France


Biniou Bras

This is in reality the Great Highland Bagpipe (Cornemuse Ecossais) which has been adopted by the Bretons and to some extent replaced the traditional Biniou Koz. Not being bound by Scottish convention the pipes are used to their full potential and a tutor giving details of the full pipe scale with cross fingerings was published in 1942 (more...)

Go to Full Highland Pipe Scale

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Biniou Koz

A diminutive bagpipe playing an octave higher than other pipes from Brittainy and normally played in combination with the Bombarde - a loud folk shawm. The Bombarde plays the main melody with the Biniou Koz echoing this and having short solo parts while the bombarde player has a rest.

Like the Highland a quieter "practice chanter" is sometimes used for learning (more...)

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Bombarde

The loud Shawm used to accompany the Biniou Bras, Biniou Koz and as a solo instrument in it's own right. When played in the Bagad with the Biniou Bras (Cornemuse Ecossais) it's sound tends to be a little lost with the greater volume of the former.

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Bodego/Craba

The Cornemuse of the Haut Languedoc region at the southern edge of the Massif Central around the Gorges du Tarn and the northern part of the Aude Department and north west Herault, particularly in Sidobre, Vallee du Thore and the Montagne Noire. It is known as the Craba in the north of the area and the Bodego in the south. The Bodego has a single chanter with a very wide conical bore giving a good volume of sound with a compass of around an octave and a half plus the leading note, the fingering system being open (more...)

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Boha

This intriguing instrument sometimes also known as the Cornemuse Landaise from the Landes area of South West France seems to have more in common with the bagpipes of Eastern Europe rather than France. The Chanter is double bored and rectangular in section and known as a 'Pihet' one having with five tone holes plus a rear thumb hole and giving a basic scale of an octave with the other having a single hole which sounds in unison with the lowest note of the main bore (more...)

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Cabrette

The Cornemuse of the Auvergne region which was transformed by makers and players living the Auvergnat community in Paris last century into a sophisticated instrument both in appearance and styles of playing. Bellows were used on these improved instruments in place of the older mouth blown style and sections of the pipes were elaborately carved giving a very pleasing and ascetic look to the pipes and several virtuoso styles of playing emerged.

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Chabra

This instrument can have either a Cabrette or a Cornemuse Chanter with the tenor drone arrangement as the Cabrette along with the associated difficulties of this combination in the lower pitches, however it also has a bass drone and this is reliable thus providing an alternative to the Cabrette for those who want a drone.

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Chabrette Limousine

The Cornemuse of the Limousine having several points in common with the Cornemuse de Poitou, these being a separate wide flaring detachable bell, a key for the lowest note covered with a protective barrel or fontanelle and a bass drone with a thrice bored lower joint. It is usual for the instrument to be highly decorative with mountings of bone and different colours of horn inlaid with pewter often with little of the wooden body showing (more...)

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Chabrette Perigordine

A small bagpipe from the Perigord Noir region having a Chanter with parallel tenor drone held in the usual flat stock with a separate tenor drone in place of the bass drone which lies across the chest (more...)

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Chevre

This instrument appears to be a cousin of the Cornemuse de Poitou the chanter having a wide, flaring bell, a key for the lowest note protected by a perforated barrel (fontanelle) and a bass drone with a triple bored first section (more...)

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Cornemuse & Hautbois de Poitou

The Hautbois and Cornemuse de Poitou are a similar instrument the Chabrette. It is not until Father Marin Mersenne published his works on the musical instruments of his day "Harmonie Libre" (Latin) and the more familiar "Harmonie Universal" (French) in 1636 that they are described in detail and illustrated. The Hautbois are a series of windcap Shawms with detachable wide flaring bells and three sizes are given, these being Treble , Tenor and Bass the treble being the same as the chanter of the Cornemuse de Poitou. A key is provided for the lowest (leading) note which on the two smaller sizes is protected by a perforated barrel (fontanelle) of bone, ivory or wood with pewter inlay (more...)

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Cornemuse du Centre

The title Cornemuse is the general name for the bagpipe in France and is used here to cover the regions of Berry, Bourbonnaise, Nivernaise and Morvan. They consist of a Chanter with a parallel Tenor Drone and a Bass Drone that lies over the shoulder and they are mouth blown (more...)

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Graille

The Hautbois from the Haut Languedoc region in particular North West Herault around La Bessonie-Vabre, Sidobre, Monts de Lacanne and Espinouse used both in accompanying the Bodego and as a solo instrument.

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Hautbois du Haut Languedoc

An oboe of the type that first appeared in the late seventeenth century resembling in general form that illustrated by Borjon in 1672. However although the mounting rings are turned as part of the instrument the keys shown by Borjon and his contemporaries are absent and no example is known where they have been fitted.

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Musette

A pastoral oboe that developed in the late seventeenth/early eighteenth century, the Musette usually plays a fourth or fifth above normal Oboe pitch in f1 or g1 and can be made in one piece or more commonly in two sections with a detachable bell.

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Musette a Bouche

A small cornemuse with a plain chanter similar to that of the Musette du Cour and a parallel drone sounding an octave below the six finger note. As the name suggests it is mouth blown.

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Musette du Cour

The ultimate Shuttle Pipe! The Court Musette has a fully keyed chanter (Grande Chalumeau), a small subsidiary chanter for extending the compass or for harmony and a shuttle drone with up to six separate systems that can be tuned to suit several key signatures.

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Musettes of Central France: Musette Bechonnet/Cornemuse Dechaud/Musette Meillet

Joseph Bechonnet (1820 - 1900) living in Effiat on the borders of the Basse Auvergne and Bourbonnais regions transformed the basic Cornemuse to produce this very useful instrument (right) that is exceptionally stable and even toned. The majority of his pipes were made from ebony and many of these had a characteristic "Van Dyke" inlay in ivory at the ends of each section.

Claude Meillet (1808 - 1886) from the village of Varennes in the Allier region was a maker and player of Musettes similar to those of Bechonnet.

Jean Dechaud (1829 - 1904) from the village of Commentry made a less ornamental style mouth blown Cornemuse / Musette It has the usual configuration of tenor drone parallel to the chanter and a bass drone over the shoulder and retains a "rustic / rugged" appearance much like the Cornemuse du Berry (more...)

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Musette Jousse

Also sometimes known as the "Chabra" is based upon the Cabrette and was manufactured by Ferdinand Jousse (1859 -1933). The instrument consists of a Cabrette style chanter with two drones, one on each side (more...)

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Musette Vignar

This instrument is a copy of an original in the Horniman Museum in London and in its provenance is said to come from Normandie. It displays the makers name "Vignar" but not unfortunately the place of manufacture and consists of chanter with a tenor drone in a flat stock and a separate bass drone.

If anyone knows about this maker please let me know (more...)

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Veuze

Also known as the "Veze", and occasionally Cornemuse Nantaise from the region in Southern Brittainy where it is most commonly found and usually comprises a chanter and single drone which can be either a bass or a tenor (more...)

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Xeremia/Sac de Gemecs

These instruments are found in French and Spanish Catalogne and the Balearic Islands - all are similar having the drones hanging vertically downwards in front of the chanter.

It is the traditional bagpipe of the Catalan Band the "Cobla" where it is played alongside the Tarota (Shawm) and Flabiol i Timbal (Pipe and Drum).

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Samponha (Cornemuse de Pyrenees) & French Double Pipe

See reconstructions.

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