Articles by: Partridge, Karl

Review: Quest for the Maltese Żaqq Mar 2020 in Chanter 2020 Spring

Quest for the Maltese Żaqq – a lost piping tradition by Karl Partridge Before I attended the International Bagpipe Conference in 2016, I was vaguely aware of the existence of the Maltese żaqq, but nothing quite prepares you for the physical reality. The first thing Karl Partridge did at the start of his presentation was to play one of the most extraordinary and dramatic bagpipes I have seen; the bag was an entire animal skin, complete with legs and tail, with only the head being replaced by the chanter.

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The Maltese Żaqq Nov 2016 in Chanter 2016 Winter

Introduction Pawlu Vassallo Il-Bimblu) of Dingli playing a calfskin żaqq and accompanied by a tambourinist. (Photo courtesy of Luciano Vassallo.) The Maltese żaqq is one of the most distinctive ‘European’ bagpipes but also one of the rarest and least well known. Even in Malta many people have never heard of it. The żaqq is one of a number of so-called ‘primitive’ mouth-blown bagpipes found around the Mediterranean, in North Africa and the Near East.

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