Incorrect playback of Bagpiping Embellishments and Incorrect tuning.

• Jun 16, 2020 - 08:54

Just before we start this off, I am the Pipe Sergeant of my Pipes and Drums band and have been playing the Great Highland Bagpipes for over 6 years.

I used Musescore as a program to allow me to compose and arrange music for other instruments, as it is my hobby. I've recently taken on a project to compose music for the GHBs and a generic concert band. But, recently, I have come across a problem.

First, the bagpipes tune incorrectly. Due to not being able to play a C (preventing them to tune from C), they tune from A. Depending on the scenario, the bagpiper either tune at A = 466hz (Bb) when playing with other instruments, or A = 475hz (around Bb-B) when playing solo or in a band setting. Because of the inaccuracies in tuning, it has been extremely difficult to actually compose music properly for the bagpipes. On top of this, it gives a lot of composers the false notion that GHBs (which is what I assume the "Bagpipe" instrument in Musescore is referring to) tune to C = Bb. Second, the embellishments are played drawn out like traditionally played in other instruments. Embellishments are done extremely quickly, almost as if a blip or tap. If you would like to hear how the embellishments are supposed to sound, search up some Bagpiping music.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

The main issue is that it isn't pitched correctly. A bagpipe is tuned using the Low A, which sits it at 460hz or 475-480hz. Musescore thinks that it is tuned using C, sitting it at C = 460hz. This makes it impossible to compose for a Bagpipe and Orchestral setting due to how wrong it is pitched. If it was to be played, it wouldn't match the playback provided by musescore

In reply to by fferret430

Are you trying to write with concert pitch turned on or off? I don't know bagpipes, but as far as I know it works correctly if you are in the correct mode for what you wish to see/hear. And if your pipes are tuned differently, you can adjust the tranposition setting in Staff/Part Properties to have it sound however you like.

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