The kaba gaida, the Rhodope Mountains bagpipe, is one of the most distinctive symbols of the folklore music in Bulgaria. Spread in the small region of the Central Rhodope mountains, the home of Orpheus, its repertoire retains tunes and songs from the ancient times. The natural materials used—wood, horn, skin and cotton—and the way it is made provide the specific voice and vibration of the gaida in the tunes and the ornamentation used.
As a proof of the importance of the gaida for all the nation and the world the song Izlel e Delio Haidutin is included in the Voyager Golden Record, among the sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth deployed on a Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. The Guinness World Record for largest bagpipe ensemble is held by the kaba gaida and 333 participants.
The gaida is played on weddings, celebrations and events. As people on the Balkans say: "A wedding without a bagpipe is like a funeral." The interest for the kaba gaida increases and it is recognized on the ethno jazz scene and as a good instrument for early childhood development and stress management.
The kaba gaida is similar to the gaida. It is lower pitched than the typical gaida. The chanter has a specific curve at the end and has hexagonal profile. Usually the bag is larger. The shape of the channel inside the chanter is reverse cone. The most common drone tone on a kaba gaida is E.
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