LOS GAITEROS DE COMPOSTELA (GALICIA, SPAIN)
by HAJI MAJI
Here’s a completely different type of “gaiteros,” this time from Galicia, the autonomous region of northwest Spain. Here, the gaiteros is a player of the gaita, a celtic bagpipe found also in Asturias and northern Portugal. It’s been suggested that the name gaita comes from the Eastern European word for goat (gait) and was brought by the Visigoths in 800 A.D. when they conquered Spain. In any case, the gaita is the iconic instrument of Galicia, and players have been the rock stars of their culture for centuries. It can be played solo, in small groups, or in large military style marching bands, as heard here. The song ¡Ay Maruxa! is a muiñeira, the most common song form in Galicia in 6/8 time.