Cocks & Bryan & key layout

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Cocks & Bryan & key layout

Postby pipemakermike » Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:48 pm

I have been pondering the layout of the keys lately. I have had a 16key Barlow set to sort out recently and looking at the key layout it seems that there has been a change in the thinking since I last made a long set. Nigel has the bottom C# paired with the bottom D and the bottom D# paired with the bottom E. I assume that this is also the normal layout for a Ross chanter. My normal practice is to pair the D & D# and the E & C#. Now I can see good practical reasons from a making point of view why the Ross/Barlow layout has much to commend it as it makes the pivoting and spring of the keys much more even. I was wondering if there were any implications from a playing viewpoint. I can't remember what directed my key layout although I was much guided by Colin when I started (as were most of us). I have revisited the 17 keyed chanter in the C&B (second edition) and can see a possible explanation, although viewing it again with more experience, I find some confusion. C&B shows a chanter with a key pattern devised by Tom Clough and Fred Picknell and this shows that the bottom D & D# are paired and the bottom C# and E are also paired but the text under the chanter says the opposite "This arrangement of keys differs from that used by the Reid's in that the C# is paired with the low D".
There is another difference that may be more important from a players viewpoint and that is that I normally have the bottom B key touch piece on the right hand side of the chanter and the bottom C on the left side. The C&B Clough/Picknell layout is also this way round.

mrn_16K_bottom.jpg
mrn_16K_bottom.jpg (34.21 KiB) Viewed 1851 times

The Barlow chanter I am rereeding is the other way round so that a player needs to reach across the C key to reach the bottom B key. I have found this a bit awkward but the may due to my lack of practice with this layout. Do any players have an opinion
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Re: Cocks & Bryan & key layout

Postby Richard Evans » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:08 am

I don't think there are any easy answers to the layout of low keys. On my own long chanter, I have D with C#, E with C natural, and A/B at the back. Obviously no E flat. I find this the best layout I have tried.

BTW, I think there is a lot to be said in favour of simpler/shorter chanters- I have never wanted to fit extra keys just because it is possible.

cheers
Richard
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Re: Cocks & Bryan & key layout

Postby pipemakermike » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:49 am

Hi Richard

I think that one of the interesting things that I would like to know is if the bottom B key touchpiece should be on the side of the bottom hand (as shown in the picture) or on the other side as some examples I have seen. My thinking is that, as the bottom B is used more often than the bottom C then is should be easier to reach. I found that when the layout is reversed it is very easy to inadvertently touch the bottom C and compromise the bottom B.
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Re: Cocks & Bryan & key layout

Postby Barry Say » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:05 pm

This question has been extensively discussed in another place.

Try

http://www.mail-archive.com/nsp@cs.dartmouth.edu/

and search on key question. A mere 69 matches not all of which are relevant. Imust go through and summarise them sometime.

Barry
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Re: Cocks & Bryan & key layout

Postby Richard Evans » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:23 pm

pipemakermike wrote:Hi Richard

I think that one of the interesting things that I would like to know is if the bottom B key touchpiece should be on the side of the bottom hand (as shown in the picture) or on the other side as some examples I have seen. My thinking is that, as the bottom B is used more often than the bottom C then is should be easier to reach. I found that when the layout is reversed it is very easy to inadvertently touch the bottom C and compromise the bottom B.


The B is on the right (at the back) on my own chanter with the rarely used low A on the left. I like having the C under the left little finger so with that layout D-C-B and D-B are both as easy as they can be, although E-C is obviously more awkward. I'd like to know what Andy May thinks on this- are you out there Andy?

Richard
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Re: Cocks & Bryan & key layout

Postby pipemakermike » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:40 am

Thanks for those comments Richard.

I have a 16 keyed chanter currently waiting for keys (it has been waiting for about 10 years). It will havethe bottom C# and E paired and I will also make it CB at the bottom (rather than BC). If/when I make another 16key chanter I will most probably pair the C# with the D and the d# with the E as that does seem to be a sensible layout from a mechanical viewpoint although I will wait until I have the currrent chanter keyed up and play it for a bit to see if there is any benefit to my playing from the C#/E layout.
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Re: Cocks & Bryan & key layout

Postby Barry Say » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:48 pm

Information has recently come to light which may cast doubt on the veracity of the drawing of the Clough 17 key chanter in Cocks and Bryan. Jim Bryan left a Clough chanter which bore a great similarity to the drawing, but it actually went down to low A. I have since seen another, similar Clough chanter which went down to low A the A being on the back bending to the right (thumb) side, the B on the back bending left towards the little finger. The C on the little finger side has a hockey stick end, as in C&B and in my opinion it was intended to be played with the thumb by reaching across, giving C, B, A left to right.

Additionally, there is the long-recognised anomaly that the b' and a are paired at the top of the chanter on the thumb side and the b flat and g# are placed on the little finger side.

I think this drawing must be taken cum grarno salis.

Barry
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