By John Ensor •
Published: 04 Aug 2023 • 22:26
Álvaro Rúa with the Galician bagpipes.
Credit: Concello de Verín/Facebook.com
A Spanish musician has made it into the record books recently by playing the longest note in the world with a wind instrument.
On a historic day in Verín, Ourense, Álvaro Rúa, a 32-year-old bagpiper from Vilela, achieved an incredible feat. He recently shattered the Guinness World Record by playing the longest note ever heard on his Galician bagpipes, writes Nuis Diario.
Surpassing the previous record of 1 minute and 23 seconds set by an Indian horn player, Álvaro held a stable sound at a minimum of 80 decibels for an astonishing 13 minutes, 26 seconds, and 95 hundredths.
Álvaro’s passion for the bagpipes began at the age of seven when he started his musical journey at the Verín School of Traditional Music. Driven by his love for instruments, he further honed his skills by enrolling in the Vigo Music Conservatory in Pontevedra.
Now, Álvaro shares his musical talents by professionally teaching music classes in schools and associations. Additionally, he co-directs the ‘Banda de Gaitas Nova Era,’ which recently organized traditional music events in Verín, providing the perfect setting for Álvaro’s record-breaking accomplishment.
Playing a single, continuous note for more than 13 minutes on the bagpipes posed an extraordinary challenge. The bag that stores the air in the instrument provided some advantage, although it still demanded immense skill and perseverance. As time passed, Álvaro faced the challenge of his fingers starting to fall asleep, making the feat even more complex.
Validating the world record required strict adherence to the regulations set by Guinness. Alongside Álvaro, two sound engineers meticulously measured the decibels with a sound level meter. Experienced timekeepers, akin to those seen at sporting events, ensured accurate timing.
To maintain objectivity, two independent witnesses, unrelated to Álvaro, were present to observe the challenge. The entire process was recorded on video, showcasing the musician and the sound level meter’s readings from a specified distance.
Álvaro’s dedication and training paid off when he remarkably accomplished the feat on his first attempt. Although he believes he could have played even longer, he expressed satisfaction with breaking the record.
His achievement not only made history in Verín but also served his ultimate objective: to garner international recognition for the Galician bagpipe, an instrument deeply cherished by his Celtic culture and heritage.
As the bagpiper Álvaro Rúa entered the annals of history with his inseparable instrument, the bagpipe, the world now recognizes the breathtaking talent and endurance of this remarkable musician. His passion and skill have brought the spotlight to the Galician bagpipe, enriching global musical awareness and appreciation for this traditional instrument.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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