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date: 19 November 2019


  • Ivan Mačak


Slovakian bagpipe. 14th-century illustrations depict two types, both mouth-blown. One type has only a chanter inserted into the bag, and the other has both chanter and drone. In the Orava region an old type of gajdy is still used, with a chanter 35 to 40 cm long, a drone 75 to 85 cm long, and a short wooden mouthpipe. The chanter has six fingerholes and a thumbhole. Both chanter and drone end with an upcurved horn bell, often covered with brass sheet, and sometimes wholly of brass. Widespread in other areas of Slovakia is a bagpipe with a shorter chanter (21.3 cm) with two pipes (one melodic, with five fingerholes and a thumbhole, and the other a small drone) bored in one piece of wood. In the south of Slovakia a chanter is known with six fingerholes, the uppermost opposite the thumbhole, permitting semitones. Central Slovakia had a bagpipe with three pipes, one melodic and two drones, all bored in the same piece of wood. The bags, often quite large, are normally of goat- or deerskin and all reeds are single (clarinet type). Chanters and drones are extensively decorated with long and short rings, usually of brass, covering much of the wood, and their stocks are normally surmounted with a carved goat’s or dragon’s head. ...

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