Tutorial for medieval bagpipe (Dudelsack, Marktsackpfeife)
by Thomas Zöller - with a foreword by Brian Haase (aka Briantanus)
ATTENTION! This book is in German. But photos, pictures and sheet music are definitely useful, and can also be used without knowledge of the German language.
The Sackpfeifen-Fibel is the first and only tutorial on medieval bagpipes, that is, bagpipes as you might know them from medieval markets or bands like In Extremo or Corvus Corax.
This textbook is suitable for both beginners and advanced students and provides structured lessons on ornamentation. It takes the student step by step from the practice chanter to the bagpipe itself. The breathing and playing techniques are vividly illustrated with text, pictures, and graphics.
Of course, useful exercises and numerous melodies are included - e.g. Goddesses, Pavane, Skudrinka, Palästinalied or Bärentanz. In addition to these more traditional pieces, there are also some modern compositions, e.g. by Briantanus.
This beautifully designed book in four-color print is dedicated to all those interested in the "medieval" bagpipes, as they are known these days. "Medieval" is here put in quotes because this use does not constitute an historical bagpipe. Various terms are used in connection with this instrument, for example, bagpipe, A-sack or marktsack. In this book, the author uses the term "bagpipe".
The playing techniques presented are well explained and significantly expand the possibilities of musical expression on the bagpipe. These techniques put new possibilities into the hands of the musican. Despite the innovative approach, it is important to Thomas Zöller to respect the peculiarities of the instrument.
This tutorial features, for the first time, a clear, structured system for learning ornamentation on the bagpipe. As well, next to each exercise are bits of music theory and valuable tips for handling the bagpipe itself.
Within each learning unit are visually highlighted areas that offer help on typical stumbling blocks. Occasionally, under the notes, a shawm is pictured on which fingerings are shown. For the main melody notes the shawm is large, in the case of grace notes, a small shawm is used.
As with any musical instrument, it is also true that learning entirely on your own is not recommended. You would do well to find a conscientious teacher in addition to working with the tutorial.
As a special offering, the student will have access to an internet website containing all the tunes and exercises in the tutorial. One can listen to the tunes and exercises or play along.