An on-line forum to discuss uilleann pipes
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I noticed something interesting at Listowel NPU tionol the other week ( well it was interesting for me anyway). Two pipers, one with a steep air inlet on the chanter top and a steep angle of bag holding position, another piper with a shallower angle of chanter air inlet and shallow bag angle, almost horizontal. I wondered if one dictated the other or if it was just coincidence.
Yes KM - I think this is an issue - and especially with the usual type of bags which have nothing to support the neck from collapsing in on itself. So to keep the airway clear to the chanter the piper has no choice but to line the bag up to the angle of the air intake. If the bag neck had a piece of flexible tubing inside it would prevent this problem of the leather collapsing in on itself and the angle of the air intake would be less of an issue. In any case I can see no reason for the intake tubing to be set at such an acute angle, as in the case of the second illustration - other than slavish following of an old chanter design.
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I think the preference can also depend on whether you have long thin arms or short stocky arms. In my case I had the latter and generally needed the shallow (left) bag position when playing for comfort.
Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity
Logic suggests that the neck should line up with the angle of the chanter air intake as closely as possible. Then you'll only have to worry about the shape and size of the bag, the length of the neck, and the position of the mainstock and the bellows connection! I have a Jackie Boyce bag which has a slight curve sewn into the neck and this seems to add strength to it - not much danger of collapsing I think.
But this raises the question, which bag holding position is best and why? Then an air inlet could be made to any angle rather than the player adapting to the metal.Driftwood wrote:Logic suggests that the neck should line up with the angle of the chanter air intake as closely as possible
KM - You might remember the nice chanter top you made for me a couple of years ago when I asked you to fit the air intake at an angle about 75 degrees. I asked for it like this because it seemed to give me the best alignment of my right hand to the regulators on my set and that angle has worked well for me. That quite shallow angle is enough to have my chanter sloping in a little from the top, so that my right hand is closer to my body than my left hand. Of course one angle might not suit all players.
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