Pipes are very famous instruments.
Several types of pipes can be found all over the
world: in France, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria,
Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Hungary,
Poland, Serbia, Spain, etc.
But we are going to talk about a particular one:
The bagpipe is typical of a very concrete region,
Galicia, in the northwest of Spain.
There are different sorts of bagpipes, but they all
share common characteristics.
Galician bagpipes consist of :
one “chanter” with “eight holes” in front and
“three more holes” at the back in order to make
The “chanter reed” or “palleta” joins the “chanter”
and the “chanter stock”
The “palleta” is elaborated with cane blades tied
with a thread to a small tube out of metal.
The bagpipe also has one or several drones:
a bass drone, an inside tenor drone and an outside
The “bass drone” is always present in bagpipes and
it is, approximately, sixty or eighty centimetres
Finally, the bagpipe has a “blowpipe” with a
“mouthpiece” through which the air comes into the
TYPES OF GALICIAN BAGPIPES
Now, we are going to see the different types of Galician bagpipes.
• Simple Bagpipe
It only has a chanter and a drone. It appeared in the 11th century so it’s the oldest one. You
can find it all throughout Galicia, in a few regions of Portugal and in some regions of Spain.
• Barquín Bagpipe
During the 20th century this sort of bagpipe could
be found all along the south of Galicia. It’s the only
mechanical type of bagpipes.
It has two “drones” and a mechanical “hide bag”
where we can see three main elements: a metallic
hook in the shape of C, an articulated hinge and a
The air comes into the “bag” thanks to a mechanical
piece or bag called “barquín”.
• Bagpipe with Outside Tenor Drone
This bagpipe has two main elements:
a) a bass drone
b) a chanter called “ronquillo” of about 20 centimetres long.
• Four voices Bagpipe
This is one of the most complex type of bagpipes because it consists of:
a chanter, a drone and two characteristic inside drones, in the shape of Y and about thirty-five
centimetres, in the middle of the bag.
It can only be found in the provinces of A Coruña and Lugo.