About Kaba Gaida

The Kaba Gaida is the lowest-pitched gaida in Bulgaria and is unique to the region of the Rhodope Mountains.
In the beginning the gaida was one and the same for all regions of the Bulgarian lands, but as the time passed by it became with lower sound in the Rhodopean region (kaba gaida), and in the rest parts of our lands it remained high (djura gaida).
The Kaba Gaida looks simpler than the djura gaida, with less decoration, because it has been played mainly by the Rhodopian shepherds, who also used to made the bagpipe by themselves. But there are bagpipes made by masters who pay great attention to the detail and the appearance of the instrument and made an extremely beautiful gaidas. They used for example white and black horn to decorate them. Such skillful masters were Peyo Lalov and Georgi Markov. The most euphonious gaidas were made by a master named Todor Shishkov - his gaidas looked simplier, but they were made only from the core of dogwood.
The Kaba Gaida sounds in the tones F, E and D.
Since 1961 they were mostly in F, but after that year appeared in E, followed by the D gaida. The reason for this is the rise of the amateur bands and the very famous "100 bagpipes". Appeared also the females choirs, which needed bagpipe with lower tone.

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, it brings tunes and songs from the ancient times. The natural materials used – wood, horn, skin and cotton and the way it is made bring the specific voice and vibration of the gaida and often the voice of the mountain can be heard in the tunes and the ornamentation used.

Read more in our Book.