This is a traditional Bulgarian folk instrument "KABA GAIDA", the most popular type of Bulgarian bagpipes. It is distinguished for its large bag, long chanter and drone. The chanter is cylindrical or hexagonal, with a slight curve in its lower end. The sound is unique, deep and beautiful, it takes you away to the mild green hills of its home, the Rhodopi mountain.
According to the tradition, the wooden parts are made of plum tree, whereas the reeds - of willow tree. The chanter is connected to the bag by a beautiful cow- horn stock; the bag is made of a young goat's skin. The gaida is inthe key of D/ re. Measures: chanter, called "gaidunitsa - 31 cm / 12,2“ ; drainpipe "ruchilo" - 93 cm / 36,6“ .
The name of our Kaba Gaida master is Manol Tashkov. He has been making gaida instruments for more than 30 years now. He started playing the bag pipe when he was a little child. He took part in the famous ensembles in the village of Guella, the towns of Devin, Smolyan and Shiroka Luka. He worked for the Devin cultural activities club both as a musician and a gaida instructor. Manol Tashkov has been an inseparable part of the world known folk ensemble “100 Kaba Gaidi”.
He has been awarded a great number of prizes: 5 gold medals of Koprivshtitsa folklore festival (the most popular Bulgarian festival of recent times). Four of the medals were awarded for individual performances, and one- for a folk ensemble instructor. Mr. Tashkov was also honored with 2 silver medals from the Rozhen gathering, numberless certificates, badges and other prizes from both Bulgarian and foreign competitions.
The reason why Manol Tashkov is such a popular and respected gaida master is that he manages to preserve the authentic sound of Kaba Gaida. He avoids combining the way kaba and djura gaida sound. He insists on the purity of sound and specificity of Kaba Gaida, the voice of the Rhodope Mountain.
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PLAY a KABA GAIDA sample (25 sec.)