The sounds of a Bucio

18 julio 2008

This work contains an article on a system used to convene meetings of the neighbours on a parish using typically on the Pontevedra’s province.


Project partially founded by the General directorate of Cultural Creation and diffusion at the the Ministry of Culture and Sport at Xunta de Galicia.


The sounds of a Bucio



This article presents the recording of the sound produced by a Bucio. The Bucio is a collective call system that was used to convene meetings of neighbors in a given parish. The one presented here was the one from the parish of Figueiroa [GLWIKI-01] [GOOMAPS-01], in Cerdedo council [GLWIKI-02] [GOOMAPS-02], within the province of Pontevedra.

2.The sound of the Bucio

Despite an exhaustive search on the Internet, we have failed to find any documentation available online about the Bucio (or buxeiro) and not even reagarding its sound. We do not know if there is some reference in the written literature on this instrument, but we have not been able to find any reference in any of the usual bibliographic sources.

Drawing on the oral source, our informant tell us that bucio was used to make the calls for meetings of neighbors in each parish. It was a logical choice, since it’s a civilian one (allows the independence of the religious entity and not to use the bells), and besides, like any other warning sound, allows to be understood by people who do not know how to read or write .

According to our informants told us, every parish had its own Bucio (depending on the parish could have a name or another), and was the pedaneo of the parish the one responsible for making taps for soliciting boards. Each parish had its own touch, so that neighbours knew wich parish was being convened. Furthermore, according to our informants, various calls were made at strategic points of the parish, so every neighbour could hear the call.

At time of writing you this article (March of 2008), calls using the Bucio had almost completely disappeared, except, in a textimonial way, in some social event. Given the high degree of progress in telecommunications, Bucio were replaced long ago by other systems more affectives and rapids (mobile telephone, radio, posters …)

A Bucio is no more than a conch, with a certain size, and worked to achieve a certain sound, allowing its use as an acoustic signalling tool.

Particularly, Bucio that appears in these recordings come, according to our informants, from the coasts of Florida, where it was picked up by an emigrant in the mid-nineteenth century. On his return to Cerdedo, this emigrant ceded the conch to the pedaneo of his parish for use as Bucio, and since then, it was passed on from pedaneo to pedaneo, until the time of writing this article. We can affirm that at the time of the recordings, that this Bucio had more than 100 years of motion.


Inclusion of this sound in the fonotopías project is fully justified in its immediate demise because they no longer function. Currently, there are a whole series of methods and technologies (posters, mobile, megaphones …) that can be used to convene meetings in parishes and that are more comfortable and secure thnt the system described here. Therefore it is logical to predict that the use of Bucio as a warning system will gradually disappear until completely extinguished. That is why, for us, their inclusion in the fonotopias of Galicia project is fully justified.

4.Description of the recordings

Although it seems to have been loosing his voice, the Bucio or buxeiro of Figueiroa still resonates. It produces a sort of bass complaints, typical of a conch sound. You need a good lung to make it sound. At least that’s what Pedaneo thinks while he blows as he gets out of breath while blowing.

Another shoot, closer to the bucio. We hear perfectly clear ait going into bucio, and the effort made by the pedaneo as he blows the bucio.

Although it sounds like an artificial mechanical siren, is a shell blowed by one person. Listen from afar, we only perceive a strong beep that could be produced by any cornet.

Dry, concrete, and clear sound, although somewhat hoarse and like loosing his voice, filled of basses, and with few highs, but still noticeable and above all very employable as acoustic signal. That’s the sound of Figueiroa’s buxeiro (or Bucio), at the municipality of Cerdido.

5.Future Works

According to the ones that informed us, in the area of the municipality of Cerdedo where this method was used to call the neighbors, each parish had its own distinctive touch, to be known clearly when it was called one parish or another. It would be very interesting to collect the sound of taps that were played in each of these parishes in particular. Also, in some cases, the touch was different depending on the case to convene the meeting. So much variety of touchs should be covered in sound recordings to prevent it from loosing, as the people who know this taps are dying, and today this method is rarely used.


For the writing of this article we have the invaluable assistance of Moncho, the pedáneo of Figueiroa’s Parish, in the municipality of Cerdedo, as well as that of Jose Luis Caramés and Jose Luis Cavada Linarte. Moncho was the person who played for us in the Bucio recordings that are presented in this article, while JL Caramés and J.L. Cavada were people from the council, which put us into the track of Moncho and its bucio. The fields recordings were made in February 2008. Also, thank Cristina Lombao, the conductor of the afternoon magazine «O tren do serán» at Galician public Radio in the 07-08 season, which was the person who put us on the track of this sounds.


[GLWIKI-01]Editores de la Galipedia, ‘Figueiroa, Cerdedo’, Wikipedia, a wikipedia en gallego, 7 Junio 2008, 12:46 UTC, <> [consulta 17 Junio 2008]

[GLWIKI-02]Editores de la Galipedia, ‘Cerdedo’, Wikipedia, la wikipedia en gallego, 10 mayo 2008, 17:29 UTC, <> [consulta 17 Junio 2008]

[GOOMAPS-01]Google, ‘Google Maps’, Google Maps, 2008, <,+Cerdedo,+Pontevedra,+Galicia,+Espa%C3%B1a&ie=UTF8&cd=1&geocode=0,42.543311,-8.394537&ll=42.546694,-8.394542&spn=0.011951,0.035491&t=h&z=15&iwloc=addr> [consulta 17 Junio 2008]

[GOOMAPS-02]Google, ‘Google Maps’, Google Maps, 2008, <,-8.392181&spn=0.191133,0.567856&t=h&z=11&iwloc=addr> [consulta 17 Junio 2008]