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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Great Highland Bagpipe

    OK, my minstrel has reached level 25, I've gotten the bagpipe skill, I picked up a set of beginner pipes, and I've reviewed the beginning ABC music notation. Now as a reasonably accomplished piper in real life, so far I've found that bagpipes in lorto are really craptacular.

    Now, this is probably because I'm not specifying things correctly in my music file, so I'll list the requirements for the Great Highland Bagpipe, and hopefully some ABC wizard here on the forums will be able to turn those requirements into an ABC code specification that I can plug into my music file.

    First, the GHB has only 9 notes on the chanter that cover a little more than one octive. The notes go from low g to high a (g a b c d e f g A), with low A sounding at approximately 470 Hz. The notes on the chanter are tuned to a mixolodic scale rather than to a tempered scale commonly used by most other western instruments.

    The GHB has three drones, one bass drone and two tenor drones, although for lorto, I'm sure we can make do with just one bass and one tenor drone. The tenor drone sounds at one octive below low A on the chanter, and the bass drone sounds at two octives below low A. So to play a GHB in lorto, I need both the bass and tenor drones to sound continuously while I play the melody on the 9 notes that can be played on the chanter.

    This doesn't even go into how to play grace notes, doublings, grips, and other embellishments used in bagpipe music, but if I can get the basics going above, I think I'll be able to figure out the rest (if not, I'll be back with more questions).

    I can play dozens of pipe tunes, and have access to hundreds more. I'd like to translate many of those tunes into ABC to play in lorto, but I need a hand in getting started.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    AW: Great Highland Bagpipe

    Hello Owain,

    I'm sorry, but what exactly is your question?

    LotRO gives you a full 3 octaves on any Instrument except for drums and cowbell, of course.
    No matter what pitch the actual note will be depending on the instrument used, the notation for LotRO will be the same for all: C, to c'
    If you want to stay true to your real world instrument that will leave you with just a tenor drone at A, with G to a for the canter.
    If you want to use the full range you'll have to transpose your tunes up by 3 giving you a bass drone at C, tenor drone at C and the canter from ^A to c' .

    There's nothing you can just "plug in" to make your ABCs sound right, you'll have to do it for every tune. And of course you'll have to tie the drone notes together with "-" an all occurences but the last.
    Mash the Goblin
    [i]Meister der Anagramme[/i]

    Alles was zählt ist das Leben!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Re: Great Highland Bagpipe

    Well, as I said, I checked out the thread that discusses the ABC system in general, but I have been unable to find specific parameter settings to achieve the results I want.

    The examples show how to play a melody, so that is trivial for me to pick the highest of the three octaves for my chanter, and the next lower for the tenor drone, and the next lower for the bass drone, but how do I simulateously play two more sound streams in addition to the melody to simulate the drones? The examples don't demonstrate that.

    There is a parameter K that sets the key or scale the music will be played with, but is there a setting to this parameter that will give me the proper pitch so that low A will play at the required 470 Hz level? The ABC entry in the lorebook, http://lorebook.lotro.com/wiki/Mechanics:ABC_Notation, says "LOTRO doesn't seem to use anything except major keys only, so a workaround seems to be using the harmonic major for any special key signatures (minor, mixolydian, etc.). It seems there are specific types of scale names allowed. For example, K:Cmin will successfully specify the C minor key, but K:Cm and K:Cmin will not work."

    Swell, so what do I enter for this parameter to give me a mixolydian scale with A in the highest octave registering about 470 HZ? 470 Hz is close to B flat on a piano, but how does that relate to the K parameter? You see my problem?

    From the documentation, it appears that the ABC system allows you to significantly change how the output sounds by changing the input configuration settings, but the documentation fails to provide sufficient detail how to set the configuration values to achieve specific results.

    I'm a pretty darn good piper, but I have no experience with the ABC notation system, hence my questions.

  4. #4

    AW: Great Highland Bagpipe

    Ah, now I see.

    The two lines from the lorebook entry important to you are these:
    * Chords (for example, [ceg]) with up to 6 notes are supported by LOTRO.
    * Ties and slurs are not fully tested, although it's reported that simple ties using the same note seem to work okay. For example gc-c.

    The entry seems a little out of date. Ties definately work this way as shown in the example. Also with the bagpipe the lowest octave can be tied indefinately as far as I know.
    So, with a bagpipe you never play single notes but chords instead. There are two ways to do this:
    1. chop the chord's length to the length of the shortest note, the melody note obviously. This way it will/should work with all ABC players.
    Example: [C,-C-c] [C,-C-d] [C,-C-e] [C,-C-f] ... [C,Cd]
    2. make the drone notes longer. This will make it easier to write and to read but will only sound right in game or with Digero's ABCPlayer.
    Example: [C,4-C4-c] d e f [C,4C4...] ... d
    The maximum duration for the drones (here 4) you can use depends on the speed. Max I've seen for a single note is 16.

    In both cases the drones will sound from start to end, since they're tied together.

    As to the keys ...
    C is the default. Specifying D as the key won't give you a D instead of C it will just give you ^F instead of F and ^C instead of C. And there's just no way to change the temperature. So A will always be A, possibly around 440Hz.
    Mash the Goblin
    [i]Meister der Anagramme[/i]

    Alles was zählt ist das Leben!

  5. Re: Great Highland Bagpipe

    Hi Owain! Sorry your ears have been subjected to the horrible LOTRO pipes, but its great that you are trying to play some authentic tunes on them.

    It sounds like you have several different questions, most of which Mash the Goblin has already answered. So I'll just try to be brief and clarify the answers.

    1. You want to write notes low G to high A as they're written in bagpipe music and have it play in mixolydian mode.

    This is easy, just add "K: Amixolydian" to the header. The lorebook entry is out of date in a few places.

    2. You want to detune the instrument so that A is at 470hz, closer to a Bb.

    There's no way to do this. If you want it to be closer to the true pitch, you need to write everything in the key of Bbmixolydian. But then you won't get the convenience of the notes being the same as in your original bagpipe scores.

    3. You want to play a continuous drone at the same time as the melody.

    As Mash has stated there's two ways to do it. You can tie drone notes together across every melody note (tedious), or insert a single long drone note every few bars. The second method is a glitch of LOTRO's ABC player, so you won't find this in standard ABC tutorials.

    4. You want to play both the bass and tenor drone.

    There's no way to fit the bass drone unless you transpose everything up to C.

    So here's your three choices:

    Key of A: Ease of transcribing from bagpipe music, but only one drone, and off pitch.
    Code:
    X: 1
    T: bagpipe test
    L: 1/8
    Q: 120
    K: Amixolydian
    
    | [A,32A] B c d e f g a | g f e d c B A2 | G4 A4-| A8 |
    
    | [A,32c/4]A2 c/4G2 c/4A2 g/4c2 | g/4d2 g/4A2 c/4G4 | c/4A8-| A8 |
    Key of Bb: Closer to true pitch, but only one drone.
    Code:
    X: 1
    T: bagpipe test
    L: 1/8
    Q: 120
    K: Bbmixolydian
    
    | [B,32B] c d e f g a b | a g f e d c B2 | A4 B4-| B8 |
    
    | [B,32d/4]B2 d/4A2 d/4B2 g/4d2 | g/4e2 g/4c2 d/4A4 | d/4B8-| B8 |
    Key of C: Way off pitch, but with both drones.
    Code:
    X: 1
    T: bagpipe test
    L: 1/8
    Q: 120
    K: Cmixolydian
    
    | [C,32C32c] d e f g a b c' | b a g f e d c2 | B4 c4-| c8 |
    
    | [C,32C32e/4]c2 e/4B2 e/4c2 b/4e2 | b/4f2 b/4c2 e/4B4 | e/4c8-| c8 |
    Good luck!
    [url="http://astleigh.mymiddleearth.com/"]Astleigh's Songbook[/url] | [url="http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/info455-Lyrical.html"]Lyrical[/url]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Re: Great Highland Bagpipe

    Astleigh

    Thanks for your reply. That is EXACTLY the kind of information I was looking for. I'll pull all that together and try to transcribe one of my band's pipe tunes, and post it back here so people can tell me what they think.

    In the meantime, if you'd like, you can visit the web site for the band I belong to, The Galloway Highlanders Pipes and Drums of Northern Utah, http://gallowayhighlanders.com, and check us out.

    If things go well, I hope to regularly submit new pipe tunes here. I have both volumes of the Scots Guards Standard Settings of Pipe Music available, so there are plenty of tunes for me to choose from.

    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Re: Great Highland Bagpipe

    Making progress. Now, if we could just get rid of that stupid swaying animation. Pipers stand rock steady when we play. Well, we do tap our feet, but we damn sure dont' sway! :-(

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Re: Great Highland Bagpipe

    OK, I'm going to have to go with door number three. You have to have two drones to make it sound like pipe music. The tuning doesn't sound all that bad, but transcribing from traditional pipe music notation to shift the tuning will be mind bending. We'll see how it goes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    23

    Re: Great Highland Bagpipe

    I'm probably waaaaaaay out of my league in even commenting on this thread, but in case you haven't been there already, The Fat Lute has some examples. I don't know enough about bagpipes to say if they're good examples, but here's a link anyhow...

    http://www.thefatlute.com/Songs.aspx?s_artist=bagpipes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Re: Great Highland Bagpipe

    OK,here's my first cut. No grace notes or other embellishments, two drones, and an oddball key. It sounds very thin and reedy to my ear, but instead of sounding like the Great Highland Bagpipes, it sounds reasonably like a set of smallpipes; Northumberland pipes, for example, or maybe shuttle pipes. I think this is the best I can expect from the lorto system. Further, I think the addition of grace notes, doublings, throws, etc would be more trouble than it's worth, but I'll work on some other tunes and contribute them, and add to the repetoire of pipe tunes on lorto.

    Cheers.

    X: 1
    T: Loch Ruan
    L: 1/8
    Q: 120
    K: Cmixolydian

    | [C,6C6g4] c3/2 d/2 |
    | [C,32C32f2] c c' a2 g f | g2 a b d2 g3/2 f/2 | e2 d c b2 g e | f2 g a c2 c3/2 d/2 |
    | [C,32C32f2] c c' a2 g f | g2 a b d2 g3/2 f/2 | e2 d c b2 g e | f4 f2 g3/2 b/2 |
    | [C,32C32c'2] g f c c' g f| g2 g b d2 g3/2 a/2 | c'2 g e c b g e | f2 g a c2 a3/2 b/2 |
    | [C,32C32c'2] a f c c' a f| g2 a b d2 g3/2 a/2 | e2 d c b2 g e | f4 f2 |

  11. #11

    Thumbs up Re: Great Highland Bagpipe

    Thanks so much for the effort to crank out this song. I want to learn the pipes and just rolled up a Minstrel when I discovered that one can play the pipes in game.

    It would be great if you are able to post (either here or on your blog space) more songs for the pipes.

    If you take requests I have the following: Blue Bells of Scotland, Carlingford Loch, and Scotland the Brave. Would Amazing Grace be a little too Real Life?

    Thank you so much

    Quote Originally Posted by OwainAbArawn View Post
    OK,here's my first cut. No grace notes or other embellishments, two drones, and an oddball key. It sounds very thin and reedy to my ear, but instead of sounding like the Great Highland Bagpipes, it sounds reasonably like a set of smallpipes; Northumberland pipes, for example, or maybe shuttle pipes. I think this is the best I can expect from the lorto system. Further, I think the addition of grace notes, doublings, throws, etc would be more trouble than it's worth, but I'll work on some other tunes and contribute them, and add to the repetoire of pipe tunes on lorto.

    Cheers.

    X: 1
    T: Loch Ruan
    L: 1/8
    Q: 120
    K: Cmixolydian

    | [C,6C6g4] c3/2 d/2 |
    | [C,32C32f2] c c' a2 g f | g2 a b d2 g3/2 f/2 | e2 d c b2 g e | f2 g a c2 c3/2 d/2 |
    | [C,32C32f2] c c' a2 g f | g2 a b d2 g3/2 f/2 | e2 d c b2 g e | f4 f2 g3/2 b/2 |
    | [C,32C32c'2] g f c c' g f| g2 g b d2 g3/2 a/2 | c'2 g e c b g e | f2 g a c2 a3/2 b/2 |
    | [C,32C32c'2] a f c c' a f| g2 a b d2 g3/2 a/2 | e2 d c b2 g e | f4 f2 |

 

 

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