He has been playing the Northumbrian Samall Pipes for nearly 60 years, during which time he has performed in numerous concerts, on TV and radio and organised a wide variety of Northumbrian Music events and functions. He is also an experienced tutor, having run numerous courses for all levels of playing in England, Germany and the USA, and lectured extensively about the pipes and Northumbrian Music in general. Richard has been the Duke of Northumberland's Piper for neatly 40 years. During this time he has played for Her Majesty the Queen, the King of Spain, at the 10th Duke's Memorial Service in Westminster Abbey as well as at numerous private and public functions. Richard teamed up with Janet Bennett Clarsach and Vocal and Tommy Waugh Fiddle and Bass to form the Border Minstrels , thereby, merging their individual talents and skills to a degree that has seen a renaissance of the region's idiosyncratic tunes, songs and ballads.
Pipes & Pipers
Q: I want to learn the Northumbrian pipes. I am ordering a set but the pipemaker has asked me how many notes I want. A: It probably depends if you have the opportunity to borrow or hire a set to start off with, in which case the more basic the better. However if you are buying a set then you probably want a reasonable amount of notes for your investment! Q: If I wanted to write something for Northumbrian pipes what information do I need to know?
Northumbrian Smallpipes Information and FAQs
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It is not known when the first Northumbrian pipes were played in their native region. The principal characteristics of the Northumbrian instruments are the bellows and the method of mounting the drones—the common stock. The drones are a straight tube, made in two parts, and a single reed. Northumbrian smallpipes also have a chanter with a stopped end—this is almost unique amongst bagpipes world-wide. Mouth-blown bagpipes of various types are recorded throughout the Middle Ages in most parts of England. The first known treatise on musical instruments , mentions only mouth-blown bagpipes. The first bellows-blown instrument appears in a much-quoted publication of Praetorius.