Monthly Archives: May 2011

Piobaireachd high G tunings

Hugh MacCallum – World’s Greatest Pipers Vol. 2 1987 – Lament for Mary MacLeod – A=472 Hz G=439 Hz -> Spot on 16/9(A)

Jack Lee – Dr. Dan Reid Memorial Challenge 2001 – Lament for Mary MacLeod – A=480.5 Hz G=844.5 Hz -> ~3 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Alasdair Gillies – World’s Greatest Pipers Vol.12 1994 – King’s Taxes – A=476 Hz G=834,832,833 Hz -> Spot on 7/4(A) – funny he actually starts a tad sharp at 834, he underblows it a bit on the next one at 832 and you can hear the slight discord with the drones, and then on the third pass you hear him blow harder as he’s still underblowing it a bit at first to come in right at 833 Hz by the end of the note.

John Wilson – World’s Greatest Pipers Vol. 5 1996 – Glengarry’s March – A=481 Hz G=845 Hz -> 3 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Michael Cusack – Glenfiddich Piping Championship – Park Piobaireachd (No. 2) – A=472 Hz G=824 Hz -> 2 Hz flat of 7/4(A)

Stuart Liddell – 1997 Recital Series Vol. 2 – Battle of Auldearn – A=474 Hz G=838,835,836 Hz -> 4,7,6 Hz flat of 16/9(A) or 8,5,6 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

John MacLellan – Classical Music of the Highland Bagpipe – Lament for MacSwan of Roaig – A=476 Hz G=839 Hz -> 7 Hz flat of 16/9(A) or 6 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Murray Henderson – Glenfiddich Piping Championship – MacDougall’s Gathering – A=476 Hz G=839,836 Hz -> 7,10 Hz flat of 16/9(A) or 6,3 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Robert U Brown – Vol. 1 Masters of Piobaireachd – Lament for Patrick Og MacCrimmon – A=476 Hz G=389 Hz -> 7 Hz flat of 16/9(A) or 6 Hz sharp of 7/4(A)

Piobaireachd high G

Here I was, wondering about the Piobaireach high G. I was under the impression that the Piobaireachd high G was the 16/9 ratio to the fundamental coming in at ~4 cents flat of equal temperament. However, when I tuned my chanter as such (it would barely get sharp enough), it sounded pretty bad. However, Hugh MacCallum’s on his World’s Greatest Pipers album is awesome at the 4 cents flat tuning. So, I tuned the Piobaireachd high G by ear instead and found it tunes just where the light music high G tunes at ~31 cents flat, only it sounds different (sharper to my ear, of course, given my previous misunderstanding). Below you’ll find a mp3 of the normal high G followed by a Piobaireachd high G and also a fourier analysis of the time domain signal normalized to the fundamental high G note. Note the Piobaireachd high G is in red and the light music in green; and because their spectra overlapped exactly (proving they both tune at ~31 cents flat) I had to offset the light music one (green) up 20 Hz to make it easier to see their relative ratios. Colin Kyo chanter, Gilmour reed, Gellaitry pipes with Redwood reeds.

High G MP3