Bagpipe & Huemmelchen (German smallpipe)
This beginners class is an ideal opportunity to just try out the bagpipe and German small pipe (Huemmelchen) to discover these fascinating instruments. Step by step newbies learn all the basics necessary to play the bagpipes: Blowing and coordination of the instrument, sustaining and intonation of a note and so on. In the end, everyone can play at least one melody. Those with a bit of previous knowledge of Huemmelchen or bagpipe playing get scores of tips on further development of technique, repertoire and how to continue at home.
Depending on the level we’ll build two working groups at the begin of the workshop.
Neither the ability to read sheet music nor previous knowledge of the instruments are necessary for the participation. A recording device is helpful. Please indicate in the application form if you need a rental instrument! Please also state whether you’d prefer: a bagpipe (based on the Shepherd Pipe) or a German small pipe (Huemmelchen).
“Bumblebees in the butt” is the motto of this course. In the German tongue, you play and learn music “auswendig”, that is to say by memory, if you don’t rely on a sheet. This is a very cumbersome expression compared to the English “playing and learning by heart” which is so much more closer to the truth of what’s going on. This is just what we will do in this course for advancing Hümmelchen small pipes. We take the time for each participant to take the tunes, little part by little part, to heart. And then we will play, sing, dance, laugh, live and trace the melody lines behind closed eyes.
This workshop is for more experienced smallpipe / Hümmelchen player.
We’ll play on Hümmelchen tuned in C/F. The half-closed fingering is advantageous but not a condition.
Since the tunes will be transmitted by ear, it’s not necessary to read sheet music but a recording device is very useful.
The focus of this combined repertoire- and technique-course is to use the complete tonal range of our instruments and to explore the possibilities of expression in our playing. Every note in a melody is important. We shall thus try to play even the highest overblown notes in a way that sounds pleasing. Additionally, I will give examples on how one can use little ornaments to change the character of a tune, to make it complete as it were. The repertoire we’ll use is a diverse mixture of tunes from different European traditions as well as epochs. Some were originally intended for completely different instruments and it’s going to be intriguing to find out how to adapt them to the pipes while keeping their character.
We’ll play on instruments with half-closed fingering in the key of G/C.
Most of the tunes will be transmitted by ear, it’s not necessary to read sheet music but a recording device is very useful. I’ll give the sheet music in the end of the workshop.
Traditional music is not an old thing from a bygone age but can easily be revitalized by the way and style of playing it. So a part of the tunes we will work on is trad-repertoire from Central France which we will bring up to date by ornamentation and styling. Furthermore I will show you some compositions I play with the bands Topette!! and Mister Klof. I use the repertoire as the basis for techniques (rhythmic ornaments, glissando, vibrato…) and will work in a plurality of keys. I find it important that the music is enjoyable for both musicians and dancers and that the tunes stay groovy and boppy.
This class is aimed at advanced players, who already have experience in playing the bagpipes. We’ll play on instruments in the key of G/C (16p) in half-closed fingering. Different keys may be used for the polyphony.