I’ve just finished a set of two drone medieval great pipes in ‘A’ for Al of Istanpitta. The set was made with Curly Maple and has Water Buffalo and Olive wood mounts with inlay decoration. The end of the drones are capped with Texas Ebony. Texas Ebony is an extremely hard wood so it works great as an end cap that might get knocked around a little. For Al’s set I wanted something extra special so I added a second style of inlay to decorate the drones and I created a split texture effect on the mounts by using two types of materials. This set was finished with hardening oils and can be maintained easily with the occasional wipe from a polishing oil.
Each drone is made with three sections and when fully extended plays in ‘A’ and ‘E’. If the drones are pushed down and shortened they can produce ‘B’ and ‘F’. This is done with no additional manipulation to the reed. If both middle sections of the drones are removed, connecting the top and bottom joints, they will play up a forth and produce ‘D’ and ‘A’. A common configuration for the pipes is to play the Bass in A with the Baritone in E. A more contemoary sound can be derived by playing the Bass in ‘A’ and removing the middle section of the Tenor to play in ‘A’ and octave above the bass.