For Uilleann Pipes

The Gillis Foot-Joint allows concert uilleann pipe chanters to play low C (a whole tone below the bottom D). It slips on or off of the end of any D chanter in seconds and, due to its unique modern design, it doesn’t affect the tone or tuning of the bottom D or any other note whatsoever.

Why would you want to be able to play low C you ask? Low C is a very important note in Irish traditional music. It was prominent in the music of both the pastoral pipes and the war pipes, the bagpipes played in Ireland long before the uilleann pipes. When pipers began removing the pastoral chanter’s lower section so that they could close the chanter on the knee, they lost the low C. Ever since then, it has not been possible to play low C on the modern uilleann pipe chanter.

The Gillis Foot-Joint brings back the low C, allowing tunes such as The March of the King of LaoiseThe Foggy Dew, She Moved Through the FairMy Lagan Love and many others to be played on the uilleann pipes.

How It Works

The Gillis Foot-Joint is comprised of an outer sleeve of brass that slides over an inner aluminium barrel. The top end of the barrel fits over the lower end (tenon) of the chanter. The bottom end of the brass sleeve is sealed with a wooden end cap, making a popping strap unnecessary.

The foot- joint has three basic positions. In the first position (see Figure 1), with the chanter pressed down onto the leg, as per usual, the outer sleeve is pushed all the way up, fully covering the inner tube and closing the chanter. In the second position (Figure 2), with the chanter lifted just partway off of the knee, the holes in the outer sleeve are opened and C is sounded. In the third position with the chanter lifted fully off of the knee (Figure 3), again as per usual, the outer sleeve slides all the way down revealing the open end of the chanter which is flush with the open section of the inner tube.

The outer sleeve slides downwards the instant the chanter is lifted, through a combination of gravity and two powerful neodymium magnets pushing away from each other. The player can fine-tune the low C to his/her liking depending on the precise amount of lift off of the knee.

The Gillis Foot-Joint fits on the end of any concert uilleann pipe chanter tenon using a precision o-ring seal. When you want to play music with low C, just pop it on, and when you’re done, off it goes.

You can join the talk on Low-C-Tunes Here

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