SLOVAK BAGPIPES

Bagpipes - Kysuce


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Around the place where czech, slovak and polish borderlines meet in a single point, the silesian Gorale (Highlanders) live. They used to play large two-voice bagpipes, called gajdy as elsewhwere. Unlike the other types, these were bellows- blown. While in Czech republic and Poland the tradition is still living (Vladek Zogata from Hrcava, Juzek Kawulok from Koniakow), for Slovak part we had only a few old pictures and a couple of tunes left. In 2000, I was ordered to make a D set of bagpipes after a photograph of a piper from Cierne village, for the Secretary of the Guild of Slovak Bagpipers, Mr. Milan Rusko. In 2006 I made another similar bagpipe in F for the Childrens' Folklore Ensemble Kobylka from Devinska Nova Ves. It is played by 13 years old Dominika Kevicka, the winner of young pipers competition „O Zboronovu notu 2006“ in Oravska Polhora.

The single chanter – gajdica has 6 fingerholes, all on the front side. Covering all of them, we get the low fourth. When we open the lowest one, the tonic sounds. Continuing upwards, we get a part of major scale, ending with the 6th. The fingering is closed, only one hole is opened for each of the tones. The drone – huk – plays two octaves downwards from the chanter's key note. It rests on the shoulder, pointing backwards. The chanter and the drone likewise terminate in a curved bell, made of wood, metal or ox horn, mounted with a lid of sheet brass. All the wooden parts were traditionally pewter inlayed. The bellows give a piper the possibility of singing while playing (or vice versa), and also secure the tuning stability.

Tuning:
As the best pitch, c, d, f can be suggested.

Prices:
450 to 750 euro, according to materials and style