6) All the Tunes in the World.

6.1) I'm looking for the music to tune X. What sort of tune books are available to pipers?

6.2) Is there any music notation software available for pipe music? 

6.3) What is bagpipe.tex and how is it used?

6.4) What is "abc" notation? 

6.5) What is Set6?

6.6) What is Piob Mhor?

6.7) What is Bagpipe Music Writer, and how do I get it?

6.8) What is Pipewriter, and how do I get it?

6.9) What is CelticPipes, and how do I get it?

6.10) What is Electric Pipes, and how do I get it? 

6.11) What is CelticPipes, and how do I get it? 

6.12) What is Lime, and how do I get it? 

6.13) What is Finale, and how do I get it? 

6.14) Is there music available in these formats?

 

 

6) All the Tunes in the World.

 

6.1) I'm looking for the music to tune X. What sort of tune books are available to pipers?

 A) A partial list of available tune books might easily triple the length of this document. Suffice it to say that there is a rather vast array of tune books available for all types of pipe. 

As to finding a specific tune, you're in luck. James Stewart maintains a very thorough annotated index of tunes in a very accessible format. This index includes over 50,000 well-known and little-known tunes. For a GHB only index see the Bagpipe Tune Search page.

 

6.2) Is there any music notation software available for pipe music? 

A) There are many software packages available, both general purpose and GHB specific. Some are free and some are commercial. Free packages incude bagpipe.tex, and abc. Commercial GHB packages include Bagpipe Music Writer (BMW), and Pipewriter. The most commonly mentioned general purpose commercial packages are Finale and Lime. A more recent program optimized for typesetting is Music Publisher 32 (formerly NoteWorthy II). Here is a more complete (but old) list of general purpose music packages.

 

6.3) What is bagpipe.tex and how is it used?

 A) bagpipe.tex is a freely available set of TeX macros developed by Walter Innes for use with MusicTeX. It takes advantage of the peculiarities and simplicities of music for the highland bagpipes to make entry considerably simpler than using native MusicTeX. There are macros for all common and many not so common grace note sequences, the pitches are given their common names, and there are extensive macros for beamed note groups. TeX, MusicTeX, and bagpipe.tex can be run on almost any hardware platform, including PC's. There are no programs which play tunes in bagpipe.tex format. The program bmw2tex will convert BMW notation to bagpipe.tex format.

 

6.4) What is "abc" notation? 

A) "abc" notation (due to Chris Walshaw) is a simple ASCII notation for tunes, and is sometimes used as an easy means for exchanging tunes. Many packages have been developed to work this notation. These packagaes can print or play the music on various platforms. Conversion routines to other notation are available as well. While abc notation has no special support for GHB grace note groupings, they can be specified like other notes. This is the preferred free package for non-GHB pipers. More on abc may be found at Anrew Lenz's Bagpipe Journey.

 

6.5) What is Set6?

Obsolete. 

 

6.6) What is Piob Mhor?

 A) Piob Mhor by Richard Macmillan is an unsupproted, no longer available, commercial program with its own ascii input format. It can play the music as well as print it. It is available only for PCs. Piob Mhor was touted as a practice tool.

 

6.7) What is Bagpipe Music Writer, and how do I get it?

 A) Bagpipe Music Writer (BMW) is a commercial (~US$100) program for notation of bagpipe music. It runs on PC's under MS-DOS. An MS-Windows version may now be available. It uses its own ascii input format and can play the music.

 

6.8) What is Pipewriter, and how do I get it?

 A) Pipewriter is a commercial (~US$35) MS Windows program for notation of bagpipe music. Pipewriter uses its own ascii entry language (PIP) and features simultaneous preview. It both prints and plays the music. Future releases will generate midi output.

 

6.9) What is CelticPipes, and how do I get it?

A) CelticPipes is an MS Windows or Mac OS X program for GHB music (~US$60 ). It has a WYSIWYG interface and can play the music. It can handle Bagpipe, Chanter, Whistle, Flute, Bodhran and Side drum, can do many simultaneous parts, and can read ABC, BMW, BWW. Its printed output looks professional. It is available from Chorus Logic.

 

6.10) What is ElectricPipes, and how do I get it? 

A) Electric Pipes is an MSWindows program for GHB music (~US$30 to $100 depending on options). It has a WYSIWYG interface and can play the music using its own sound samples or ones you provide. It can handle multiple parts, uses abc or epm notatation, and can read BWW and other formats. It is available from The Baked Bean Company.

 

6.11) What is CelticPipes, and how do I get it? 

A) CelticPipes is an MSWindows program (MacOS X version scheduled for May/June 2007) for Celtic music including GHB (multipel parts) and side drums (~US$75 to $90 depending on delivery option). It has a WYSIWYG interface and can play the music using its own sound samples. It can handle multiple parts, uses ABC, BMW, BWW, PIO. or cep notatation. It is available from CelticPipes.

 

6.12) What is Lime, and how do I get it? 

A) Lime is shareware (~US$65) general purpose music notation software for the Mac and Windows. It has a WYSIWYG interface and can play the music via MIDI (a midi interface is required).

 

6.13) What is Finale, and how do I get it? 

A) Finale is commercial (~US$545) general purpose music notation software for the Mac and Windows from Coda Music. It has a WYSIWYG interface and can play the music if you have a midi device. This is the premier professional music notation program.

  

6.14) Is there music available in these formats?

 A) For many formats, yes. See the bagpipe.tex, abc, Piob Mhor, and BMW pages for links to collections in these formats. There have been no postings to the news group pointing out collections in the other formats.

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If you have comments or suggestions, email me at walt@slac.stanford.edu Letters