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Newton Road Junior School

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 10th June 1955, transcribed by Gill Hollis

They make music on home-made pipes
Bamboo-pipe playing is the latest craze at Newton Road School, Rushden. The idea came to Newton Road with Mr. A. R. Thompson, the music master, who soon found plenty of volunteers to join his pipe band.

The youngsters helped Mr. Thompson make the pipes and then learned how to play them.

Playing the pipes
Playing the pipes they made

About ten and a half inches in length, the pipes are made by hollowing out smoothly a piece of bamboo. The mouthpiece is shaped and a slightly concave piece of cork fitted into it to allow air to pass through. Then the pipe is “voiced” and turned as each hole is cut, until it can play the whole scale.

Afterwards the pipe is painted with a bright design and polished. It has a more mellow sound than a recorder, and was a great success when the Newton Road band performed at a Christmas concert and at the Rushden and District Schools’ music festival last week.

These bamboo pipes are copied from an Indian pipe. A schoolteacher heard some Indian bamboo pipe music and made up an instrument of her own, experimenting until she could produce the right sound. Afterwards she discovered that the measurements of her pipe were exactly the same as the Indian.

That was thirty years ago. Today there is a Pipers’ Guild of international standing, in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland.

Mr. Thompson is a member and looks like producing a whole group from Rushden.

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