Grove and Williams describe Gaitas as a Spanish regal having short resonators, with a thin, nasal, quiet tone imitative of the bagpipes. Williams dates it from the late 1500's, and suggests that it may have been en chamade in some organs in the early 1700's. That source translates the name as “bagpipe”, but a modern Spanish dictionary translates it as “flageolet” or “hurdy-gurdy”. Maclean describes Gaita and Chirimía both as indicating a 2' Schalmei on the bass half of the split Spanish manual. We assume Gaita and Gaitas to be synonymous.See also Cornemuse, Musette.
All of the known examples list Gaita as an accessory, not a normal stop. Given Grove's and Williams' descriptions, perhaps a drone?
Gaita (accessory); San Juan Bautista, Santoyo, Palencia, Spain; de la Rosa 1738.
Gaita (accessory); Santa María, Fuentes de Nava, Palencia, Spain; Ortega 1790.
Gaita (accessory); Hospital Provincia, Zaragoza, Spain; Roqués brothers c1900.
Gaita (accessory); Parroquia, Ibdes, Zaragoza, Spain; Sánchez 1732.
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Gaitas.html - Last updated 25 December 2001.