Friday Frolics: Toledo’s Musicians

Last Friday night, my friend and I spotted this group of Galician Gaiteiros (bagpipe players from Galicia, an autonomous region in the North West of Spain) roaming the streets. I’m not sure what the difference is between a “gaita” and a Scottish bagpipe. They sound just the same to my untrained ear – like cats in heat being trodden on by spiky heels.

GaiteirosNext up, a guitar player setting up in one of Toledo’s main shopping streets. He’s struggling to find himself a suitable spot amidst the perpetual digging-up-of-pipes.

What a fetching outfit! love the socks...

What a fetching outfit! Love the purple socks…

This one's a regular, he plays his cello outside Toledo Cathedral every weekend.

This one’s a regular, he plays his cello outside Toledo Cathedral every weekend.

I’ve featured the lovely Ana Alcaide and her nyckelharpa once before in this post, but here she is again, seeing that she is a local and a regular, as well as the most famous.

Ana Alcaide

28 thoughts on “Friday Frolics: Toledo’s Musicians

  1. Pingback: Gayteiros Galegos โ€“ Aventar

  2. Jackie Cangro

    Love these buskers. (That’s what we would call them here in NYC.)
    I admit I had to look up nyckelharpa. Quite an instrument, that is. I can’t even play a regular guitar. I can’t imagine trying to play this thing. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Giovannoni Claudine

    I love street musicians… they put music in the air letting everyone get enchanted by it… around the world there are several instruments similar to bagpipes, also in Sardinia there are pipers -zampognari- playing in the streets (and sometimes for the holiday season you may find them also in northern Italy and Switzerland). Wish you a lovely weekend :-)c


  4. Rachel

    I saw a piper and a juggler when I was in Toledo – got very excited, but the tour guide didn’t stop long enough for me to listen or get a good photo.

    To my understanding, the difference between the gaita and the Great Highland Bagpipe (full proper name for the Scottish sort) is that the GHB has three drones while the gaita usually just has one (or occasionally two). Bagpipes can be found all over the world (most notably in Scotland, Ireland, Galicia, Britanny, Bulgaria, and anywhere with any sort of Scottish influence), but there are some regional differences… such as the number of drones, whether the drones fall over the shoulder or just sort of dangle, and whether you blow into the bag or operate it with an elbow pump (uillean pipes).

    Any sort looks like some sort of deformed goat when it’s not being played, though. (And sometimes even then).



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