They call them pifferari

Zampognari (bagpipers) pastoral myth of Abruzzo.

‘The pifferari descend from the wild mountains of Abruzzi, playing their rustic instruments in front of the images of the Madonna. They dress a wide hood of dark cloth and carry the pointy hat as the briganti (robbers).’
Hector Berlioz

This is how  Hector Berlioz in ‘800 describes the  zampognari from Abruzzo.

And pifferari was the word that foreign travellers used to name the zampognari in ‘800.  Antonio Bini in his beautifull book written for D’Abruzzo – Edizioni Menabò retraces their habits and presence in ‘700 and ‘800 thanks to written documents and images of the time  reported by  the numerous foreign travellers . And in addition in the book you’ll find  transcriptions of their music, mostly lost because the zampognari were illiterate.


Antonio Bini “LI CHIAMAVANO PIFFERARI” published by D’Abruzzo – Edizioni Menabò


On the occasion of the 100th issue of the magazine D’Abruzzo, the Zampogne d’Abruzzo perform in Ortona (CH) two songs. The first is taken from n. 16 “The Harold in Italy” by H. Berlioz, 3rd movement “Serenade of a mountaineer of the Abruzzi to his wife,” The second is a song composed by maestro Xuaco Amieva titled Marcha de Brañes, originally played by the “gaitas” Asturian. The transcriptions were edited by Antonello Di Matteo. The musicians involved in the concert are the same Antonello Matteo with Massimiliano Mezzadonna, Andrea Silvestri and Errico Angelini.


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