orig. Spain The bagpipe is found in many cultures around the world. Known as the gaita in Galicia, an autonomous region in the northwest of Spain, the instrument was popularized there during the 15th century, and has recently enjoyed resurgence in both folk and contemporary music.
With probable ancient origins in the Mediterranean, the bagpipe consists of a bag in which air is trapped and manipulated to produce prolonged tones with various effects. Once made from animal skins, the bags are now more commonly made from synthetic materials. The Galician bagpipe features a blowpipe and a chanter, or melody pipe, which contains two reeds and is played by covering and uncovering the holes with the hands. Up to three wooden drone pipes rest on the player's shoulder or arm. The instrument is frequently played in folk dances and is also often accompanied by a drum or vocalist.