Monday, February 18, 2008

The Pakistani pipes - part 1.

I found a nice set of bagpipes for £50 in ebay. It was promoted as Rosewood bagpipes, blah blah...

Now, I don't know if you are aware but rosewood doesn't sound too bad on bagpipes. That's about it. It is OK but is not the kind of stuff you want your bagpipes be made of.

The reason is very obvious only when you have had a set of bagpipes already on your hands, and the word is "moisture". Rosewood is wonderful to make string instruments, but when it comes to wind, forget it.

With all these reasons I still went for it. Under my point of view, if an instrument splits open because of moisture after a couple of months of use and it only cost you £50 and most of the pieces are reusable, you still win. And what causes this? the cause is that the next step in price is about £200 and still is made of rosewood, the step after is about £800 and although the drones are made of blackwood, the chanter is still polypenco, and so on.

The £50 bagpipe sounded good to me because I assumed that the thing wouldn't work from the start and I had to apply all my knowledge to make it play. This is not a line of thought recommended to people who are not handy with tools and glue. So if you are planning to buy this pipes but you don't know what is the structure of a flappervalve or how to fix it then just save a lot of money while sticking to your practise chanter.

Another thing, many advertised or so called "rosewood" bagpipes are actually made of whatever wood was found around the furniture making company and painted with brown varnish...

My set of bagpipes arrived. I was very pleased with the reeds, made of real spanish cane. The bag is made of real sheepskin and the wood does really look like rosewood, even in the inside. How fresh it is, I don't know. Some day I might start playing and then a branch will sprout out of the side of one of the drones, but I don't know.

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