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Gaita Makers

Most of the shots accessible below were take in a makers fair I went to in August, 1995. There were also a hurdy-gurdy maker and a maker of instruments from Aragon and Catalonia (two other regions of Spain), whose addresses and pictures I am including here as well. In addition I visited other makers at their workshops, who very kindly accepted to spend some time with me, and let me make pictures of everything I wanted.

Most of the makers are quite young, and the average age is under 40 years old, which I believe is an encouraging datum about the health of the traditional music in Galicia.

I am sorry that the pictures are not the best quality ever, but some of them were taken in very poor light conditions, and had to be compressed - I have to share disk space with more users and I prefer not to annoy them.

Most of the makers will offer you a wide gamut of woods, tunings, bag dresses, etc. Thus, most of them did not give me a precise price for their bagpipes, but rather an approximation of an average gaita. Please, contact them before and, if you have an approximate idea of your preferences in tuning, wood, number of drones, etc., tell them in advance.

Something similar applies to the time to wait for a new set or spare piece: it depends heavily on the amount of work they have enqueued.

All prices below are given in pesetas (the Spanish currency). If you do not know what the current change rate for your local currency is, you can use the Koblas Currency Converter.

Important note: I do not have any affiliation with any of the makers hereby listed, beyond personal friendship, and I do not receive any profit from including their addresses here.

Alfonso R. Castro

Artesán de Instrumentos Musicais

Business card.

Alfonso R. Castro
Couso n $^{\underline{{\rm o}}}$ 16
O Rosal
E-36770 Pontevedra

Phone: +34-986-625441

A maker with very good reputation. Here you can find some chanters and a gaita made by him.

Estimated delivery time: Some 6 months.

Anton Varela

Artesán de Gaitas

Business card

Antón Varela
San Francisco, n $^{\underline{{\rm o}}}$ 30-B
E-15041 Ferrol

Phone: +34-981-356649

Antón Varela belongs to a new generation of Galician craftsmen. He developed his professional skills at the workshop of Seivane, nowadays one of the most prestigious gaita makers in Galicia.

The bright and clear sound of his bagpipes stems from the careful and patient work of Antón Varela, who is as demanding with its instruments as one can be: he is also an proficient gaita player, who he won some of the most important gaita competition prizes in the early stages of his career, started in the seventies. He teaches gaita playing and very often joins together some of the best folk bands in Galicia to play in international festivals. He is always willing to research, to develop new techniques, and to improve existing knowledge. He usually goes to makers fairs and gives courses on several aspects of traditional instrument making and care.

He himself has no e-mail address, but one of his friends, who has e-mail address, agreed on forwarding to Antón any message addressed to him. That person's address is

Antón makes chanters tuned in different keys, as well as bagpipes in using different woods: this is a gaita made in grenadillo and this other is made using boxwood. He also wanted me to take a picture of a bagpipe in pieces.

His current prices range from 60.000 pts. for a boxwood gaita with leather bag and only one bass drone to 100.000 pts. for a grenadillo gaita with bass drone, middle drone and skin goat bag (for other woods and for keys other then D, C, B, G, please consult him).

Estimated delivery time: Some 6 months.

Oli Xiráldez Río

Artesán de Gaitas e Frautas Galegas

Business card.

Rúa Santa Lucía, nº 69-baixo
15893 Santiago de Compostela

In addition to bagpipes, Oli makes requintas , a sort of Galician traverse flute, with a cylindrical bore. The back top of the requinta can be slipped in and out to allow for a finer adjustment of the tuning if necessary. They can have keys (usually one or two) (depending on the flute's length), to allow for an easier fingering and to extend its range in the low notes. The total range for a good player is about two octaves and a half. The fingering is very similar to that of the tin whistle. Requintas are made in different keys and using several types of wood.

I got a shot of Oli playing one of his gaitas. Note the high drone.

The prices vary depending on the wood, key and number of drones of the gaita: from 45.000 pts. for a gaita with bass drone and made of bubinga to 110.000 pts. for a gaita with bass drone, middle drone and high drone, made in grenadillo. He also supplies spare pieces. As for requintas, the prices range from 22.000 pts. for a keyless requinta made with cocobolo to 34.000 pts. for a requinta with two keys made with grenadillo.

Estimated delivery time: Some 3 months.


Obradoiro de Gaitas e Instrumentos Tradicionais Galegos

They have a WWW site now. Visit it!.

Bushiness card.

Cecebre - Cambre
E-15650 A Coruña

Ph.: +34-981-676656

Seivane (who are actually a father and two sons) are without any doubt some of the most respected gaita makers in Galicia. They have a small collection of gaitas in their workshop, where I took some shots as an example of their work.

This is a shot carved gaita, and a close-up showing some details. They have also a gaita tuned in A (if I recall correctly) and another gaita with small ivory-like adornments. Although those are not the type of bagpipes usually demanded, because of the adornments which raise their price, they are open to any type of suggestion and request from any client. They make chanters and drones in an wide gamut of keys to suit the player's needs.

Since they want to adapt as much as possible to the preferences of their clients, they have not made a rigid list of prices: it all depends on how you want your gaita. But, as an approximation, prices in the range 80.000 -- 130.000 pts. will give you a very high-quality bagpipe.

Estimated delivery time: Some 6 months.

X. Miguel Mosquera

Artesán de Gaitas e Frautas Galegas

Business card (probably outdated).

X. Miguel Mosquera Medín
Rúa do Vencello 39, Correxins, Figueiras
15907 Santiago de Compostela
A Coruña

Ph.: +34-981-576856
Ph.: +34-646-9780223 (cellular)

X. Miguel was one of Oli's fellows at the Universidad Popular de Vigo, where they learned their art from Antón Corral. His prices and style are very much like Oli's, although he (as any artisan) puts his own personal fingerprint in every creation.

He makes requintas, as these or these, which are shown here on a goat skin bag. He, of course, makes also bagpipes; this one has three drones.

His prices are the same as Oli's.

Estimated delivery time: Some 4 months.

Xaime Rivas

Artesán de Zanfonas

Business card.

Camiño de Quirós n $^{\underline{{\rm o}}}$ 96 (Ebanistería Rivas)
E-36214 Vigo

Ph: +34-986-415549

Xaime Rivas, apart from being an instrument maker, is an accomplished zanfoña (hurdy-gurdy) player, and plays in the traditional folk band Noitarega. An estimated price for a X. Rivas' zanfoña is 320.000 pts. Here, Xaime is showing us one of his instruments, with the lid closed and open.

Estimated delivery time: Some 2 months.


David is a young bagpipe and reed maker. He is happy of experimenting and keen on discussing with you in order to make the pipes and reeds which best suit your needs, and playing style. He also makes wooden low whistles.

David can be reached at:

David López García
Sopeña de Cabuérniga
39513 Cantabria

Estimated delivery time: Cannot tell you right now, but probably short in comparison with other pipers.

Jordi Aixalà i Basora

Jordi Aixalà
Major n $^{\underline{{\rm o}}}$ 3
E-43330 Rivdoms

Ph: +34-977-756101

Jordi makes traditional instruments from Catalonia and Aragón. Although he does not make Galician gaitas, I thought it might be interesting to have him included here. He makes Aragonese and Catalonian bagpipes, as well as tarotas and gallas, which are double-reeded instruments.

next up previous contents
Next: Reed Makers Up: Galician Bagpipes Previous: Types of Tunes