Here's an example of what you're talking about: Chris Evans using a drinking straw to extend his D drone to C.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaYiveqihsc&feature=mfu_in_order&list =UL I wish Chris would put a few more videos up on youtube. Nigel made him a lovely set of pipes, and, of course, he plays them very well. On Sun, May 8, 2011 at 2:49 AM, Julia Say <julia....@nspipes.co.uk> wrote: On 8 May 2011, a.d.s wrote: > More you > get away from the keys of G and D, and play in A maj., C maj., F maj., > B maj., the more keys are played with the thumb and little finger in > succession; like playing the piano with one finger! .....Have we got to > the key of C yet? Having played the guitar somewhere back in the dim and distant past, I have been very surprised that few pipers seem aware of the "circle of fifths" in chord sequences and it's relevance to keys we "can" play in using drones. I hold the personal position that if you're going to play without drones you're not a piper, you're a misdirected oboist, but I fully accept that others differ on this. Taking the drones as chords (a bit like saying "consider a cow as a perfect sphere", I know), they are set up primarily and historically for G - which could be said to be our "root" key. In the circle of fifths, which partially goes: B - E - A - D - G - C - F - Bb - Eb etc - I've left out the ones with lots of flats and sharps and only considered major (Ionian?) scales - G has D one side (the sharp side) next to it. We use D. Some of us can use A, also on the sharp side. But sitting there, right next to G, is C - so the drones are not being forced into unnatural contortions to get there in terms of temperament, nor should the tuning be. (Let's leave those issues to another discussion) It became obvious that Tom Clough used C for Bobby Shaftoe and the like. I could find an argument that F nat. would have been a more useful 7th key on a short chanter than d#, but that's not the way things went. Knowing that Pauline C and possibly others had drone extensions to assist with altering drones to "non-standard" keys, and Andy M has interchangeable drone parts to achieve something similar, I elected to make a five drone "F" set with two tuning beads on the A drone so I could reach C, and made an extension for the big D to drop it to C, which allows a 3 drone tuning of C - G - C, gives a phenomenal "ghostly 3rd" E when it's working properly, and allowed me to establish for myself that Clough's Bobby Shaftoe set was well worth the exploring. Yes you need F natural keys but they're both within the "compass" of the 7 key chanter so are not outlandish to handle, and yes it takes a bit more effort than G, but I think it sounds really good. My twopennorth Julia To get on or off this list see list information at http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~wbc/lute-admin/index.html -- References 1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaYiveqihsc&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL 2. mailto:julia....@nspipes.co.uk 3. http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~wbc/lute-admin/index.html