Practice Chanter

photodp

Member
America, english
Ciao everyone!

I was talking to one of my penpals over in Sardinia, and we came across an issue as I tried to tell her what I was doing this morning. I play the Scottish bagpipes. In order to practice this instrument we players have what is called a "Practice Chanter" which is a smaller, quieter version of the part you play with your fingers on the bagpipes. Apperently there is no term for "Practice Chanter" or the like, in our dicitonary here.

I wonder what you native's might call this? If any of you perhaps play a form of bagpipe, surely you would know. Is there a term for this in italian? And if so (what brought up the whole question to begin with...) is is male or female? So would I say "il mio...." or "la mia..." for it?

Grazie!
 
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  • Hermocrates

    Senior Member
    Italian & British English (bilingual)
    Hi! Fellow piper here! :D (I too play the Great Highland bagpipes!)

    I am not sure how to correctly translate the term chanter in Italian. I have often noticed that on Italian websites the term chanter is left untranslated. However, I did a little research on Italian traditional bagpipes (zampogna) and there the chanter is referred to as "canna del canto" or "canna melodica" (literally: melody pipe). My dictionary, on the other hand, translates chanter as "cannello", but I am fairly sure "cannello" actually refers to the blowpipe (I don't really expect the guys who write dictionaries to know much about bagpipes, anyway).

    As for the practice chanter... I suspect you'd probably have to describe it to an Italian speaker. I don't know if there's a technical term for it in Italian (especially because even traditional Italian bagpipes aren't that popular in Italy anymore, so even if there's a technical term, it's likely a dialectal/local one and most people wouln't understand it anyway).

    However, if you have a friend in Sardinia, they will probably mention to you (if they haven't already) their national instrument, launeddas. I was very excited when I had a chance to talk to an elderly launeddas-player many years ago. He mentioned to me that the three reeds are called: tumbu, mancosa, mancosedda. I suspect the "mancosedda" can be played on its own as a practice chanter.

    Unlike zampogna in Italy, launeddas are very popular in Sardinia and well-known by local people.

    Rye
     
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    TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Well, this WIKI gives us "Cornamusa" for bagpipes, and "canna" (diteggiabile -for fingering).

    HERE's a nice page where it's untranslated, but there are some good words for you.

    And HERE's a nice glossary where it's untranslated.

    This Italian Wiki leaves it untranslated also, but gives us the full name "canna del canto" for the chanter.

    Let's see what others might say...
     

    Hermocrates

    Senior Member
    Italian & British English (bilingual)
    Well, this WIKI gives us "Cornamusa" for bagpipes, and "canna" (diteggiabile -for fingering).

    Unfortunately, "canna" is a very generic term in Italian. It may mean anything from "joint" to "reed" or "pipe".

    In particular, when talking about bagpipes, "canna" generically describes both the drones and the chanter.

    Rye
     

    photodp

    Member
    America, english
    Ciao!

    This is all interesting stuff guys. Thanks, I will be reading through the links posted today, and I will definitely ask my friend about the launeddas. :)

    One thing I wanted to mention was about the "Cornamusa". My Sardinian friend tells me that she believes the term "Cornamusa" is more directly the Scottish style of bagpipes, and the Zampogna is a generic term for bagpipes. (She constantly corrects me when I forget this ;) )
     

    Hermocrates

    Senior Member
    Italian & British English (bilingual)
    Ciao!

    This is all interesting stuff guys. Thanks, I will be reading through the links posted today, and I will definitely ask my friend about the launeddas. :)

    One thing I wanted to mention was about the "Cornamusa". My Sardinian friend tells me that she believes the term "Cornamusa" is more directly the Scottish style of bagpipes, and the Zampogna is a generic term for bagpipes. (She constantly corrects me when I forget this ;) )

    Well, technically the difference between a "cornamusa" and a "zampogna" is that a "cornamusa" is a single-chantered instrument. Scottish bagpipes, Uilleann pipes, the Breton biniou, etc are all referred to as "cornamusa" in Italian. Of course, the Scottish type is the best known and most iconografic example.

    A "zampogna" on the other hand, is a double-chantered (and sometimes droneless) instrument. In this sense, launeddas could be defined as a type of "zampogna" rather than "cornamusa". :) (But I wouldn't call them "zampogna", especially because in Italian a "zampogna" is typically a traditional Italian instrument).

    Here is a diagram I found that describes launeddas. Many scholars consider them "bagpipes" and not "wind instruments" because of circular breathing technique required to play them (in other words, your mouth is the "bag").

    :)

    Rye
     

    photodp

    Member
    America, english
    Well, technically the difference between a "cornamusa" and a "zampogna" is that a "cornamusa" is a single-chantered instrument. Scottish bagpipes, Uilleann pipes, the Breton biniou, etc are all referred to as "cornamusa" in Italian. Of course, the Scottish type is the best known and most iconografic example.

    A "zampogna" on the other hand, is a double-chantered (and sometimes droneless) instrument. In this sense, launeddas could be defined as a type of "zampogna" rather than "cornamusa". :) (But I wouldn't call them "zampogna", especially because in Italian a "zampogna" is typically a traditional Italian instrument).

    Here is a diagram I found that describes launeddas. Many scholars consider them "bagpipes" and not "wind instruments" because of circular breathing technique required to play them (in other words, your mouth is the "bag").

    :)

    Rye

    Interesting! Thank you for sharing that :)
     
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