Donald MacDonald – Player and Pipe Maker – Part 1

Competitor, music publisher, and fine instrument maker, Donald MacDonald had a profound impact on the music of his time, and continues to play a significant role in
the music of the highlands today.

Several years ago, the Vermont Institute of Celtic Arts was extremely fortunate to have a set of Highland pipes, made by Donald MacDonald, donated to the school. Since that time, we have measured the set and are now reproducing these historic pipes. Since Donald MacDonald started making pipes in 1806, our set is likely quite close to 200 years old. All of the sections of the pipes are original, but some sections have had some repairing done to them. This set was made out of cocuswood, sometimes called Jamaican ebony. Cocuswood is a very dense tropical hardwood with excellent tonal qualities. The set is mounted with cow bone, and again some of the mounts were damaged at some point, and were replaced with cow horn. Read more below…

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