What pitch does a Northumbrian Pipes chanter play in?

The Chanter produces the melody. It has a closed end and is played by lifting only one finger (or opening one key) at a time. The chanter has a very sweet sound compared to other bagpipes and is much quieter and suited to playing indoors.

Northumbrian Pipes come in a range of pitches-

  • Traditional 'Pipers Pitch' - F+ – this is the usual pitch for the pipes, and is at about 20 cents sharp of concert F. These Northumbrian Smallpipes will also play in concert F by making a small adjustment to the reed.
  • Concert F – this pitch is very useful if you play with other musicians. A small adjustment to the reed will allow you to play in Pipers Pitch.
  • Concert G – this pitch is regular Concert Pitch, so is very good if you play with other instruments and musicians. The hole tones are closer together on these sets which some people have problems with. I shape the chanter ergonomically to help players feel comfortable with these chanters.
  • Concert D – the pitch of these sets is lower than the others and is good for accompanying singing. The range of the chanter approximates the choral tenor/soprano range.

All of these sets are played in the same way.  If you use a tuner to check each note, the actual notes for each chanter are shown in the table below.

Actual Pitch of notes for Northumbrian Pipes