"MakerSpace" - write a new tune for new pipes!

Tune Competition during January 2018 : £100 prize!

During January 2018, funds are being raised via Kickstarter, for the recording of an album titled "MakerSpace", focused on exploring the very recently developed “Lindsay System” Scottish smallpipes. Here is the project page on Kickstarter :


The programme for the recording is almost complete, including new works for the pipes from established Scottish composers, alongside the contemporary & traditional tunes that inspired the pipes' creation.

We've room for a little more music, however, so during the month of January a tune competition will take place, with a prize of £100 for the winning tune.

The winning tune will be included on the "MakerSpace" album, and the composer  invited to the launch, expected to take place in Glasgow in January of 2019.

The music should be original, and should be submitted by the composer in the form of a video performance, via either Facebook (post on Lindstruments timeline) or Twitter/Instagram to @lindstruments before midnight on the 25th January 2018, including the project Kickstarter link as follows : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1831738419/makerspace-donald-wg-lindsay-and-friends-album?ref=project_build

Entrants consent to all videos being reposted onto Lindstruments Facebook page, where they will be voted on by the followers of the page (who are of course a very discerning audience of traditional music fans) during the month of January.

To record the video of your tune, feel free to use any instrument with a suitable range, although bear in mind if using instruments such as piano or guitar, that the pipes will play a single melody line only, so the tune you intend should be as clear as you can make it.

Here's a video recorded recently with these pipes, to give you a feel for their sound :


(Your entry video does not need to be professionally produced, iPhone videos are fine.)

More about the pipes :

The Lindsay System pipes are a new design of Scottish Smallpipes, that provide a range far beyond the traditional nine-note scale, and comparable to that of instruments such as the Uilleann pipes, Northumbrian pipes, penny whistle, low D whistle & wooden flute. Interestingly, due to the unique acoustics of the Scottish Smallpipes, the instrument sounds one octave lower than the Uilleann pipes, and having an otherwise very similar range, makes for a very interesting duet partner.

When composing, it's best if the pipes drones are taken into account. The drones can sound in A, D or E, with the preference in the order given (ie. "A" is best, 'D"s fine, "E"s ok). Would prefer tunes that work with the drones, folks :)

Understanding the Scale :

For reference, here are the notes of the scale (note not all steps of the standard 12-step scale are available, and notes in brackets are 'tricky' for use as accidentals);

D3, E3, F#3, G3, A3, (Bb3), B3, (C4), C#4, D4, (D#4), E4, F4, F#4, G4, G#4, A4, B4, C#5, D5

The scale is tempered relative to the “A” drones, and not to equal temperament, so make sure to bear that in mind when writing.

For pipers, the chanter is fundamentally a Scottish Smallpipe chanter in “A”, with the range extended down to “D” below the scale, and up above High “A”, to a “High D”. In terms of semitones, the chanter gives the five usually found on Border pipes (Bb, C, Eb, F, G#). There are no semitones in the range below low A, or above high A. 

The aim is an instrument that facilitates the expression of the characteristic vocabulary of Scottish piping, across a wider musical range, while also allowing the piper to experiment easily and effectively within other varied styles of music.

The result is an instrument that remains immediately playable within its traditional range by any player of traditional Scottish pipes, while extending the range above, within, and below the range of the traditional chanter.

Competition Rules

  • Music entered in the competition must not have been published or released to the public in a recording, and it must not have been posted or shared online prior to the publication of the entry video.
  • All music entered in the competition must be the work of the entrant(s), and must be a new, original composition, suitable for the Lindsay System smallpipes and conforming to the scale of the instrument as described above.
  • Enter as many tunes as you like.
  • Entries should be submitted electronically by video (phone videos are fine), videos should be posted to the Lindstruments page on Facebook, or tweeted @lindstruments on Twitter or Instagram, including the project Kickstarter link as follows : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1831738419/makerspace-donald-wg-lindsay-and-friends-album?ref=project_build
  • Entrants consent to their entry videos being reposted on Lindstruments Facebook page, where the page followers & public will vote on the winner during the last week of January 2018, by way of an online voting form which will be posted on the page on 25th January 2018.
  • Entrants/composers retain all copyright relating to the compositions, recordings and musical scores submitted.
  • The Composition may be the work of more than one entrant, providing that all involved have given their permission for the music to be entered in the competition, and providing that the names of all involved are clearly indicated, and providing that the piece is original, new and unreleased (see above)
  • The composition should be a single-line instrumental tune
  • The Judges’ decision will be final.
  • By participating in the contest entrants agree to be bound by these rules and by any subsequent published revisions of these rules and by the decisions of the judges which are final in all matters relating to the contest.
  • The closing date for the competition is Thursday, 25th January 2018, and all entries must be received by midnight on that date. Any tunes received after that point won’t be eligible for entry to the competition.
  • Judging will take place via a poll hosted on Lindstruments Facebook page from Friday 26th January 2018 to Wednesday 31st January 2018.