Diaspora

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Irish pipers and makers abroad, including O’Farrell, Courtney and Michael Egan, have made valuable contributions to the tradition. The post-Famine emigration brought players and makers to the United States, and Irish communities in America produced many superb pipers, including Barney Delaney, Mike Carney and Patsy Touhey. The last named played a set of pipes made for him by the Drogheda-born Taylor brothers. Their instruments (in a higher pitch, with wider bores) delivered a more powerful sound to cope with the conditions encountered by pipers in America—noisy saloon bars and vaudeville theatres. That type of instrument was brought back to Ireland and was copied by Irish makers. These days, the common pitch of those sets, in the key of D, is the pitch usually used for group playing. Many pipers own more than one set of pipes, including one in D for ensemble playing and a quieter, lower-pitched set for solo work.

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