The Schäferpfeife is a German type of bagpipe. In addition to numerous iconographies the description and illustration in Syntagma Musicum by Michael Praetorius is an important source when reproducing the Schäferpfeife.


The Schäferpfeife is characterized by its strong sound with rich overtones. Small variations in the construction of the chanter and the reed make it possible to build Schäferpfeifen with diverse volume levels. Quiet instruments are especially well suited for indoor playing or playing in an ensemble with other soft instruments. Schäferpfeifen with average volume can be played indoors and outdoors and blend wonderfully in bal folk instrumentations. It can also be build loud enough to dominate outdoor music play. Since the drone is normally directed forward, the melody and the drone sound radiate away to the front and make for a balanced sound

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The Schäferpfeife is generally a mouth-blown bagpipe with a cone-shaped chanter and two cylindrical drones which are combined in a shared stock.

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The chanter is equipped with a double reed. It can be built using a French half-closed fingering, characterized by a its tone stability and comprehensive chromatic scale, or using an open fingering like a recorder. Main keys are G/C or the low tunings D/G and C/F respectively The chanter has a gamut of 1.5 octaves.

The drones are tuned a perfect fifth or an octave apart and are tonally matched to the chanter. The drones can be raised by one tone with an additional drilling, expanding the key range. The classic design has the drone stock embedded in the leather bag in such a way that the drones rests on the bag and protrudes forward. It is, however, equally possible to attach the drones so that they lean against the shoulder