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Xeremies bagpipe


Xeremies bagpipe, unknown, Majorca, before 1896, inv. 2006

Xeremies bagpipe, unknown, Majorca, before 1896, inv. 2006


Xeremies bagpipe (grall), unknown, Majorca, before 1896, inv. 2006

Xeremies bagpipe (grall), unknown, Majorca, before 1896, inv. 2006


Single idioglote reed

Single idioglote reed

The xeremie bagpipe (fig.1) is a typical instrument from the Balearic Islands (Spain). It is traditionally made from a bag of skin, but some modern examples have a bag of synthetic material, such as polymer. This bag, or sarró, acts as an air reservoir, which is then directed by pressure from the elbow to the three sound pipes. A fourth pipe, the bufador, is used to inflate the bag.

In detail (see xeremie website), the instrument consists of:

  • The bufador (‘blower’): used to blow air into the bag,
  • The grall (fig.2), the oboe that plays the melody,
  • The bordons (drones), generally three in number, give a single note that sounds continuously. The largest (trompa) is always sonorous, but sometimes the two smallest are purely decorative. They are then called fillols. When all three are sounded, the drones give the notes C (low), G and C respectively.

Each sounding pipe is fitted with a single idioglote reed, i.e. a slat cut from a reed tube without being completely detached from it (fig.3).

This type of bagpipe is still common in the mountains of Majorca today. It is essentially played in an ensemble consisting of a flageolet (flabiol) and a drum (tamborino) played by one and the same musician, as well as a pair of castanets (see video). This small ensemble animates popular dances such as the jota (see video) or the mateixa, one of its variants. These dances are performed during major events in rural life, such as the end of the harvest or the grape harvest. The xeremie is also performed at religious festivals, sometimes as a simple duet with the flabiol.

This copy was built before 1896. The maker is unknown.

Text: Juan Manuel Fernández Padilla



Caufriez, A., «  L’instrument de musique traditionnel ibérique », Bruxelles, Musée Instrumental, 1988. 

List of the parts of the xeremia :

Instrumental Ensemble