The survey may not tell Malcolm as much as he hopes.

 As well as 'where are the holes?' we also need to know 'is the note
sharp or flat?'.
It's not just size that matters - internal shape does too, as if a hole
is significantly undercut, 
it will affect the pitch. And the bore of the chanter, the nature of the
plug in the end.
And have the pipes been altered by anyone since the maker sold them?

And customers, if there's a maker currently producing pipes with
difficult or out of tune hole spacings, 
need to know who it is.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: 06 March 2009 10:42
Subject: [NSP] malcom's final solution

I have published in my Technical Advisors report in the forthcoming
Newsletter a list of hole positions with diameters as the result of my
own research into the tuning of chanters that is the result of forty
years pipemaking and which is about 90% right.
I think that Malcom should name the makers he is accusing of changing
the hole positions, and if he thinks he can come up with a Unversal
Theory of chanter making then he should think of helping Stephen Hawkin
with his problem with arriving at a final theory. Learning to spell
might be a start.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Fri, 6 Mar 2009 9:59
Subject: [NSP] Re: Obit for JIm Bryan

Dear pipers; As a learner not just to pipe making but all things pipes I
have come accross a phenomenon perculier to Northumbrian Smallpipes in
After asking around all and sundry to the point of being a "pest" about
tone hole positions I have arrived, after six years of research to this
There are pipe makers that even after "donkeys years" of making pipes
change the tone hole positions to suit the reed being used at the time
for whatever reason.
I have "umpteen" different tone hole positions from makers and
developers like Clough to Reid and many recent makers and all of them
are different regardless of pitch and bore. Prevelent makers changing
these positions as much as three times in a two year period. As a result
I am asking everyone willing to take part in my survey to measure your
Northumbrian Smallpipes tone hole positions and send them to me so that
the results can be published here when completed. It is not my intention
to embarrass anyone and the maker can be kept confidential if you wish,
although I would rather know the maker too but rather to aid the
development of our instrument if possible for future generations in
attempting to consolidate the tone hole positions. As far as I know,
this kind of thing has not been done for a very long time and since
then, there has been thousands of pipes made worldwide. This of course
will give more data to work with and a better average to arrive at any
sensible sort of conclusion. Anyone willing to help not just me but
yourselves in the long run will be required to measure the following;
Give length and bore if possible, pitch, maker,  aproximate year made,
material (timber if known) and the tone holes ,measured from the very
top of the chanter to the centre of the hole. Lastly but equaly
important is the size of each tone hole as some may be as much as 1/2"
Measurements to
be as careful as possible and in metric. (if you do not have metric or
can not use it then of course imperial) Thank you Malcolm Sargeant.
-- Julia.Say wrote :
Hi, list

Apparently there was an obit. for Jim Bryan in Weds. Daily Telegraph.
It hasn't appeared on their website - although others from the same day

Does anyone read this paper, and could supply a copy for the NPS


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