Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Male and female galician gaitas

I do play in a galician pipeband and from time to time we discuss what gaita is better so we end talking about sex. Galician gaitas sometimes are called macho or hembra according to some features that make the macho gaita harder to play and noisier vis a vis the female gaita. A tipical female gaita would be like the ones made by Seivane (black gaita at the top) whereas macho or varon gaitas like the one made by Antón Corral (red gaita below) that are more common in southern and western Galicia. So the Seivane styled gaitas are "hembras" whereas Corral, Xil (Gil) and other makers from the Vigo school are gaitas "varones".
Most people agrees that Seivane sound reminds something from the older gaitas de antaño. Also its sound is more apagado, less volumen than Xil's. This last maker has a more powerful and bright sound (más cuerpo). Another important fact is what reed (palleta) is better for each punteiro (Chanter). It makes a world of difference. For example, in Xil's punteiros fits better with Enriquez and Seivane with their own as well as Rubén Enriquez and Linares.