undoubtedly a very versatile program I have always felt that it was spoilt by having the pull down menus cramped around the edge of the work in hand and most of the features being called up by key combi- nation rather than the ‘click and drag’ techniques used in more recent software packages.


Grace note groups are entered by an initial selection from menu and then conventional key- board selection for pitch. Key transposition is easy but there are no replay facilities avail- able and final score printing seems to be very slow.

The package costs £45/$75.


Sibelius is the most luxurious of these four musical WP and what you see is what you get. It seems to have just about every piece of musical notation I’ve ever heard of plus even more I’ve never heard of and wouldn’t know how to use even if I had !! Note entry is by mouse from a pictorial menu at the side of the score. Gracing is entered as ‘appoggiaturas’ (a.k.a. wee, shrunk notes that don’t mess up the timing in a bar) and key transposition is easy. As with Noteworthy Composer there are no specific arrangements for adding drones or tuning individual notes but that’s not to say there aren’t any, it just means I’ve not found them

yet !! Comprehensive reply and MIDI interface facilities are included. A demo copy is available from the site but be warned that the real item costs serious money (£ 100’s), how- ever it is easy to use and produces a very professional looking final score.

Now onto another couple of sites that might be of interest:


If you’ve ever been frustrated by trying to find just where a particular tune is/has been published then this might be just the site you need. It claims to have publication details for over 50,000 pipe tunes so should cover the repertoire needs of even the most ambitious of smallpipers !!


Although not specifically pipe music the Edinburgh based music publishers CANASG have some unusual musical/vocal arrangements of Old Scots and Gaelic tunes in their catalogue that may be of interest to those smallpipers playing with folk groups. Audio samples of the music are available on the site and scores can be downloaded to (but not printed from) your home PC. I particularly like their version of Both Sides the Tweed.

If you’ve got a favourite piping Web site why not drop me details (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and (Jock permitting) I’ll do my best to include it in the next issue of Common Stock Web Things.