The uilleann pipes are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland. Earlier known in English as “union pipes”, their current name is a partial translation of the Irish-language term píobaí uilleann (literally, “pipes of the elbow”), from their method of inflation.
The uilleann pipes are distinguished from many other forms of bagpipes by their tone and wide range of notes – the chanter has a range of two full octaves, including sharps and flats. The uilleann pipes have a different harmonic structure, sounding sweeter and quieter than many other bagpipes, such as the Great Irish Warpipes, or the Great Highland Bagpipes . The uilleann pipes are often played indoors, and are almost always played sitting down.