The smallpipes originally date back to the 13th Century when the Musette Du Cour was manufactured. These were 4 Layette, Single Chanter and Bellows. By the 17th Century the same product now had an auxiliary chanter added to it. The late 17th Century saw the creation of the Northumbrian Smallpipe. The first Highland Smallpipe came along in the late 17th Century using a 3 drone plus chanter and mouth blown.
In 1994 RT Shepherd and Son (Scotland) Ltd addressed the mounting requests from bagpipe players to produce a smaller and quieter instrument aimed to be used in the home for personal enjoyment, but also an instrument that could be used in solo piping recitals and concerts within the folk scene.
RT Shepherd and Son (Scotland) Ltd responded to these requests in their own inimitable way and produced the Shepherd Scottish Smallpipes, an instrument that maintained the same fingering technique as the Highland Bagpipe but most importantly was mouth blown unlike the bellows operation of Northumbrian or Lowland pipes.
The Shepherd Smallpipes are available in 4 ranges, the key of A with drone tuning on A-D-A, the key of C with drone tuning on C-G-C, the key of Upper D with drone tuning on D-A-D and the key of B Flat with drone tuning on Bb-F-Bb. The Upper D smallpipe has proven to be the most popular with constant positive feedback.
The Upper D smallpipe has now featured in recordings by Pipe Major Brian Lamond, Pipe Major David Barnes, Gold Medalist Mike Cusack (USA) and Pipe Major Robert Mathieson to name a few. A massive endorsement for our product.
The success of the Shepherd Scottish Smallpipes has led to yet further innovations. with the all new Combination Smallpipe (pictured left) for the key A and D using a 4 drone common stock and 2 chanters. We also have the all new Shepherd Highland Musette, available in 3 keys A-Bb-D it rejects the need for 3 separate sets of drones by producing individual drone tunings from a specially bored central unit with slide controls.
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