~ The Universe of Bagpipes ~
A Web Site by Oliver Seeler

Page 21 of 30 illustrating the pipes heard on Bagpipes of the World

For more information on the album click on the cover at left

Sweden ~ Dalarna

cylindrical bore chanter, single-blade reed; one cylidrical bore drone, single-blade reed;
also, an extra chanter in another key (part of the original equipment).

General Comments:

It is said that not too many years ago there was only one player of this pipe left in Sweden. Today there is a very vigorous revival of the Sackpipa, and it is being heard more and more. This particular pipe was made in the early 1980s by Leif Eriksson, one of the persons responsible for bringing this instrument back to prominence. Fortunately, much of the music formerly played on this pipe was preserved by a continuous strong violin tradition in the region, and so now the instrument and the tunes are rejoined. The Sackpipa is an intermediate pipe in terms of volume, and thus is at home both indoors and out.

By the way, the name "Sackpipa" is correctly rendered with an umlaut over the first "a". Diacritical marks have been omitted throughout this web site for technical reasons - there will soon be a page listing all of these omissions.

Musical Notes:

* Note: Because the scale is fixed by the hole positions, the chanter can only play an "ascending" melodic minor regardless of the ascending or decending contour of the melody.

An interesting feature of this pipe is the drone, which can sound three notes - two of them by covering the fingerholes near its outlet. On the CD this is heard at the end of the track.

The scales and key signatures given may be regarded as approximations; bagpipes may deviate from conventional standards in absolute and relative pitch.

The Swedish Sackpipa being played by Sean Folsom. Here the drone is being played as well as the chanter -at the expense of course of being restricted while doing so to the upper-hand chanter notes.
Detail of the drone showng the finger holes.

The only other bagpipes in this collection with anything similar to a playable drone are the two Uilleann pipes (nos. 11 & 22) with their "regulators" - which aren't really drones because they lie silent until keyed.
Detail of the chanter & stock. Overall construction is plain, disguising what is actually quite a sophisticated bagpipe.

The deep scallops are interesting - there's certainly little danger of missing a hole, even in cold weather.
Straightforward looking single-blade reeds are found both in the chanter and drone. Note the little notch at the blade tips. These reeds are not made of Arundo donax cane - that not being a native material in Scandanavia - but rather of another grass, Arundo fragmites that is harvested in winter as it sticks up through the ice of frozen lakes.

Photographs & Text Copyright 1999 - 2002, Oliver Seeler,

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