Scottish Small Pipes could be described as a chamber instrument with a warm woodwind timbre. Their design dates from the early 1700’s. This particular bagpipe is related to other bellows-blown bagpipes found throughout Northern Europe, but is similar in fingering and gracing to the popular (and much louder) Highland Bagpipe. Scottish Small Pipes were developed as an option for indoor performances of Highland music when a pipe is favored.
In a rare, critiqued performance in 2011, a native Scottish juror wrote as Tyrone performed in front of a live critique…
“Lovely sound, lovely opening tune, musically played. Well handled instrument, well chosen tunes (sic.) & thought-out. Very pleasant to listen to, very expressive playing.”
In another critiqued performance, this time in 2017, native Canadian and Scottish jurors wrote the following as Tyrone performed live once again…
“Beautiful tone and solid tuning. Nice use of vibrato!”
“Nice balance/smooth. Solid tuning”
“Nice instrument. Lovely tone and Presence. Especially the C, great chord with drones.”
The Scottish Small Pipe is about the same volume as a clarinet, and sounds fairly like a combination of clarinet and fiddle. Its tendency toward lower, conversational acoustic tones makes it suited to play with other instruments. Tyrone explores this music in a chamber music fashion with cello, fiddle, guitar and bodhrán in the Scottish acoustic ensemble Iona Abbey.
Tyrone performs on Small Pipes made by David Naill & Company of Somerset in 1996. His instrument is comprised of African blackwood with silver chasings engraved with a detailed Victorian design.