Cimpoiul și căciula – Origin of Bagpipe

Tour Scotland Photograph Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Pipe Band City Square Dundee Scotland November 29th 03.jpg

wikipedia: It is generally accepted today, that the Roman army introduced their bagpipe, the Tibia Utricularis, to the British Isles. The original pipes in Scotland probably had, at the most, a single drone. The second drone was added to the pipes in the mid to late 1500s. The Oxford History of Music says that a sculpture of bagpipes has been found on a Hittite slab at Euyuk in the Middle East, dated to 1000 BC. Several authors identify the ancient Greek askaulos (ἀσκός askos – wine-skin, αὐλός aulos – reed pipe) with the bagpipe.[2] In the 2nd century AD, Suetonius described the Roman emperor Nero as a player of the tibia utricularis. The third, or the great drone, came into use sometime in the early 1700s. In the Bible book of Daniel, written more than 500 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, six Babylonian musical instruments are specifically mentioned. (Daniel 3:5, 10, 15) Included in this list is the Aramaic word sum·pon·yahʹ, rendered “bagpipe” in many Bible translations.
asktypA Highland regiment never marched without a piper. The bagpipe was the instrument of the Roman infantry while the trumpet was used by the cavalry. Most Roman musical instruments came originally from Greece, and it seems the tibia utricularis was no exception. In his 425 BC play The Archarnians, Aristophanes (apparently) references a bagpipe-like instrument. The first to march to the reed pipes were the Lacedaemonians or Spartans. They were the first to use a drum with the pipes and the first to have massed pipers playing the same tune and it seems the first to match their pipes to reduce Macedonian_Museums-90-Arxaiwv_Mousikvn_Organvn-405.jpgdiscordance. Thucydides advises that ‘they advance slowly to the music of many pipe players which were stationed at regular intervals throughout the ranks, marching together rhythmically, that their ranks might not be broken.’ Aristotle advises that ‘it was their custom of entering battle to the music of pipe players which was adopted in order to make the fearlessness and ardour of the soldiers more evident’. This achieved a strict rhythmical advance. Plutarch advises that the ‘Spartans marched when going into battle, the pipers playing the tune called ‘The Hymn of Castor”, marching on to the tune of their pipers without any disorder in their ranks, moving with the music‘.


This stone carving, from a throne room in the Assyrian palace in Nimrud (the British Museum) dates to about 800 B.C. The warrior is assisted by a “skin-float,” probably a goat-hide. The bag is equipped with a blow-pipe through which the swimmer can replace air that has leaked. Tie a simple reed-pipe into this device and Presto!, we have a bagpipe.

The status of the ancient world piper was held in great esteem as judged by the grave of the piper in the Royal Sumerian Cemetery at Ur and the ancient Greek statue erected to Phronomus, (the inventor of the ring stops.) Aside from his silver pipes, the Ur piper had the greatest number of offerings, more than any other burial in the cemetery. During the last thousand years B.C. double pipes were known and played all over the old world of the Near and Middle East. The divergent type was to prove more popular than the parallel type according to archeological finds which show them more numerous. From Ur in Sumeria, the divergent double pipes can be traced right up through Mesopotamia and Arabia, to the Eastern Mediterranean and the countries of Israel and Phoenicia, to Troy and the Hellespont, right to Greece and Rome. The divergent reed pipes were supreme in the ancient world. The literature of both Greece and Rome indicate that the pipes were one of the facets of everyday life in both countries. The chain of development seems to have been Sumeria, Egypt, Phrygia, Lydia, Phoenicia, Greece, Rome and Rome’s colonies. It is with the Emperor Nero, in the first century A.D. that we have the first definite mention of the bag applied to reed pipes.

wikiwand: List of bagpipes


  • Säkkipilli: The Finnish bagpipes died out but have been revived since the late 20th century by musicians such as Petri Prauda.
  • Pilai: a Finnish bagpipe, described in 18th century texts as similar to the Ukrainian volynka.



  • Dūdas: Latvian bagpipe, with single reed chanter and one drone.


  • Dudmaisis, or murenka, kūlinė, Labanoro dūda. A bagpipe native to Lithuania, with single reed chanter and one drone.


Traditional Swedish bagpipes, säckpipa, made by Leif Eriksson
Traditional Swedish bagpipes, säckpipa, made by Leif Eriksson
  • Säckpipa: Also the Swedish word for “bagpipe” in general; the surviving säckpipa of the Dalarna region was on the brink of extinction in the first half of the 20th century. It has a cylindrical bore and a single reed, as well as a single drone at the same pitch as the bottom note of the chanter.
  • Walpipe, a type of bagpipe known to have been used alongside the säckpipa in Lapland during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Southern Europe

Spain and Portugal

Gaita is a generic term for “bagpipe” in Castilian (Spanish)PortugueseBasqueAsturian-LeoneseGalicianCatalan and Aragonese, for distinct bagpipes used across the northern regions of Spain and Portugal and in the Balearic Islands. In the south of Spain and Portugal, the term is applied to a number of other woodwind instruments. Just like the term “Northumbrian smallpipes” or “Great Highland bagpipes”, each region attributes its toponym to the respective gaita name. Most of them have a conical chanter with a partial second octave, obtained by overblowing. Folk groups playing these instruments have become popular in recent years, and pipe bands have been formed in some traditions.

A piper with his gaita sanabresa
A piper with his gaita sanabresa


  • Zampogna (also called ciaramellaciaramedda, or surdullinadepending on style and or region): A generic name for an Italian bagpipe, with different scale arrangements for doubled chanters (for different regions of Italy), and from zero to three drones (the drones usually sound a fifth, in relation to the chanter keynote, though in some cases a drone plays the tonic).
  • Piva: used in northern Italy (BergamoEmilia), Veneto and bordering regions of Switzerland such as Ticino. A single chantered, single drone instrument, with double reeds, often played in accompaniment to a shawm, or piffero.
  • Müsa: played in PaviaAlessandriaGenova and Piacenza.
  • Baghèt: similar to the piva, played in the region of BergamoBresciaand, probably, Veneto.
  • Surdelina: a double-chantered, bellows-blown pipe from Naples, with keys on both chanters and drones


  • Żaqq (with definite article: iż-żaqq): The most common form of Maltese bagpipes. A double-chantered, single-reed, droneless hornpipe.
  • Il-Qrajna: a smaller Maltese bagpipe[5]


The ancient name of bagpipes in Greece is Askavlos, literary meaning bagpipe (Askos Ασκός is the bag, Avlos Αυλός is the pipe)

  • Askomandoura (Greekασκομαντούρα): a double-chantered bagpipe used in Crete
  • Tsampouna (Greekτσαμπούνα): Greek Islands bagpipe with a double chanter. One chanter with five holes the second with 1,3 or 5 depending on the island. The tsambouna has no drone as the second chanter replaces the drone.
  • Gaida (Greekγκάιντα): a single-chantered bagpipe with a long separate drone, played in many parts of Mainland Greece. The main center is Thrace, especially around the town of Didymoteicho in the Northern Evros area. In the area of Drama (villages of Kali Vrisi and Volakas) a higher pitched gaida is played. Around Pieria and Olympus mountain (Rizomata and Elatochori) an other type of gaida is played. Each of these regions have their distinct sound, tunes and songs.[6]
  • Dankiyo or Tulum: traditional double-chantered bagpipes played by Pontic Greeks

All bags for these types a bagpipes are made usually from the entire skin of a goat or sheep. The use of donkeyskin has also been reported in the past..

Central and Eastern Europe

A Serbian bagpiper
Serbian bagpiper
  • Dudy (also known by the German name Bock): Czech bellows-blown bagpipe with a long, crooked drone and chanter (usually with wooden billy-goat head) that curves up at the end.
  • Dudy or kozoł (Lower Sorbian kózoł) are large types of bagpipes (in E flat) played among the (originally) Slavic-speaking Sorbs of Eastern Germany, near the borders with both Poland and the Czech Republic; smaller Sorbian types are called dudki or měchawa (in F). Yet smaller is the měchawka (in A, Am) known in German as Dreibrümmchen. The dudy/kozoł has a bent drone pipe that is hung across the player’s shoulder, and the chanter tends to be curved as well.
  • Cimpoi is the name for the Romanian bagpipes. Two main categories of bagpipes were used in Romania: with a double chanter and with a single chanter. Both have a single drone and straight bore chanter and is less strident than its Balkan relatives.
  • Magyar duda or Hungarian duda (also known as tömlősípbőrdudaand Croatian duda) has a double chanter (two parallel bores in a single stick of wood, Croatian versions have three or four) with single reeds and a bass drone. It is typical of a large group of pipes played in the Carpathian Basin.


Dudy wielkopolskie (man) and Kozioł czarny (woman)
Dudy wielkopolskie (man) and Kozioł czarny (woman)
  • Dudy is the generic term for Polish bagpipes,[7] though since the 19th century they are usually referred to as kobza due to the confusion with koza and the relative obscurity of kobza proper in Poland. They are used in folk music of Podhale (koza), Żywiec Beskids and Cieszyn Silesia (dudy and gajdy), and mostly in Greater Poland, where there are four types of bagpipes:
    • Dudy wielkopolskie, “Greater Polish bagpipes”, with two subtypes: RawiczGostyń and KościanBuk;
    • Kozioł biały (weselny), “white (wedding) buck (used during wesele, the lay part of the wedding)”;
    • Kozioł czarny ((do)ślubny), “black (wedding) buck (used during ślub, the religious part of the wedding)”;
    • Sierszeńki, “hornets”, a bladder pipe used as a goose (practice pipes).

The Balkans


  • Kaba gaida: Kaba Gaida – low pitched single-drone bagpipe from the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria
  • Gaida: Southern Balkan (e.g. BulgarianGreek and Albanian) bagpipe with one drone and one chanter. Also found in Macedonia and Serbia.
  • Istarski mih (Piva d’Istria): a double chantered, droneless Croatianbagpipe whose side by side chanters are cut from a single rectangular piece of wood. They are typically single reed instruments, using the Istrian scale.
  • Gajdy or gajde: the name for various bagpipes of Eastern Europe, found in PolandSerbiaSlovakia, and Croatia.
  • Duda, used in some parts of Croatia
  • Cimpoi, used in Romania, consisting of a chanter and single drone



Finno-Ugric Russia

Turkic Russia


IMG_1503Folcloristul, meşterul constructor şi interpretul Traian Ciuculescu prezintă originea, vechimea şi evoluţia construirii şi interpretării la cimpoi, scrie un capitol interesant şi substanţial despre prezenţa cimpoiului în viaţa spirituală a satului tradiţional, în lumea pastorală, ca acompaniator al muncii, în obiceiurile de la naştere, nuntă şi înmormântare, în datinile şi obiceiurile  de peste an ( calendaristice), la hora satului, în Jocul Păpuşilor, cu cimpoierul – păpuşar. În alte capitole prezintă specificul cimpoiului românesc şi tipurile de cimpoi după atestarea lor la rapsozii din Pădureni-Hunedoara, Gorj, Bătrâni-Prahova, Buzău, Amara-Ialomiţa, pe care i-a intervievat,  înregistrându-le melodiile de doină, de cântec, cele ritulale ,,de seceră” şi de nuntă, melodiile de joc.  Cartea de 284 de pagini mai cuprinde fotografii cu cimpoierii înregistraţi, cu diferite cimpoaie şi cu componentele lor, caraba cu suportul ei, bâzoiul, burduful, suflătorul, ,,pipa”, nada bâzoiului, planşe cu dimensiunile tuturor părţilor fiecărui tip de cimpoi.


Delicatele reprezentări în aur ale blănii de miel ar putea avea legătură cu legenda lânii de aur. Legenda spune că, la începuturile istoriei, regii traci, despre care Homer a scris că erau stăpânitorii Lânii de aur, erau uniţi între ei printr-un jurământ tainic. Unii istorici admit existenţa unei Frăţii regale a tracilor. Cei aleşi erau iniţiaţi în „Taina Jurământului”, un jurământ care garanta tăcerea în faţa duşmanilor. Tăcerea era menită să protejeze tainele, comorile şi tezaurele ascunse ale tracilor. „Cei iniţiaţi în „Taina Jurământului“ purtau coifuri de aur sau de argint aurit cu însemne anume, care aveau o anumită semnificaţie. Între popoarele antice, primii care au fost atraşi ca un magnet de aurul dacilor nu au fost romanii, aşa cum se crede în mod obişnuit, ci primele triburi de greci, care, în migraţia lor spre teritoriul de astăzi al Greciei, au trecut prin Munţii Apuseni, unde au jefuit zăcămintele de aur local, din care şi-au făurit monede. Unele studii istorico-lingvistice au sugerat chiar că termenul vechi grecesc pentru aur – khrūsos – ar veni de la numele Crişurilor, râurile noastre care străbat ţinuturile aurifere. Alte cercetări susţin că primele monede de aur greceşti conţineau acelaşi tip de aur cu cel extras şi astăzi din Apuseni. Dacii au exploatat, în prima fază, aurul aluvionar, cu ajutorul blănurilor de oaie puse de-a curmezişul râurilor. Miţele de lână ale blănurilor aveau proprietatea de a reţine micile fragmente de aur, mai grele, lăsând să treacă majoritatea celorlalte impurităţi aduse de apă. Am fost o ţară foarte bogată în aur, iar aurul aluvionar, de râu, se găsea în cantităţi importante în aproape toate râurile, până în perioada medievală târzie. Credeţi sau nu, dar majoritatea râurilor noastre erau, în trecut, aurifere. Argeşul, Dâmboviţa, Oltul, Siretul, Buzăul şi toate râurile din Ardeal şi Moldova aduceau cantităţi mari de aur. (sursa: Povestea aurului românesc) Usor de recunoscut în orice reprezentare imagistică, căciulile dacilor, cu nota specifică – vârful aplecat în față, erau confecţionate din material ţesut în casă pentru timp de vară sau din blană de miel pentru iarnă. Chiar şi astăzi, în anotimpul friguros, în foarte multe zone din România țăranii poarta căciuli din blană de miel (nu bonete), cu vârful îndoit în față sau într-o parte, asemenea dacilor. Toate căciulile sunt făcute din blană tăbăcită de miel, ale căror culori consacrate sunt negru, cafeniu şi gri-brumăriu, niciodată alb sau tărcat. (sursa: DACII – Îmbrăcămintea, armele şi stindardul dacilor)

The bagpipe (and the woolen dacian hats) are clearly related to sheep breeding, so the Romans take the bagpipe from greeks than take this instrument to the British Islands.R1ABut both macedonians/thracians/R1A and dorians/R1b came to “Greece” over “dacian” territories. And Timoc are is a very conservative area, where very old “vlach” traditions are still alive.  From all european people the Vlach people are mostly associated with sheep breeding and transhumance. sheep

About Alex Imreh 0742-669918
This entry was posted in Archeology of symbols, ethnogenesis, Etnogeneza Rumânilor, Old Europe Art, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cimpoiul și căciula – Origin of Bagpipe

  1. Waydeeper says:

    Hey Alex. I’ve aquestion i would like to ask you,where can i contact you?

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