An Electronic Bagpipe Chanter for Automatic Recognition of Highland Piping Ornamentation

Menzies, Duncan and McPherson, Andrew

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The Highland piping tradition requires the performer to learn and accurately reproduce a diverse array of ornaments, which can be a daunting prospect to the novice piper. This paper presents a system which analyses a player’s technique using sensor data obtained from an electronic bagpipe chanter interface. Automatic recognition of a broad range of piping embellishments allows real-time visual feedback to be generated, enabling the learner to ensure that they are practicing each movement correctly. The electronic chanter employs a robust and responsive infrared (IR) sensing strategy, and uses audio samples from acoustic recordings to produce a high quality bagpipe sound. Moreover, the continuous nature of the IR sensors offers the controller a considerable degree of flexibility, indicating sig-nificant potential for the inclusion of extended and novel techniques for musical expression in the future.