In Part 2 of this series, we learned about the equal temperament scale used by non-bagpipe tuners and why it would produce a chanter scale at odds with the presence of drones. We will now learn how to create a chanter scale that will harmonize with the drones.
In Part 1 of this series, the foundation of the highland bagpipe scale was outlined in the context of staff notation. Out of a possible scale of 12 notes found in the chromatic scale: A Bb B C C# D Eb E F F# G G#, the highland bagpipe uses only 7: A B C# D E F# G, placing it square in the key of D-major. It is important to understand what the highland bagpipe scale is in relation to the more universal chromatic scale if the goal is to understand how to tune a highland bagpipe chanter using a standard chromatic, non-bagpipe tuner.