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2 chanters by Fred Picknell

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:18 pm
by andymay
Not too many posts on the forum lately so i thought i'd stick a link to these photos.

2 chanters (more than likely) by Fred Picknell. These are unusually neat, and unusually similar to one another. My guestimate is that these are comparatively late work, 1930's. Some experimentation can be seen in the position of the low holes, one chanter has them placed much better in tune than the other....

To me these are fascinating because i see them as the first real departure from Reid in terms of aesthetics for the multi-keyed chanter. And because they show an intriguing mix of proportioned elegance and workmanlike ugliness!!

http://2picknellchanters.shutterfly.com/pictures#n_5

Cheers

Andy

Re: 2 chanters by Fred Picknell

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:24 pm
by Julia Say
I notice the tenon length is different, too (unless its an illusion due to photo angles etc). Which one's the better in tune?

Julia

Re: 2 chanters by Fred Picknell

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:32 pm
by andymay
Julia,

It's a bit of a photo illusion tbh. However one thing i've noticed with these chanters is that the (cylindrical) reed seat is always drilled to EXACTLY the end of the tenon - or exactly to the chanter collar. This to me makes the old idea of making a drilling template which indexes to the collar far more sensible than i might have thought - if your reed seat and collar are in the same place then you're basically drilling the holes relative to the reed, and so the tenon length is not so important.

Having said all that the chanter on the left (red thread) has better-in-tune low notes and shows very little undercutting on any of the holes. But in the range low D - high B there's not much between them really.

Young Tom Clough told Chris O that he thought a lot of work was done developing the 'big' chanters during the general strike of 1926. I've subsequently come across some stuff written down which i suspect confirms this - think lots of maths and formulas etc etc. Guessing they got sick of trial and error. I think that these chanters are therefore 'post-maths' with the re-calculated hole positions. The semitones are all very good on both of them, for example. This then makes the low hole positions on the RH chanter in my photos a bit confusing - unless it was after making that chanter that TC and FP decided to get the physics books out, and the other is one they made later?

As usual with old pipes, more questions than answers.......

A

Re: 2 chanters by Fred Picknell

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:38 am
by pipemakermike
Hi Andy

It would be interesting to see any of the maths that were used to work out the hole positions. I have been seeking this sort of data for many years. I spent a lot of effort working through the work of Cornelius Nederveen in his book Acoustical Aspects of Woodwind Instruments which seems to be one of the most often referenced works on the positioning of tone holes in woodwind instruments but I didn't get close to understanding how to calculate the position of a hole.
Regarding the reed socket. I have always had the bottom of the socket in line with the shoulder. I don't think that it is important as it is rare (at least in my sets) for the reed to be pushed fully in and I always measure from the reed tip to the shoulder to position the reed.

Image

Re: 2 chanters by Fred Picknell

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:26 am
by andymay
Hi Mike,

I'll dig it out.

It's an interesting mix of theory and real-world practice, starting from the premise that drilling low G and high G 4 1/2 (i think) inches apart gives an in-tune octave. Then it's basically just-intonation ratios from there to give all the notes of the scale up and down. But i've picked up little bits and pieces from it - for example that the distance from low G on the chanter to middle D (a 5th) should be equal to the distance from low G down to low D. And likewise with the other similarly-related notes. So the C hole should be halfway between the G holes. I'd never given these relationships all that much thought before.

And yes, i've tried to plough through Nederveen too......

Cheers
A

Re: 2 chanters by Fred Picknell

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:30 am
by pipemakermike
Hi Andy

I have also gleaned some (slightly) helpful insights from Bart Hopkins book "Musical Instrument Theory" I can scan the relevant few pages if you haven't seen this book. I have been working to try to understand the drones as part of a process to design/develop really reliable drone reeds. I think that I have a design that works well. If you are interested I have written it up on my website:-

http://www.machineconcepts.co.uk/smallpipes/reed_design/reed_design.htm

It is still a work in progress

Re: 2 chanters by Fred Picknell

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:06 pm
by John Gibbons
Andy,

I have linked to these photos, and added a couple of sentences, based on the above discussion.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Clough#Pipemaking.
Please let me know if I have got anything wrong.

Thanks

John