About the Company:
Music Valley Instruments Pvt. Ltd. (formaly known as Music Valley Inc.)is a one of a kind company that is nurturing and promoting the innovative concept of establishing marching bands (Bagpipe Band, Brass Band, and Flute Band) and especially bagpipe bands in schools. We are into this business since 2001 and have successfully setup marching bands in over 400 schools within the country and abroad (currently in Kuwait City). The clients, we cater to range from prestigious private schools, affiliate government schools, and schools owing their affiliation to various educational boards such as the C.B.S.E. board, the I.C.S.E. board, and other state boards.
Apart from setting up marching bands in schools, we also excel in the manufacturing and distribution of bagpipes, marching band instruments, and various band accessories. Additionally we provide services in the form of custom designed uniforms, skilled marching band instructors, and maintenance of instruments and uniforms, to our clients.
A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments may have been used for ritual, such as a trumpet to signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures eventually developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. Musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications.
The date and origin of the first device considered a musical instrument is disputed. The oldest object that some scholars refer to as a musical instrument, a simple flute, dates back as far as 67,000 years. Some consensus dates early flutes to about 37,000 years ago. However, most historians believe that determining a specific time of musical instrument invention is impossible due to the subjectivity of the definition and the relative instability of materials used to make them. Many early musical instruments were made from animal skins, bone, wood, and other non-durable materials.
Musical instruments developed independently in many populated regions of the world. However, contact among civilizations caused rapid spread and adaptation of most instruments in places far from their origin. By the Middle Ages, instruments from Mesopotamia were in Maritime Southeast Asia, and Europeans played instruments from North Africa. Development in the Americas occurred at a slower pace, but cultures of North, Central, and South America shared musical instruments. By 1400, musical instrument development slowed in many areas and was dominated by the Occident
Musical instrument classification is a discipline in its own right, and many systems of classification have been used over the years. Instruments can be classified by their effective range, their material composition, their size, etc. However, the most common academic method, Hornbostel-Sachs, uses the means by which they produce sound. The academic study of musical instruments is called organology.
Bagpipes are a class of musical instrument, aerophones, using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. Though the Scottish and Irish Great Highland bagpipe (known in Ireland as the War pipes) and Irish Uilleann Pipes have the greatest visibility in the English-speaking world, bagpipes have been played for centuries (and continue to be played) throughout large parts of Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus, around the Persian Gulf and in Northern Africa. The term "bagpipe" is equally correct in the singular or plural, although in the English language; pipers most commonly talk of "the pipes", "a set of pipes" or "a stand of pipes".
A set of bagpipes minimally consists of an air supply, a bag, a chanter, and, usually, at least one drone. Most bagpipes have more than one drone (and, sometimes, more than one chanter) in various combinations, held in place in stocks — sockets that fasten the various pipes to the bag.
The most common method of supplying air to the bag is through blowing into a blowpipe, or blowstick. In some pipes the player must cover the tip of the blowpipe with his tongue while inhaling, but most blowpipes have a non-return valve that eliminates this need.
An innovation, dating from the 16th or 17th century, is the use of a bellows to supply air. In these pipes, sometimes called "cauld wind pipes", air is not heated or moistened by the player's breathing, so bellows-driven bagpipes can use more refined or delicate reeds. Such pipes include the Irish uilleann pipes, the Scottish border pipes and Lowland pipes;Northumbrian smallpipes, pastoral pipes and English Border pipes in Britain, and the musette de cour in France.
The bag is an airtight reservoir that can hold air and can be used to regulate its flow, enabling the player to maintain continuous sound. The player keeps the bag inflated by blowing air into it through a blowpipe or pumping air into it with a bellows. Materials used for bags vary widely, but the most common are the skins of local animals such as goats, dogs, sheep, and cows. More recently, bags made of synthetic materials including Gore-Tex have become much more common. However, a drawback of the synthetic bag is the potential for fungal spores to colonise the bag because of a reduction in necessary cleaning, with the associated danger of lung infection.
Bags cut from larger materials are usually saddle-stitched with an extra strip folded over the seam and stitched (for skin bags) or glued (for synthetic bags) to reduce leaks. Holes are then cut to accommodate the stocks. In the case of bags made from largely intact animal skins the stocks are typically tied into the points where limbs and the head joined the body of the living animal, a construction technique common in Central Europe.
The chanter is the melody pipe, played with two hands. Almost all bagpipes have at least one chanter; some pipes have two chanters, particularly those in North Africa, the Balkans in Southern Europe, and Southwest Asia. A chanter can be bored internally so that the inside walls are parallel (or "cylindrical") for its full length, or it can be bored in a conical shape.
The chanter is usually open-ended, so there is no easy way for the player to stop the pipe from sounding. Thus most bagpipes share a constant, legato sound where there are no rests in the music. Primarily because of this inability to stop playing, technical movements are used to break up notes and to create the illusion of articulation and accents. Because of their importance, these embellishments (or "ornaments") are often highly technical systems specific to each bagpipe, and take many years of study to master. A few bagpipes (such as the musette de cour, the uilleann pipes, the Northumbrian smallpipe, and the left chanter of the surdulina, a type of Calabrian zampogna) have closed ends or stop the end on the player's leg, so that when the player "closes" (covers all the holes) the chanter becomes silent.
The note from the chanter is produced by a reed installed at its top. The reed may be a single (a reed with one vibrating tongue) or double reed (of two pieces that vibrate against each other). Double reeds are used with both conical- and parallel-bored chanters while single reeds are generally (although not exclusively) limited to parallel-bored chanters. In general, double-reed chanters are found in pipes of Western Europe while single-reed chanters appear in most other regions.
Most bagpipes have at least one drone: a pipe which is generally not fingered but rather produces a constant harmonizing note throughout play. These drones have reeds just like in the chanter. Exceptions are generally those pipes which have a double-chanter instead. A drone is most commonly a cylindrically-bored tube with a single reed, although drones with double reeds exist. The drone is generally designed in two or more parts with a sliding joint so that the pitch of the drone can be adjusted.
Depending on the type of pipes, the drones may lie over the shoulder, across the arm opposite the bag, or may run parallel to the chanter. Some drones have a tuning screw, which effectively alters the length of the drone by opening a hole, allowing the drone to be tuned to two or more distinct pitches. The tuning screw may also shut off the drone altogether. In most types of pipes, where there is one drone it is pitched two octaves below the tonic of the chanter. Additional drones often add the octave below and then a drone consonant with the fifth of the chanter.
A brass instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Brass instruments are also called labrosones, literally meaning "lip-vibrated instruments".
There are several factors involved in producing different pitches on a brass instrument. Slides, valves, crooks, or keys are used to change vibratory length of tubing, thus changing the available harmonic series, while the player's embouchure, lip tension and air flow serve to select the specific harmonic produced from the available series.
The view of most scholars (see organology) is that the term "brass instrument" should be defined by the way the sound is made, as above, and not by whether the instrument is actually made of brass. Thus one finds brass instruments made of wood, like the alphorn, the cornett, the serpent and the didgeridoo, while some woodwind instruments are made of brass, like the saxophone.
Modern brass instruments generally come in one of two families:
• Valved brass instruments use a set of valves (typically three or four but as many as seven or more in some cases) operated by the player's fingers that introduce additional tubing, or crooks, into the instrument, changing its overall length. This family includes all of the modern brass instruments except thetrombone: the trumpet, horn (also called French horn), euphonium, and tuba, as well as the cornet, flügelhorn, tenor horn (alto horn), baritone horn,sousaphone, mellophone, and the saxhorn. As valved instruments are predominant among the brasses today, a more thorough discussion of their workings can be found below. The valves are usually piston valves, but can be rotary valves; the latter are the norm for the horn and are also prevalent on the tuba.
• Slide brass instruments use a slide to change the length of tubing. The main instruments in this category are the trombone family, though valve trombones are occasionally used, especially in jazz. The trombone family's ancestor, the sackbut, and the folk instrument bazooka are also in the slide family.
There are two other families that have, in general, become functionally obsolete for practical purposes. Instruments of both types, however, are sometimes used forperiod-instrument performances of Baroque or Classical pieces. In more modern compositions, they are occasionally used for their intonation or tone color.
• Natural brass instruments only play notes in the instrument's harmonic series. These include the bugle and older variants of the trumpet and horn. The trumpet was a natural brass instrument prior to about 1795, and the horn before about 1820. In the 18th century, makers developed interchangeable crooks of different lengths, which let players use a single instrument in more than one key. Natural instruments are still played for period performances and some ceremonial functions, and are occasionally found in more modern scores, such as those by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.
• Keyed or Fingered brass instruments used holes along the body of the instrument, which were covered by fingers or by finger-operated pads (keys) in a similar way to a woodwind instrument. These included the cornett, serpent, ophicleide, keyed bugle and keyed trumpet. They are more difficult to play than valved instruments.
A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. The term used by military pipe bands, pipes and drums, is also common.
The most common form of pipe band, the Scottish/Irish pipe band, consists of a section of pipers playing the Great Highland Bagpipe (In Ireland known as the Great Irish Warpipes), a section of snare drummers (often referred to as 'side drummers'), several tenor drummers and usually one, though occasionally two, bass drummers. The entire drum section is known collectively as the drum corps. The tenor drummers and bass drummer are referred to collectively as the 'bass section' (or in North America as the 'midsection'). The band follows the direction of the pipe major; when on parade the band may be led by a drum major, who directs the band with a mace. Standard instrumentation for a pipe band involves 6 to 25 pipers, 3 to 10 side drummers, 1 to 6 tenor drummers and 1 bass drummer. Occasionally this instrumentation is augmented to include additional instruments (such as additional percussion instruments or keyboard instruments), but this is typically done only in concert settings.
Pipe bands are a long-standing tradition in other areas with Celtic roots, such as the regions of Galicia, Asturies and Cantabria in Northern Spain and Brittany in Western France, as well as other regions with Celtic influence in other parts of Europe. It's also a long-standing tradition in the British Commonwealth of Nations countries and former British colonies such as the United States, Canada, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brunei, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Pipe bands have also been established in countries with few Scottish or Celtic connections such as Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina.
The music played by pipe bands generally consists of music from the Scottish tradition, the Irish tradition and the Breton tradition, either in the form of traditional folk tunes and dances or music from the Western tradition that has been adapted for pipes. Examples of typical pipe bands forms include marches, slow airs, up-tempo jigs and reels, and strathspeys. In recent years there has been a great deal of emphasis placed on new forms, especially the suite. A good example of a suite for pipe band is Don Thompson's composition Journey to Skye (1987).
In conventional pipe band music, each section of instruments has a different role in the music. Generally speaking, the pipers deliver the melodic and harmonic material, while the side drummers provide a rhythmically interactive accompaniment part. The tenor drummers provide the fundamental rhythmic pulse and the bass drummer anchors the rhythms, providing a strong and steady beat. The roles of each section are broken down further below.
Pipe Sergeant Jack Lee of the Simon Fraser University PB
The bagpipers are responsible for providing all of the melodic material in the music. Generally speaking, all of the pipers play a unison melody on their chanters, with their drones providing the harmonic support and filling out the sound. These unison melodies are often quite complex and demanding. It is this complexity that provides much of the musical interest.
When harmony is written within the pipe section, it is usually a two-part harmony, and is usually scored in a 2:1 ratio (with two thirds of the players on the melody and one third of the players on the harmony part). Because of the limited range of the chanter, the harmonic possibilities are somewhat limited, but well-written harmony in a pipe band setting can be extremely effective. Pipe band harmony is sometimes referred to as 'seconds', although this simply refers to a second part and not to the interval of a second. In fact, intervals of a second are rarely found in pipe band harmony parts, except in passing. Instead, it is the consonant intervals which are stressed, such as perfect fourths and fifths, and even more commonly, parallel thirds and sixths.
In contemporary arrangements, a merge between harmony and melody known as 'counter-melody' has been aired. A counter-melody is similar to a harmony part, but is distinguished because it has a melodic line of its own. Counter-melody can take a completely different thematic approach and can dramatically change the flow and atmosphere of the melodic unison. This technique is relatively new in the pipe band circuit, and in most cases require skill and timing to achieve in full unison.
The drum corps of a pipe band consists of a section of drummers playing Highland snare drums and the bass section (see below). In the early days of pipe bands, rope tension snare drums were common, but as the technology evolved, so did the music. Pipe band drummers now play on drums with very tight, knitted kevlar heads, designed for maximum tension to create a very crisp and strident sound. Due to technological innovations and changing aesthetics, this crispness has become an integral part of the pipe band sound. Since today's drum is so facile as a result of its design, players are often able to execute extremely complicated and technically demanding rudimentary patterns.
The pipe band drum corps is responsible for both supporting the piping with a solid rhythmic foundation and sense of pulse, often creating an interesting contrapuntal line unto itself. The line played by the drum corps (referred to as the 'drum score') is usually based on rudimentary patterns and can often be quite involved, with solo, unison and contrapuntal passages throughout. A popular pattern in many scores is for the lead drummer to play a phrase, and the section to play in response. This technique is known as seconds (sometimes referred to as chips, or forte).
While standard practice in pipe bands is for the pipe section to perform the traditional or standard arrangements of the melodies, including gracenotes, drum scores are very often composed by the lead drummer of the band. In competition, one of the adjudicators grades a band on how creative their scores are and how well they fit the piping - this aspect of the judging is known as 'ensemble'.
Bass drummer crossing the Albert Bridge in Glasgow. The city's coat-of-arms can be seen through his transparent drum
The bass section (also referred to as a midsection) usually consists of a section of tenor drummers and a bass drummer. Their role is to provide rhythmic support to the entire ensemble. In this respect, the bass section allows the drum corps to delegate their timekeeping responsibilities and allows more freedom in the drum scores.
Generally, the bass drum provides a steady pulse, playing on the downbeat and on the strong beats of the bar, and the tenors support that pulse, often adding supporting beats, accents and dynamic interest.
Tenor drums in their modern form are a relatively new addition to the pipe band. While pipe bands of yesteryear would often include tenor drummers, they would usually be "swinging tenors", players who would swing their sticks for elaborate visual effect but who would rarely play. Today's tenor drummers play pitched drums, and careful thought is given as to which pitches to use and at which times. The pitches help provide melodic or harmonic accompaniment to the bagpipes; creating a more dynamic flow between the drum corps and the pipe corps. In some cases, five or six tenor drummers have been used, providing a palette of individual pitches for use in a variety of musical situations. The swinging also known as flourishing has developed somewhat into an art form, with drummers playing and swinging in unison or sequential flows. Tenor drums are also still commonly played on a soft harness, or sling, instead of the typical marching harness used by the snare drums, but shoulder harness tenors are now used by several pipe bands.
A brass band is a musical ensemble generally consisting entirely of brass instruments, most often with a percussion section. Ensembles that include brass and woodwind instruments can in certain traditions also be termed brass bands (particularly in the context of New Orleans-style brass bands), but may more correctly termed military bands, concert bands, or 'brass and reed' bands.
Triggers or throws are sometimes found on the first valve slide. They are operated by the player's thumb and are used to adjust a large range of notes using the first valve, most notably the player's written top line F, the A above directly above that, and the B♭ above that. Other notes that require the first valve slide, but are not as problematic without it include the first line E, the F above that, the A above that, and the third line B♭.
Triggers or throws are often found on the third valve slide. They are operated by the player's fourth finger, and are used to adjust the lower D and C♯. Trumpets typically use throws, whilst cornets may have a throw or trigger.
Trombone triggers are primarily but not exclusively installed on the F-trigger, bass, and contrabass trombones to alter the length of tubing, thus making certain ranges and pitches more accessible.
A euphonium occasionally has a trigger on valves other than 2 (especially 3), although many professional quality euphoniums, and indeed other brass band instruments, have a trigger for the main tuning slide.
In the process of promoting marching bands in various schools,Music Valley Inc.felt that schools were reluctant to take the decision of setting up a marching band in their respective institution, primarily because of the following reasons: financial constraints, competency relatedlimitations, and other constraints. Moreover these concerns were observed across all school management bodies and fraternity irrespective of a school’s level and class. Furthermore, the scarcity of trained marching band instructors and especially bagpipe band instructors in the country further aggravated the situation.
To alleviate this situation and to address the concerns of schools, Music Valley Inc. developed its own technical infrastructure. Additionally, we established our own marching band instructor training academy named “Invention” (www.theinvention.org) at different locations across the country.The establishment of this academy has helped us meet the growing demand of skilled marching band instructors. Candidates who pass out from Invention are placed in prestigious schools across India.
The financial burden that a school has to bear when it decides to establish a marching band is daunting indeed and the single most reason for not going ahead with this decision. However, Music Valley Inc. has come up with a novel concept named "School Bagpipe Band" (www.musicvalleyinc.com/school-bagpipe-band-.htm) that considerably reduces the budgetary constraints of schools thereby helping them to go ahead with their decision of setting up a marching band in their institution.