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~ Special Feature ~

Guido Iannetta
Italian Zampogna Player & Instrument Maker

Guido Iannetta visiting Chicago with his Zampogna, 1999
Guido Iannetta visiting Chicago with his Zampogna, 1999

In December, 1999 Lionel Bottari of Chicago, a tireless supporter of Italian muiscal traditions and especially of the various forms of the Zampogna (the wonderful ancient bagpipe of Italy) and its players & makers, brought two musicians - Zampognari - to America from Italy for a performing visit. I had the good fortune to be in Chicago at the time and to meet and hear them. The Zampogna, as described elsewhere on this site, is very often played together with a mouth-blown double-bladed-reed pipe of the shawm (oboe-like) type, called a piffero. Guido Ianneta, the Zampogna player of the duo, had brought along a number of pifferos he has made. Persons interested in purchasing an authentic Italian piffero can contact Guido directly (see his autobiographical sketch below) or through this site. Zampognas and pifferos are also available through Lionel Bottari - again, contact may be made through this site, or email Lionel via this link. ~ O.S.

~ Biographical Sketch ~

My name is Guido Iannetta. I am 35 years old, have a wife, two children and a zampogna. I work as a forest ranger in the National Park of the Abruzzi in Italy. This is a beautiful place with forests that are still the habitat of bears, mountain goats, deer and eagles. I have a great job, and that is to protect these marvels of nature. I live in Scapoli, in the province of Isernia, in the state of Molise, known as the world capital of the zampogna. I count myself amongst the most dedicated of the zampognari, who are the musicians who dedicate their talents to this, the Italian double-chantered bagpipe. In fact, I also build the piffero, which is a shawm, and the zampogna. The two instruments are traditionally played together. I have taken the zampogna to many other parts of the world, such as Tokyo, Jerusalem, Basil, and in the last two years I have performed in Chicago and other smaller cities in the U.S. This has been a beautiful experience for me. I was responsible for starting the now-famous folk group "Le Mainarde." The Molisan Zampogna is used primarily during the Christmas season, in which it is traditional for us to announce the birth of Jesus, and to wish one and all a happy new year. In the presence of the music of the zampogna, in a moment people form friendships that last a lifetime. We feel that we complete an ambiance that motivates people towards more openness and generosity toward their fellow man. There is something in the hearts of those who await the zampognari every year that always offers the gift of friendship, with a "buon giorno, come va, auguri e tanta felicita." To whomever wishes to contact me, whether to come as a friend to visit the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, or who wishes to hear some of our traditional music or even to buy one of the instruments it is played on, you can reach me by mail at: Iannetta Guido, via Ponte 7, 86070. Scapoli, Isernia, Italy. If you can speak some Italian (I don't speak English), call me at 0865-95-45-15.

~ Guido Iannetta's Pifferos ~

Guido Iannetta's Pifferos

Guido's pifferos, shown above without their reeds, are made in the traditional style, in various sizes and keys, and of traditional woods such as olive and plum. His instruments not only play very well but are often visual delights, made from highly figured wood. Ruler in photo is six inches long. The standard plastic double-bladed reeds are also made by Guido (the instruments can of course be fitted with cane reeds, but plastic, being stable, has a number of practical advantages over the more traditional but notoriously fickle cane). Below are views of a reed, and of the joint, with traditional hand-cut wooden screw threads, between the body and bell of the larger pifferos.

Guido Iannetta's Pifferos - detail views of reed and joint

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