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Typical Ensembles

The typical Galician ensemble is the cuarteto de gaitas (bagpipes quartet), which is formed by two bagpipers, a bombo (bass drum) player and a tamboril (tenor drum) player. The construction and playing of the bass and tenor drums are very different from the Scottish counterparts. Sometimes a fifth component, usually a pandereta (tambourin) or another bagpiper is added; sometimes the bombo player is absent. This ensemble is the commonly used to play for dance groups or just to make any popular event more enjoyable.

Before this four players setup were used, the traditional ensemble was composed by a bagpiper and a tenor drum player. This is nowadays regarded as a minimal setup. But in any case, if there is only one bagpipe player, that's better than nothing!

There are some gaita bands, which perform in parades or big reunions. Usually the members of the bands have some subgroups inside for the occasions in which the whole band is not needed, or if several different small quartets are preferred to a big band.