Wednesday, 7 July 2010
The Pipes of Celtic Cymru
(Welsh pibau, pipa cŵd, pibau cŵd, pibgod, cotbib, pibau cyrn, chwibanogl a chod, sachbib, backpipes or bacbib) have been documented, represented or described in Wales since the fourteenth century. In 1376, the poet Iolo Goch describes the instrument in his Cywydd to Syr Hywel y Fwyall.. Also, in the same century, Brut y Tywysogion ("Chronicle of the Princes"), written around 1330 AD, states that there are three types of wind instrument: Organ, a Phibeu a Cherd y got ("organ, and pipes and bag music"). A piper in Welsh is called a pibydd or a pibgodwr.
Contemporary pipe makers in Wales base their instruments on historical examples of Welsh hornpipes called in Welsh, the pibgorn. A drone is sometimes added to the pibgorn, via the bag, which form of the instrument is sometimes called the pibau cyrn. A notable player of these pipes is Ceri Rhys Matthewswho has done much to ignite the interest of many in this instrument.  Makers include John Glennydd from Carmarthenshire and John Tose from Pembrokeshire.
Some pipe makers have based the chanters of their idiosyncratic double-reeded pipes on measurements of the chanters of the Breton veuze, the Great Highland Bagpipe chanter, the Galician gaita chanter, and also of the Breton bombarde. These may be furnished with one, two, or three drones. No standardisation is employed in the making of contemporary bagpipes in Wales.
A recent development of piping in Wales has been the use of imported Breton veuze and Galician gaita on which Welsh repertoire is played. These standardised foreign instruments have enabled a nascent marching pipe-band to be formed.
Welsh pipe groups and bands include Pibau Pencader, Pibe Bach, Pibau Preseli, and Bagad Pibau Morgannwg.