The Daye "Classic" Traditional
Uilleann Chanter
10 Dec. 2017

Copyright 2017 David C. Daye - all rights reserved

Questions email David Daye by: Clicking Here


This chanter is a wide bore Concert D chanter, based on an older chanter by Leo Rowsome. The chanter is some 10 mm shorter than common modern instruments, and probably played at an old higher pitch long ago. Later it was fit with an oversized reed that plays at modern pitch, and the original chanter design may have been adjusted by the maker for best performance. A modest number of this design seem to exist and have been well liked in modern times.

"Classic" Sound

The unusual combination of this chanter and reed gives a tone I find similar of the sound that many of us outside the core world of Irish traditional music first heard in the mid 20th century. For that reason I'm calling my version "classic." The combination also plays easily, with stability for ornamentation high into the upper octave, and it is responsive to traditional piping technique for altering tone, pitch and loudness. It is forgiving of reed changes due to moderate changes in weather.

Below is a short demonstration video including scales, tune phrases and common expressive sounds and ornamentations. It concludes with a few excerpts of a recent live concert when I played the last test model as a guest artist with a large church choir and stage orchestra in December 2016. This video will be updated as I make new recordings with the final model of chanter and reed.

Daye "Classic" traditional chanter video


I've made no deliberate alterations from the design of the original chanter. The credit for the best features of the instrument goes to the original maker, and I'll take responsibility for the modern implementation and, of course, my reeds.


The chanter is traditionally reamed from a set of about 10 custom made reamers specific to this instrument. There is no brass tubing bore like the Penny-Chanter's, so it has the same lighter weight of any traditional chanter. I am using a modern cylindrical reed seat so that the reed can quickly be moved in and out for tuning. Most chanters will be made of black Delrin plastic with an entirely traditional though simple appearance for my budget market. The bottom of the chanter is brass clad; there are traditionally turned decorative ferrules of a new high quality imitation ivory in a simple shape.

For a higher price I do have woodwind grade timbers in stock, chiefly cocobolo, some mopane and African padauk by special request. Wood chanters are finished with a hard, clear durable varnish made of several layers of super glue and oil. This finish is easy to apply and yet more durable than traditional oils or varnishes, making it ideal for minimizing costs. Wood chanters will require several months wait for settling and stabilization before I can finish them for reliable service. All chanters are made without traditional integral key blocks; any optional keys are mounted with my lacquered budget style brass brackets as with the Penny-Chanters. Such keys in kit form can be added at any time by owners as well.

Sheet copper staple blanks and finished staples are for sale as part of support for the instrument, and one finished staple is furnished along with a working reed with each chanter. The owner's manual will show complete dimensions for owners or others to make staples and reeds.

Availability is expected in December when I have had time to develop production aids for both reeds and chanters. Price will be above Penny-Chanter, but still in a modest range due to simple presentation and artificial materials. Initially I discourage beginners from buying, until I gain experience supporting the instrument for more experienced players.

Hit "back" on your browser to return to previous link, or click here to go to David Daye's Pipe-Making Home Page.

To E-mail David Daye click here
Telephone Cuyahoga Falls Ohio USA (New York City time zone) 330-923-DAYE (3293)
Bottom of Traditional Uilleann Chanters Page