About the gaida
Bagpipes are found worldwide including our neighbouring countries Macedonia (a type of bagpipe very close to kaba gaida), Serbia, Greece (at least 2 types), Romania. Bulgaria is a country with tremendous gaida tradition and boasts with mass performances including more 400 bagpipers. Scottish bagpipe is popular in the US, and as a consequence around the world. Scottish bagpipes are now made even in China. More ondifferent bagpipe types: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bagpipes
The main differences that separate the kaba gaida from the other gaida types in Bulgaria are: it comes from the Rhodope Mountains, has a lower sound, specific "bend" and a hexagonal profile of the chanter. Usually the leather bags are bigger. In most cases bagpipe consists of a bag (a bag full of air) chаnter (that you hold with your hands and plays the main melody) and bourdon (Rucilo, drone. producing low and constant sound). Worldwide there are pipes that have numerous chanters and bourdons and use bellows to keep the bag full with air. There are pipes that are so complex that only the craftsmen who made them can also play them. Electronic bagpipes are also present. In Bulgaria gaidas are divided mainly in Djura and Kaba subtypes. Rhodope kaba gaida is a typical representative of the Balkan gaida - a bourdon, flea hole on the chanter (small hole that allows playing in minor and major scale). A traditional kaba gaida is made of natural materials. This gives it a sonorous and deep sound at the expense of difficult maintenance. It is often used as a solo instrument or accompaniment of singing.
The most important thing before making a purchase is to ask us. Unfortunately it is a common case when people tricked by the lower prices buy bagpipes, which are no good even as a decoration on the wall. There are 3 categories of artisans who make kaba gaidas: 1) using the traditional methods; 2) makers of Djura gaida who also make kaba gaida and 3) those who can hardly be called kaba gaida makers. We recommend masters from the first category.
Yes. There are some bagpipes made of synthetic materials. Key moments concerning kaba gaida made with animal skin:
- The smell. New bagpipes smell strongly. This scent fades over time. Compared with the feeling while playing the gaida this inconvenience is acceptable.
- Harming animals. Kaba gaida's bag is made of the skin of a goat. The skin is considered a byproduct that if not used for gaidas usually get thrown into the garbage. For those who believe that killing the animal accumulate bad energy, our answer is that this bad energy is cleared away with the gaida music and with the salt, with which the skin is treated before using.
- Synthetic fabrics. It is debatable whether the use of synthetic materials that do not disintegrate over time is a good practice. The use of such materials leads to many complications in the kaba gaida's structure. Losing simplicity, we lose beauty.
- Availability. Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly difficult to find quality materials from animals - goat skins and cattle horns.
About learning to play
No it is not, regardless if one has played a musical instrument before taking up the gaida or if he/she has an “ear” for the gaida. Everyone has the “ear”. The question is how mature and conscious this ability is. As teachers, our motto is: Anyone can learn to play the gaida. Perseverance and patience are the only thing needed
Several years of practice are usually sufficient for a beginner bagpiper to get the knack of the gaida. Learning the gaida lasts a lifetime.
- Obtain a gaida. Ask us before you buy the instrument. You can give it a try with one of our training gaidas during the live lessons in Sofia.
- Find a teacher. The best way to learn is to have a teacher live. Here is a list of such people. If you cannot find something suitable, you can try with online lessons or our free online educational materials.
- Find a place to play. Be careful with people around you. Especially in the beginning the bagpipe does not sound very well. Everyone is welcome to play with us.
About the project
The project has several aspects:
- Materials for self-study. We have developed a four levels kaba gaida training system . We notated over 50 songs for the bagpipe and continue to notate every day. We shot over 50 video lessons and keep shooting more. We translate articles and a handbook.
- Online lessons. Currently we have a total of about 10 students from around the world. We are in the process of expanding our team of teachers in order to meet the growing interest.
- Activities with children. We have organized over 20 workshops with children, including a big concert with more than 60 children and parents attending. We have about 5 children attending our live lessons. The program of these workshops for children contains games, activities, ect which have been developed with the help of experts in the field.
- Face-to-face lessons. The self-study system that we developed has been successfully implemented in our live lessons, too. Due to the great interest and shortage of teachers we are developing a system for „mutual instruction“ learning. It involves everyone - teachers become students and students - teachers. We have several educational bagpipes that beginners can use to try a bagpipe or while waiting for their bagpipes to come from the maker.
- Community of fans. We have Facebook, Email group, Slack channel, forum and map of fans worldwide.
- Bagpipe band Kaynak. The band has several appearances at major international events. Forthcoming tours and presentations worldwide.
Up and forward.
- Our first goal is to build a sustainable model of existence.
- Then we will become a complete platform for online training including a full set of training materials, original content and enough teachers.
- We will focus on creating local communities of kaba bagpipe fans worldwide.
The games have been developed with the help of experts in the field of child education. They include:
- Drama. All activities take place within a common story which can be a fairy tale, a parable or a fable. Thus we teach children virtues.
- Group singing. Together with the children we sing children's and folk songs. Thus we develop love. Besides we develop their language skills.
- Dances. Developing the body.
- Rhythms. Learning math.
- Group playing. All participants will receive musical instruments. We teach through first-hand experience.
- Senses. Together we train hearing while listening to the bagpipe, sight, smell and touch, while putting all the parts of the gaida together.
- Emotions. Learning calmness. All classes begin with standing in silence.
The commercial part of the project is:
- Giving online and live lessons.
- Helping foreigners to order quality kaba gaidas.
- Playing at celebrations, festivals and other events.