The Uilleann Pipes - Traditional Irish musical instrument.
The Uilleann Pipes are the Irish form of the bagpipes and have been in existence since the beginning of the 18th century..
'Uilleann' is the Gaelic word for 'Elbow' as these pipes are not mouth blown but wind is supplied by bellows pumped by the elbow.
The Uilleann pipes are an indoor instrument, much quieter than Highland bagpipes and are played in a seated position.
Many well known Irish traditional music bands feature the uilleann pipes as part of the line-up.
Fans of The Bothy Band, The Chieftans, Moving Hearts, Lunasa and Planxty will be familiar with the wild, exciting sound the Uilleann Pipes bring to their music.
Typically players begin playing what is known as a Practice Set which comprises of a bag, bellows and chanter.The bellows pumps air into the bag which supplies the chanter, which makes the melody.An Uilleann pipe chanter is capable of playing 2 full octaves unlike other bagpipes.
The next progression of the set would be the addition of a mainstock and 3 drones which provide a drone accompaniment to the chanter. This is called a Half Set.
The addition of a set of 3 regulators with 13 keys are then added to make the Full Set of Uilleann Pipes.
These keys can be played with the lower edge of the hand to provide Chord accompaniment to the Chanter and drones. Many people believe this is what makes the Uilleann pipes the most soshisticated wind instrument in the world.
Regulator detail on a Full Set of uilleann pipes in Concert pitch'D' made from New Zealand Black Maire wood and Brass.
Above:- A Full Set of Uilleann pipes pitched in 'C', made from Ebony and German Silver
Below:- A Full Set of Uilleann pipes in Concert pitch 'D', made from Ebony and German Silver