A little guide for buying bagpipes

Each type of bagpipe is built and optimized for a very specific purpose. Of course, every musician would prefer an instrument with which he can play music from a wide variety of musical cultures – but this is not easy with bagpipes – and unfortunately not possible at all without compromise!

Prospective buyers should start by giving some basic thought to which bagpipe is most likely to suit them and the music that will be played. These pages are designed to help you with these considerations.

On the basis of a few questions and the corresponding answers we will try to give you an orientation with which instrument you can start playing the bagpipes.

Read the following questions and then follow the appropriate links that will give you detailed information about each type of bagpipe:

Basic initial questionsPossible answersClicking in this column will take you here to more information and pages about the types of bagpipes in question
What volume may the instrument have?The bagpipe should/may
Be very loud
Great Highland Bagpipes
The bagpipe shall
be clearly audible
The big buck
Shepherd whistle
The bagpipe should/must
Be quiet
Hümmelchen & Dudey
Scottish Smallpipe
What kind of music should be played?Scottish bagpipe musicGreat Highland Bagpipe
Scottish Smallpipe
Dance music
(from D, F, A, CH, I …)
Shepherd whistle
Early music
Renaissance, Baroque,
Middle Ages
Hümmelchen & Dudey
The big buck
Medieval market music‘Medieval bagpipe
What keys
must be on the
Bagpipes be playable?
Scottish keys
(A = 476 Hz.)
Great Highland Bagpipe
Scottish Smallpipe
G / CGaita
Shepherd whistle
F / C / d minorHümmelchen & Dudey
The big buck
no matterAll bagpipes

PLEASE NOTE: This information is provided as a suggestion to first address some important initial questions.
It is not possible to answer all possible questions here – please feel free to call us with further questions about our instruments.