Northumbrian Smallpipes

I bought my Northumbrian Small Pipes in 1987 after failing to make my own set, since then I have been experimenting making 9 note bellows-blown pipes (Border, Northumbrian, Scottish Small Pipes) on a part-time basis, but thanks to the Internet has now achieved a level I can use in the public domain !
My Northumbrian Small pipes were made by Ron Harrison, from Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumbria. It has a 7 keyed chanter in the traditional pitch of F/F#. There are 4 drones with tuning beads, so additional drone configurations can be played, depending on the type of melody. Generally there are 2 major (F and C) and 2 minor (D and G) keys. The melodies are traditional Northumbrian or from the English and Scottish borders.

Small Pipe Lessons

I teach small pipes by using the melodies from the Peacock and Bewick manuscripts, this not only introduces you to the 7 keyed chanter but also gives you a feel for the older melodies and variation pieces.

D.I.Y Ethics

My CDs are made and produced by myself. I like the idea of the “cottage industry” and I prefer to listen to original recordings without the over-produced techniques of the multinationals. I recorded these CDs at home, on my computer using Reaper DAW, I designed the CD covers myself and I have started to put information sheets with the CDs, so additional information can be accessed via a computer. These information sheets offer additional information on tunes and about my activities.

Digital and Hard copies of my CDs are available to buy by contacting me via email, you can hear extracts from Bandcamp ( They are sent via a WAV.files to your mail box along with cover images and track listing and additional info. Since I am moving around a lot, with my ethnomusicology research, I am not always available to print hard-copies of CDs, but if you prefer hard-copies it please contact me.

1st CD front cover

“Long Long Ago” CD

This is my first CD on the Northumbrian Small Pipes using a quicker and energetic tempo, more akin to a concert atmosphere. The repertoire is traditional Northumbrian that you can find most Northumbrian pipers playing in any session. All tracks are solo piping. At the end of the CD there is a recorded interview for Radio Cumbria where I explain about the Northumbrian piping tradition.

1. Proudlock’s hornpipe
2. Purcell’s March
3. Salmon Tails
4. Tombigbee Waltz
5. A Mile to Ride
6. Miller’s Daughter
7. Neil Gow
8. Neil Gow’s wife
9. Old Drove Road
10. Paddy Whack
11. Corn Rigs
12. Derwentwater’s Farewell
13. Farewell
14. Haight-Ashbury Waltz
15. Jackey Layton
16. Joe hutton’s March
17. Johnny Armstrong
18. Lea Rigg
19. Lithuanian Melody
20. Long Long Ago
21. Meeting of the Waters
22. I’m O’er Young to Marry Yet
23. Winters Gallop / Radio Cumbria Interview (4.6.07) Melody: Nunwick Mill

2nd CD cover pipers maggot “The Piper’s Maggot” CD

This is a more relaxing CD to “Long Long Ago” offering a mixture of older melodies from the Bewick and Peacock Manuscripts, as well as ballads and song melodies from the Border region; it also includes duets performed on the Northumbrian Small Pipes multi-tracked by me, in short a more varied CD. At the end of the CD there is a recording from a Radio Cumbria interview where I explain about the tradition.

1. Highland Whiskey/New Bridge Hornpipe
2. Piper’s Maggot/Bonny Lad
3. Lord Cathcart’s Welcome to Scotland/Fairy Dance
4. Mrs. Jameson’s Favourite (pipe duet)
5. Sir John Fenwick
6. Peacock Followed the Hen
7. Sweet Hesleyside (pipe duet)
8. Fairly Shot on Her
9. Bonnie Laddie O´/Wae´s Mae for Prince Charlie
10. The General Toast/German Spa
11. Cradle Song (pipe duet)
12. Persian Dance
13. Frisky/Peacock’s Reel
14. The Rowan Tree (pipe duet)
15. Blow the Wind Sotherly/Goodbye to the Greeks
16. Mallorca
17. Swindon (pipe duet)
18. Chevy Chase/Newcastle
19. Radio Cumbria Interview and Melodies (4.6.07)

Barcelona_Frisky_Front “Frisky” CD

This CD is called “Frisky” it combines the music of the Northumbrian Small pipes (NSP) and the Border Pipes (BP). It was produced for the ‘Firasac’ Music Festival in Catalonia, Spain, in 2012. Since I was playing both instruments I produced a set of new recordings that gives a flavor of the Border/Northumbrian traditional repertoire. This is a good CD if you are new to the music from the Scottish Borders & Northumbria, also new to the bellows blown bagpipes.

1. Mallorca (NSP)
2. Chevy Chase / Dorrrington Lads (BP)
3. Butter’d Peas (NSP)
4. Now Westerlin Winds / The Gallowa Hills (BP)
5. Noble Squire Dacre / Winster Gallop (NSP)
6. I’m Over Young to Marry Yet / German Spa (NSP)
7. Fare Well (BP)
8. The Crooked Bawbee / Hexham Races (NSP)
9. Persian Dance (NSP)
10. The Bonny Pit Laddie / Frisky (BP)
11. Rothbury Hills (NSP)
12. Blackett of Wylam (BP)
13. Whinshields Hornpipe (NSP)
14. Niel Gow (BP)
15. L’ Abat Dels Boigs / Tombigbee Waltz (NSP)
16. Bonny Lad (BP)
17. Derwentwater’s Farewell / Johnny Armstrong