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The greatness of the Rhodope "kaba" bagpipe

The "kaba" bagpipe has a specific low, dense and soft sound, which distinguishes it from the high, more piercing and sharper sound "dzura" bagpipe. And while the "high" bagpipes are used mainly for round dancing on the megdan and open spaces, with the bagpipes in the Rhodope region, which are in a lower tone and have a softer sound, a song is accompanied. These characteristics of the "kaba" bagpipe make it possible to combine two or even more instruments in unison. There is information from the end of the XIX century that in the Rhodopes of great rond dancings the folk musicians "agreed" at the same time several bagpipes, with which they played in unison. The reason for this is the presence of more actively playing bagpipers in every village in the region at that time.

According to its device "kaba", the bagpipe consists of a bag, named "myah", mouthpiece, a drone pipe and a "gaydunitsa". The "myah" is made from the skin of a small goat or a large goat, pre-trimmed and turned upside down. In general, the rules by which the tools are made are strict and are still followed today. Turning the skin inwards with the fur is a traditional technique known everywhere in Bulgaria (and in the high "dzhura" bagpipe). The production of the "myah" has its own specifics - the skin of a female animal is preferred because it is thinner and much easier to process and because the skin of a male animal often has an unpleasant odor. In order to become a fur, the skin is subjected to special technologies (salting), and the size is determined to the greatest extent by the type of bagpipe - in this case the Rhodope bagpipe wants a little more air and therefore should be a little bigger.

In its structure the Rhodope "kaba" bagpipe is completely identical to the "dzura" bagpipe, only the pitch is different. In practice, the significant difference is in the size of the instrument - as noted for the "myah", and the wooden parts of the bagpipe have a larger size - length, diameter, size of the holes. On the Thracian bagpipe the "gaydunitsa" is 22 centimeters, and on the Rhodope bagpipe it is somewhere around 32. The same applies to the size of the drone pipe. The drone pipe of the Rhodope bagpipe is three by thirty-three pieces, which makes one meter. It is interesting to connect the individual joints - the necks are wound with thread or hemp. It is important to note that everywhere in our country the bagpipes have single-barreled gaydunitsa and drone pipe. The wooden parts of the bagpipe - the mouthpiece, the dron pipeand the gaydunitsa are most often made of cornel-tree, boxwood, plum. The harder the wood, the better. The masters of wind instruments traditionally use hard wood species, and cornel-tree is especially suitable for the wooden parts of the bagpipe. The wooden parts of the instrument are usually made on a lathe. In the traditional making of the bagpipe, the connection of the wooden parts (mouthpiece, dron pipe and gaydunitsa) with the bellows is done by a hub made of ox horn. The piskun, the plate whose vibration actually produces the sound of the bagpipe, is made of elderberry, svirchovina, skokotlika, aspen, cane. Today, the use of artificial materials is very common, because they are much more durable, so very often the piskun is made of Plexiglas.

The tuning of the "kaba" bagpipe, ie. of the bagpipe to the bagpipe, is in the ratio of a pure octave above the main tone of the bagpipe, but two octaves below, and so the bourdon tone of the bagpipe is fixed. As the main tones of the bagpipe are indicated si, si bemol, la (even sol). It is interesting that in our music and folklore science it is accepted to interpret the tone of the gaydunitsa as the main tone, and the bagpipe master D. Blyatkov from the village of Pavelsko, as well as the bagpipers from Pavelsko and Hvoyna define the tone of the bagpipe as "tonality" of the dron pipe. When asked what is the main tone of the Rhodope bagpipes, D. Blyatkov answered: "Well, now if we are more precise as they say more everywhere, these are fa, mi and re", but it turned out that he is still familiar with the generally accepted classification. : "These are the Rhodope bagpipes, otherwise in order to be an ass on notes properly, we have to take off one or four tones and then the bagpipe comes", because "hey the handle" he gives them those tones, but the bagpipe has there tonalities ”, i.e. it is a "kaba" bagpipe with the main tone of the gaydunitsa si bemol , la and sol. What's more, bagpipers order instruments to make, indicating what their basic tone is, as this is tailored to the performers they will accompany. For example, there is a difference between male and female singing. Men sing better in the fa, while women and choirs sing in the re. When checking the "setting" of the instrument, it is generally accepted to use a stable melodic move, with which the bagpipers always start the performed melody. The bagpipe as an instrument, and in particular the "kaba" bagpipe, which is the subject of this text, has its parameters of use and durability. The most delicate and unstable part of the instrument is the "myah", its life is from several months to a year depending on the intensity of playing. For comparison, the other wooden parts of the bagpipe are "eternal" at a certain point instrument maintenance. Also important for the storage of the instrument is the technique with which it is played.

The last touch to the "kaba" bagpipe is the one related to its modern existence. If in traditional notions the instrument is the main form of sounding everyday and festive situations, today the contexts of bagpipe use are much more and offer opportunities for the roles of the instrument in different cultural situations. One of them is a performance, as well as participation in the community center's activity in general - accompaniment of individual performers and groups. Of course, the instrument also sounds in familiar situations - at weddings, at gatherings.

The bagpipe is and will remain the most Bulgarian instrument! The one who makes us bristle and shut up from thousands of feelings raging in our souls when the bagpiper plays against the background of the magical Rhodope landscapes!


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