Panpipes / Pan Flute / Syrinx

This tale of toot started in 2013 with a visit to Bamboo Sourcery in Sebastopol, California. Purchased from said location, was a 2 gallon pot of madake, a timber bamboo, with the proprietor saying "you should give this plant a name, like George".

George was planted in a seasonally soggy location; dry in the Summer, wet the rest of the time. It was tough going for George. Despite being a fast grower, new shoots that sprouted up were soon obliterated by the sheep. During George's 4th year, a shoot managed to evade the sheep and grow to a height of about 14'. Then the ground turned soggy and could no longer support the tall stalk of bamboo. After falling over, the bamboo was stripped of its leaves by the sheep, and I decided to harvest and dry the stalk. The stalk was cut, and hung to dry for a few months.

Initially, I was planning on using the stalk as a simple support for a fruit tree, but then I saw a picture of a beautiful tattoo that included panpipes, and a smoldering ember of creativity was sparked to a blaze.

The dry stalk

thanks George!

Chopped just below each joint


the longest piece was designated as the "lowest" note, and all tuning measurements would be based off of the length of the low note pipe. After too much dorking around with numbers, I opted to make each smaller pipe 0.88 times the length of the previous pipe. This is in no way accurate, but it is close and I need to toot!

Cut to length

the pipes were measured, marked, and cut to the computed *tuned* length.

Clean up the joints

New Year's Eve, outside with a fire blazing and a cuppa homebrew mead, the joints of the bamboo were sanded down until the pipes would fit next to each other more evenly.

the Winds are calling

There is something about the Winds that speaks to my soul. For some reason, placing a feather on the pipes really illuminated, emotionally, what I was trying to accomplish.

Lackluster knotwork

Some of the narrower bits of the bamboo stalk were split lengthwise and lashed to the pipes. There is probably an excellent way to tie together panpipes; I did not use that method. Simply *winging it* got the job done, but I'm really not too impressed with the look of the lashing for the bottom support. It doesn't affect the sound though. :)

The "better" side

After finishing the pipes, it was time for this shepherd to show off the pipes to the sheepies, and **toot toot toot** to the accompaniment if sheep bells.


Thank you George, for helping me have creative fun with math and measurements.


jezra :)