|The Northumbrian small pipe (NSP) is a small, bellows-blown pipe featuring as many as four or five drones and a cylindrical-bored closed chanter. This differs from Highland and Uilleann pipes, which have conically-bored open chanters. The Northumbrian pipe takes its name from the county of Northumberland in the north of England, and is native to that area and the borders. The NSP produces a distinct sweetness of tone which, among other things, probably inspired this standard joke among Northumbrian pipers: "Q) What's the difference between the NSP and the GHB? A) The NSP is a musical instrument".
The NSP chanter usually has keys to provide semitones and to extend the range of the chanter. The most common has 7 keys with a range of about an octave and a half, although up to 18 keys may be found on some instruments. The traditional pitch is about one third of a semitone sharp of F although many pipes can be found in concert F, concert G and also some in concert D.