Bagpipes are often associated with Scotland, but they’re popular in other parts of the world as well: In the extreme northwest of Spain and Portugal, the sound of the Galician bagpipe has accompanied the life of the people for more than eight centuries. Its music provides the traditional soundtrack as they sing and dance, celebrate banquets, dance around brides, celebrate anniversaries, and bid farewell to their deceased. These are joys and sorrows that the bagpipe captures in its melodies, heard far and wide.
A melody that reaches everyone
As the pandemic has had such an impact in Spain and around the world, the bishop of Ourense in Galicia, His Excellency Leonardo Lemos, wanted to find a way of remembering the dead. Looking for something that would resonate with local culture and hold great emotional significance, he settled on the Galician bagpipe and established a new local tradition: From now on, every day a bagpiper will play a hymn from the bell tower of Ourense’s Cathedral of San Martiño.