Wayne Morrison:
Shuttle Pipe

Mr. Morrison is featured on Shuttle pipe on the hymn Morning Has Broken.  The Shuttle pipe is the quieter and smaller cousin of the Highland Bagpipe.

Shuttle pipes are a type of bagpipes whose name derives from the drones used to produce the harmony. Shuttle pipes use a shuttle drone, which can be adjusted to lengthen or shorten the distance traveled by air moving through the tube, thus flattening or sharpening (tuning) the pitch of the note produced.

Like other bagpipes, shuttle pipes have a chanter, which is used to play the melody, and some modern versions use Great Highland Bagpipe fingering so Highland bagpipers can easily play it.

The shuttle pipe first appeared during the latter half of the 16th century, possibly in France, and was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. A drawing of a set of bellows-blown shuttle pipes appears in a 1618 Syntagma Musicum (Treatise of Music) by composer and music theorist Michael Praetorius (1571–1621), and a bellows-blown French form, the "musette de cour," is portrayed by Flemish baroque artist Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) in his early 1630s painting Portrait of François Langlois.

FYI - King Louis XIV of France (1638–1715) reputedly played the "musette de cour."


Interest in shuttle pipes waned in the 19th century, and they were nearly forgotten by the early 20th century.  They were rediscovered in the 1980s, and now fill a niche in popular and traditional music for a bagpipes sound where highland pipes would be overwhelming.

Mr. Morrison is the other member of the duo, Port Righ, where in addition to Shuttle pipe, he also plays Highland Bagpipes, and English concertina.  The duo, which includes Jo Morrison, specializes in Scottish music.

The English concertina is like a small accordion.  It is a member of the concertina family of free-reed musical instruments.  Invented in England in 1829, it was the first instrument of what would become the concertina family.


When not performing, Wayne and Jo share their knowledge and love of this music with others as instructors at “Common Ground on the Hill,” a traditional music and arts center in Westminster, MD, held at what is now named McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College.)

Port Righ can be contacted at info@portrigh.com.

If you wish to comment on contents of this webpage, Click on the button below.