What's New

Restored the Back-D mode selector.

App Description

Play the Irish Bagpipes on your iPad!

Uilleann-B Classic is an authentic sounding flat set of Irish bagpipes in the key of B that are played like the real instrument.

You first absolutely must turn off "Multitasking Gestures" in your iPad Settings to use this app. When they are turned on, when you put four fingers on the screen, Apple takes over the system, stops all the sounds, and assumes you want to start switching between apps.

The chanter fingerings are based on those used for the Uilleann pipes and will also be immediately familiar to Irish pennywhistle and flute players.

The Uilleann pipes are a bellows driven set of bagpipes with a two octave range. They are most commonly used for playing traditional Irish dance music and slow airs. In recent years they have been made popular by shows such as Riverdance, as well as many motion picture soundtracks such as "Waking Ned Devine", "Titanic", and "Braveheart".

This app emulates the three drones and chanter of a half set of "flat" pitch Uilleann pipes in the key of B, three half-steps lower and with a mellower sound than a concert D pitch set.

To get started, make sure that the orientation lock switch on your iPad (just above the volume controls on the side) is in the off position, then rotate the iPad to landscape orientation to play.

How to Play:

Touch the drone puck to start/stop the drones.

Touch the left half of the chanter starting with the tips of your left index, middle, and ring fingers.

Finally, touch the right half of the chanter with the tips of your right index, middle, ring, and little fingers.

Touch the green bar on the left side with your left little finger to play the notes one octave higher.

Touch the 'i' icon at the upper right corner of the main screen to show/hide the live performance controls. All settings are saved and restored the next time the app is run.

Optional pitch bending is done by sliding the finger up or down very slightly on the root tone hole for the note or simply tilting the finger as one would do on the actual instrument to half-hole a note.

Touch the blue bar at the bottom left center with your left thumb to play the second octave "Back-D" selectable on either a press or release.

With the Back-D mode selector set to "Open", the Back-D switch plays the back D when touched. When set to "Closed", the Back-D switch must be held down during playing and plays the back D when released. "Closed" mode is identical to the real Uilleann pipes chanter, but "Open" mode may be easier for some players.

Touch the red bar at the bottom right center with your right thumb to stop the chanter sound for staccato techniques.

Touch the purple bar on the lower right with your right little finger to bend the pitch or play finger vibrato. You may also perform finger vibrato on the chanter for most notes with the right middle and/or ring fingers.

Sound is based on high quality per-note chanter and drone recordings from my personal concert pitch set of Uilleann pipes.

Chanter image based on my Kirk Lynch concert pitch chanter. Drone puck image courtesy of Mike DeSmidt. Crowley drone sample courtesy of Vinnie Kilduff.

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Uilleann - Play the Irish Bagpipes (Key of B) screenshot 1 Uilleann - Play the Irish Bagpipes (Key of B) screenshot 2 Uilleann - Play the Irish Bagpipes (Key of B) screenshot 3

App Changes

  • June 13, 2014 Initial release
  • July 09, 2015 New version 3.0
  • July 19, 2015 New version 3.1