what would you do with an early 15th century bagpipe?

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Jack Campin
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what would you do with an early 15th century bagpipe?

Postby Jack Campin » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:46 am

I'm not part of the re-enactment scene, but I'm wondering whether something I'm thinking about would fit.

I am quite likely related to Robert Campin, the Master of Flemalle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Campin

Here's a detail from one of his paintings, a Nativity probably painted in 1425 and now in Dijon:

http://www.imagiva.com/master-of-flemal ... tail-2.jpg

The idea of playing a bagpipe with a family connection going back nearly 600 years (before the invention of the Highland bagpipe) kinda appeals. There seems to be an actual chanter of the period matching the one in that picture, in a museum in Germany, excavated in Rostock and described in a paper by Ralf Gehler in a collection of articles in German, "Der Dudelsack in Europa". So far I have not managed to buy or see the book, don't know where there is a copy I could see, and haven't got any reply from emailing what I think is a contact address for Gehler. But, in principle, it looks like there is enough information to make an accurate copy of the pipe my umptygreatsgrandpa Bob painted.

Okay, suppose I got one made. What would I do with it? Music for it is probably reconstructible, at least enough for a few short tune sets. Who would want to hear the music an early 15th century Flemish or Burgundian shepherd might have played? What sort of events would it fit into? Are there any in the UK?

BTW that pipe is related to a poorly documented English pipe of the previous century - the "chorus". Bob's shepherd has a bigger bag, but like the chorus there is no drone. It is quite likely that similar pipes were played in England and Scotland.



AndyandHelen
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Re: what would you do with an early 15th century bagpipe?

Postby AndyandHelen » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:34 pm

There's an early music society and also early music shops, I know of at least two in Bradford and in London. There are various folk out there such as a group in York. Finally there's also an annual blowout held down south where they play early folk music and assorted types of pipes. Just go on google and type in early music shop London and the job as they say is a good one.



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Jack Campin
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Re: what would you do with an early 15th century bagpipe?

Postby Jack Campin » Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:14 pm

I know how the early music scene works, as I've been playing early music for nearly 40 years - I was asking about how something like that would fit in with the re-enactment scene. From what you imply, it wouldn't.



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sally
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Re: what would you do with an early 15th century bagpipe?

Postby sally » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:05 pm

I think it would go down well at many medieval events, and really like the idea of it as a project. I'd agree with not trying to re-invent the wheel though, use the early music network to see who else in the UK has one and compare notes on where they find willing listeners



AndyandHelen
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Re: what would you do with an early 15th century bagpipe?

Postby AndyandHelen » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:56 pm

Sorry I got wrong end of the stick. Most reenactment and living history groups would be pleased to see you along. Tewkesbury festival for example. There are plenty groups you could join and get into the living history side of things. Some groups such as sir John Nesfields have forays overseas such as at the Archeon Centre in the Netherlands which features a recreated Medieval village. The company of St George obstensibly based in Switzerrland has members all across Europe and is seen as the exemplar, they'd also be interested in hearing from you.



busy mole
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Re: what would you do with an early 15th century bagpipe?

Postby busy mole » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:36 pm

Not sure if you have a set or a set in mind but this may be of interest.. Try talking to Sean Jones he makes great pipes we have a set as do many of our friends. He is very knowledgable about them he also makes a set of Dudeys which may be what you are looking for.

http://www.jonesinstruments.co.uk/
Dudeys pipes
http://www.jonesinstruments.co.uk/models.htm

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Tom H
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Re: what would you do with an early 15th century bagpipe?

Postby Tom H » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:42 pm

Lots of people would be interested!!! I play my (various) pipes at lots of living history events and they never fail to draw a crowd and get many interested questions. As to what you can do with them, I use them in storytelling, for dances, leading troops onto the battlefield, as well as adding colour and atmosphere to the general living history scenes.

I'd also second Busy Mole's recommendation of Sean Jones, though I don't think his dudey set would suit as it's based on an Praetorius illustration about 2 centuries later and with three drones (though I do have a set of them and they are my favourite of all my bagpipes), but have a chat with Sean by all means, he may be able to adapt one of his standard sets. There are lots of other makers out there, and a good place to start would be the Bagpipe Society website, http://www.bagpipesociety.org.uk

I'm very involved with the Bagpipe Society and act as their Education Officer. I'm also a bit of an obsessive about bagpipe history and iconography, so feel free to PM me if you need more info. Our annual gathering - the Blowout - is actually in the midlands, at Polesworth, rather than down south as someone mentioned, but there are lots of regional events happening, so let me know if you want more details and I'll see if I can find a contact or events where you are. It's tricky getting started on your own so do ask for help. But it's well worth taking up bagpipes, if a little addictive. :D

Hope you get bitten by the piping bug!



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Jack Campin
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Re: what would you do with an early 15th century bagpipe?

Postby Jack Campin » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:25 pm

I have been talking to Julian Goodacre for some time about this, but he can't find that article by Gehler either, and we're stuck until we get a detailed drawing of that German chanter. Julian made the unique set of historical pipes I already have (a replica of the Border pipes played by Geordie Syme the town piper of Dalkeith; the wood for the pipes grew in the grounds of Newbattle Abbey on the edge of Dalkeith). No point in starting to make anything with only half the existing historical information.

I'm pretty sure nobody anywhere has made a set of pipes like those in Grandpa Bob's picture in modern times.




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