Bibliography of scientific publications on Bagpipe Acoustics

Compiled by Andrew Payzant ( and Ewan Macpherson ( Further contributions welcome!

In chronological order ...

A.J. Ellis (1885): "On the musical scales of various nations", Journal of the Society of Arts, vol.33, 485-527.
This is a very long paper describing numerous tunings from around the world. The results of the measurements of the bagpipe scale (using tuning forks) are dismissed in Lenihan and MacNeill (1954) in part because "the piper was an Englishman"!

G.E. Allan (1940): "The Musical Scale of the Highland Bagpipe", Philosophical Magazine, vol.29, 154-161.

J.M.A. Lenihan and S. MacNeill (1954): "An Acoustical Study of the Highland Bagpipe", Acustica, vol.4, 231-232.

C.M. Harris, M. Eisenstadt, and M.R. Weiss,(1963): "Sounds of the Highland Bagpipe", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol.35, 1321-1327.

A.R. Carruthers (1977): "Sound radiation characteristics of the Highland bagpipe in open air", Acustica, vol.38, 153-156.
Includes polar dB patterns for various notes on the chanter and the drones.

I.M. Firth and H.G. Sillitto (1978): "Acoustics of the Highland Bagpipe Chanter and Reed", Acustica, vol.40, 310-315

A.R. Carruthers (1978): "Pitch Changes in the Sound of the Highland Bagpipe", Acustica, vol.41, 46-50.

That's it. Has there really been nothing published (in the academic literature) in the last 20 years?