An analysis of the etymology of the term bagpipes takes us to the Gothic language, more precisely to the word gaits which translates as “goat”. A bagpipe is called a wind instrument which, according to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), resembles a flute.
The most common use of the notion is specifically associated with Galician bagpipe. This musical instrument is made up of a leather jacket (usually goat, hence the etymological origin) with tubes attached to it. The musician blows through a tube and causes air to collect in the coat; then, when pressing this bag, it causes the air to be expelled through another tube, which has holes that must be blocked or unblocked to generate different sounds.
It is estimated that some ancient peoples, such as the Celts, the Romans and the Babylonians, already used bagpipes. Even though this instrument It was losing popularity over the years, it maintained its importance in Galician lands and in Britain.
The bagpipe is used in different types of occasions. It is possible to find it in military bands since its execution is an integral part of the parades. It can also be used in funeral and in popular festivals.
Currently there are different kinds of bagpipes, each with its own peculiarities. To Galician bagpipe we must add the boto bagpipe, the Colombian bagpipe, the Gastoreña bagpipe and the Navarre bagpipe, among other.
While thinking about this instrument we make the almost instantaneous association with Ireland, Scotland and the peoples celts in the north of Spain, it is important to note that the true origin of the bagpipe is none of them. There is evidence of its existence in India, several hundred years before Christ.
In more precise terms, the earliest bagpipes documented throughout the story they date from the 8th century BC. C., and they were in the north of the present Asian country. It is estimated that the Romans took them to the West, as a result of texts that describe the enchantment that their sound caused in the emperor Nero when he heard a bagpipe for the first time.
During the Middle Ages (period that followed the Ancient Ages and preceded the Modern, approximately between the 5th and 15th centuries) the use of the bagpipe focused on the preparation of soldiers to improve their performance in battles. The energy provided by the music of this instrument, with its powerful and penetrating notes, was ideal for leaving fear behind and focusing on strategy.
It is known that between the 12th and 14th centuries, the point in Europe at which the bagpipe had a greater popularity It was Galicia, and this was probably due to the pilgrimages that Santiago de Compostela received at that time.
As a curious fact, bagpipe students do not usually start with the instrument itself, but with what is known as pointer of practice. It is a kind of flute, which is marketed in various sizes and models, which does not have the typical bagpipe bag. It is important to buy a good quality one, because the cheapest ones tend to produce unpleasant sounds.
Finally, the idea of bagpipes is also used in different ways depending on the region. It can be about something annoying or of a foolishness, or even be used as adjective colloquial to refer to an individual born in Galicia. For example: “Stop bagpipes and come help me”, “Having to travel two hours every time I want to visit my girlfriend is a bagpipe”, “The owner of the restaurant is a bagpipe who came to our country two years ago”.