204 – Instruction Book for the Northumbrian Small-pipes by J. W. Fenwick

An update by Geoff Hore 2008-2015.  The writing in black font is from A Bibliography of Bagpipe Music. The update comments are in blue font.


1      1896 (Edition I in the original Bibliography).


The above scanned image is from edition 3.

p [1] blank; p [2], plate; p [3], title; p [4], index; p [5], introduction; pp 6-19, instructions; pp 20-24, tunes (9).

  • Mitchell Library, Glasgow.  Paper cover. 10.4 x 8.5″.
  • Central Library, Newcastle.  (two copies).

The plate is a photograph of a typical set of small pipes, made by Reid of North Shields. The introduction, dated 1895, contains some information on early small pipes and pipe makers.

 2     1931 (Edition II in the original Bibliography).


p [1], title; [2], dedication; pp 3-4, preface to first edition; pp 5-6, preface to second edition; p 7, index; p [8] blank; pp 9-22, theory and instructions; pp 23-31, an article, ‘Reed making and Setting’, by W. A. Cocks. The frontispiece, facing p [1], is a photograph of a typical modern set of pipes.

  • National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.  Paper cover. 8.5 x 5.5″.
  • Central Public Library, Edinburgh.
  • Mitchell Library, Glasgow.  (missing);
  • Black Gate Museum, Newcastle.
  • Geoff Hore’s Collection.

The preface of the second edition points out that the first had been out of print for many years. The new book embodies as few alterations as possible, but the tables showing the fingering of six, seven, nine and fourteen-keyed chanters have been deleted and replaced by simplified diagrams for the plain and seven-keyed varieties: ‘There are so few chanters that have more than seven keys that it has not been considered worthwhile to deal with them other than briefly.’ (p 5).

The tunes of the original edition are omitted, since at the time of writing the pipe tunes from Northumbrian Minstrelsy were still available ‘and may be obtained from the Warden, the Castle, Newcastle, at the original price of one shilling’. (i.e. edition 2 of 203 above).

 3     1974 (Edition III in the original Bibliography).


The above scanned image is of the front cover as the title page is a reproduction of the 1896 edition.

p [i], title; p [ii], plate; p [1], contents; p [2], preface to the third edition; p [3], preface to the second edition; p [4] blank; p [5], preface (to the first edition); pp 6-19, 20-24, as 1. 

  • The Author’s Collection.

The title page [i] is a reproduction of p [3] of edition 1. The preface on page [2] is signed: ‘Colin Ross / Chairman, Northumbrian Pipers’ Society / on behalf of the Publications Sub-Committee’ and dated ‘Monkseaton, October 1974’. The preface on page [3] is the same as that of 2, stating inter alia that tables for the six, seven, nine and fourteen-keyed chanters are omitted, but in fact the text is that of edition 1, including the tables and the original selection of tunes.

ISBN 0-9025-10-01-0.


  • Rev 00 (31 October 2008).
  • Rev 01 (18 August 2009).  This revision adds scanned images of editions 1 and 3.
  • Rev 02. (9 April 2015).  Format changed for bibliography.altpibroch.com. The edition numbering changed from Roman to Arabic numerals.

© Geoff Hore 2015