Give An Ear To The Drones

The chanter is for artistry and flash

Impossible notes that take no time

Dancing fingers and lightning burls

With nary a squeak nor squawk.

Effortlessly from high A to low G

And back again describing melodies

Of tunes familiar to please the crowd

And set the troops to a rhythmic sway

Of kilts and polished brogues.

Then complex piobaireachd,

Unfathomable to those not in the know,

Is both a mystery and a marvel,

More Grace notes than can possibly exist

Between one note and the next.

A pattern that repeats upon itself.

But still, the mastery of the chanter

Dominates the art.

But listen to the drones, two tenors and the bass

A pulsing tone that settles in the heart,

That summons up the ghosts of all

Who marched to the piper’s call.

When set just right they hit a spot so sweet

A pulse that beats with corresponding waveforms

That cannot be denied.

When not, they set one’s teeth on edge

That no amount of chanter artistry will offset.

Drones set each to the other,

Outside tenor to middle and then the bass,

An octave that calls for a sensitive ear

To move the slides to a perfect pitch.

When all is set and chanter brought to life,

A final tuning and the stage is set.

For pipes unaccustomed to constant use

A time of settling in is allowed

Where heat and humidity make subtle changes

And try to undo the careful tuning process.

But when the instrument is settled in

Admire the skill of the piper’s chanter,

But give an ear to the drones.

This has been a Piperguy48 production
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