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Basic questions

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anima
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Basic questions

Post by anima » Fri May 15, 2009 8:49 am

OK, just a few basic questions:

What do you call a zampogna player? Zampognari?

How do the palmi measurements work?

What size should a beginner start off with?

What key are they usually in?

Are they difficult to learn and play?

Outside of Italy,how does one learn? Are there any tutors available?

How does one acquire one?

What do they cost?

Jeff
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Re: Basic questions

Post by CHasR » Fri May 15, 2009 3:38 pm

well, to further add to the questions,
there are very many different types of zampogna, in many sizes.
The main thing in common is that they all have a double chanter and at least one drone.
Some zampogne have equal length chanters, (aparo)
some have chanters of differing lengths, (
with or without a pinkie key, (con chiave)
from 1-4 drones,
from XS all the way up to XXL.

David'll kill me for saying the molise 25 " zampogna is as good a place as any to begin,
they're usually in G, and rather ubiquitous. Circolo della Zampogna in Scapoli is a reliable source for these.
It's no more or less expensive than many other 'Euro pipes'.

& Yes, its Zampogaro, zampognari (pl)
There's a couple of books + tutors out , all in Italian, but its intuitive, if one can play piano with chords in LH and melody in RH, it's not too distant a skill from this, I pretty much learn it all from recordings, wrote out a few arrangements so ciaramella can play, improvisation comes really natural on zampogna. It's really dynamic in that way, the instrument seems to always be developing, in structure and music too, now its very popular to play with a modified drone (plays 3 maybe 4 tones) it can get very chromatic very fast, the only bagpipe capable of doing this, by far surpassing Uilleann.

but man, you gotta get some real ITALIANS on this website!
I'm opening a boutique, Brian :lol:

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Re: Basic questions

Post by Yuri » Fri May 15, 2009 11:07 pm

Charlie, about the only bagpipe capable of doing it... Well, I'm tapping my foot, and raising my eyebrow, you kow. There are others. True, not many, but there are.. (meaningful pause here)
On a completely different note, Do you by chance have any real experience with the Sardinian launeddas? Not, I add, the Scottish pseudo-launeddas, but the real stuff? Why I'm asking is simply because when listening to them I invariably get the impression that while they are certainly different from the Zampogna, they also seem to share more in terms of the music than they have differences. Is there any study done on possible connections, differences, etc, you know, the boring academic stuff? I'm a boring academic when not raising hell in the pub, so I'm interested in this sort of thing.

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Re: Basic questions

Post by CHasR » Sat May 16, 2009 12:24 pm

Yuri wrote:Charlie, about the only bagpipe capable of doing it... Well, I'm tapping my foot, and raising my eyebrow, you kow. There are others. True, not many, but there are.. (meaningful pause here) .
8-) I can hear that tapping 1/2way round the globe,,
for ex, the modified Scap. zamp can slip pretty easily between Maj, Min, Dim, Aug, triads & 7ths, in G, D, A, E, B, C and dozens of others, plus suspensions, so harmonically difficult to surpass, & its possible to do opposing melodies in counterpoint, all sorts of polyphonic things.
Mm-hmm. Ive never played Sard. Launedd. personally, but have heard and seen them played by experts. Not the Árdchattan thing, either. Although Im (almost) certain such studies have been done in Italian, so far I have read none in Inglese. Surmising that Launeddas music is the 'root music' of much zampogne material is indeed a tempting conclusion to make. I understand the technique to be completely different.
I'm opening a boutique, Brian :lol:

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Re: Basic questions

Post by Ciarameddaru » Tue May 26, 2009 9:00 pm

Jeff,
If I tried to thoroughly answer all your questions in your original post I would have to write a treatise.

But to add to what Charlie said: I don't disagree that a 25 Molise zamp is a bad starting place. However, it is my least favorite type of zampogna both aesthetically and suonoriously. I also dislike the way they set the reeds up in them to play a very nasally timbre and it gets even worse when they have open bells. I also dislike the Scapoli style of playing the least - I'm talking about their brass band esque style of playing that when out of tune sounds like a demented circus calliope.
That being all said, because of the availability of the Molise pipes, I think that it is a good place for a non-Italian speaking anglo american to start out. Someone with enough motivation (like Charlie) is able to get one relatively easily through the internet without having to communicate in Italian or know much about the underground world of zampogna makers etc. Because of the "international" bagpipe festival in Scapoli the Scapoli people are used to dealing with outsiders and shipping overseas. These are the reason that I think it it's a good starting out pipe.

Also regarding the trend for some people to modify their back drone with finger holes and stick extra keys on the pipes to play them chromatically, this is almost strictly a Scapoli - Piero Ricci driven innovation that has not and most likely will not catch on in other regions. I personally hope it doesn't (and I know that it wont) as I feel that it pollutes the folk music repituar and detracts from the essence of the instrument which is based upon rhythm and a fixed drone reference point. There are only a small handful of players that can successfully pull off playing with the modified drone so that it doesn't sound gimmicky and unnecessarily frilly. And one of these players that I have talked to recently said he wants to stop using the modified drone and get back to the basics which will allow him to develop a more complex and personal rhythmic and improvisational style because he feels he's strayed to far from the traditional style.

Regarding the Launeddas: They are played quite differently than the zampogna - both physically and musically. (I have never play them but I am basing my opinion on listening to a lot of the music). The Zampogna is Southern Italian. Sardegnian music is quite different from that found in southern Italian. This also goes for their style of organetto playing and guitar playing. Sardegnians are amazing musicians - underrated and unknown outside of Sardegna. Though the internet is proliferating their wonderful music.
THat doesnt mean they dont go well together (I was there!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx9L6OUCC8g

David

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Re: Basic questions

Post by anima » Wed May 27, 2009 1:01 pm

Thanks guys, great answers, how many zampogna player do you estimate that there are in the USA?

Jeff
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Re: Basic questions

Post by Ciarameddaru » Wed May 27, 2009 3:56 pm

You would probably want to break this up into two categories, those who own zampognas those who actually play them - the latter being the more important number. I don't have a whole lot of basis for this guess, but I'd guess not more than 10 or so people actually PLAY the pipe - Charlie probably knows this number better then I do though. Then you could break it down even further into regional styles of pipes. There might only a be a handful of people a particular regional style.

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Re: Basic questions

Post by CHasR » Wed May 27, 2009 7:21 pm

anima wrote:Thanks guys, great answers, how many zampogna player do you estimate that there are in the USA?
a reasonable estimate of USA zampognari; hmmmm would include 3 or 4 on the east coast, 3 or 4 central ( including Lionel and you David) & 3 or 4 on the west coast, incuding Ted & Sean.
Perhaps (generously) double this for the number of individuals in US owning zampogne.
(This is almost pure guesswork man :lol: )
Now and again a zampogne come up on ebay , found in someones estate;
they email around to find out what the heck it is, actually.
SO when will we be counting YOU among our numbers Jeff ;) kiss your christmas eve goodbye... 8-)
I'm opening a boutique, Brian :lol:

Ciarameddaru
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Re: Basic questions

Post by Ciarameddaru » Wed May 27, 2009 9:01 pm

I need to do more reaching out to the Kansas City Italian American community to see if they have any desire to have a zampognaro play at any of their events. I did go to a big Italian american festival with my ciaramedda and play for the founders of the group. They looked at me dumbfounded and didnt really seem to be too interested. I was being drowned out by the frank sinatra impersonator so they couldnt get a real appreciation for the overtones ;)

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