The bagpipe was common throughout all European countries by the 16th century and is recorded to have been used in Romanian courts, but has been gradually replaced, during the period of Ottoman influence the cobza, and in villages by the violin and now modern reed instruments. Although the countries of Wallachia and Moldavia were at war with the Ottomans and eventually became vassal states there was not a migration of Turkish people, or a replacement of the nobility and rulers by Turkish. However, many of the Romanian nobles sided with the Ottomans and there was an importation of Ottoman influences and of Ottoman gypsy musicians.
Rural shepherds and farmers continued to play the cimpoi, but with the fluier as the main musical instrument for dance music. With the displacement of the peasant musicians by the gypsy lăutari during the 19th and 20th centuries the cimpoi has nearly died out. Until recently bagpipes were found in most of Romania apart from the central, northern and eastern parts of Transylvania, but now it is only played by a few elderly people. Within the town folk ensembles the soloist multi-instrumentalist pipe musicians generally will play a few bagpipe items with the orchestra.
The Romanian instrument has a single reed and straight bore chanter and is less stringent than its Balkan relatives.
- The bag, generally of goat skin is called the burduf, and often covered by embroidered cloth.
- The drone pipe, made of reed or elder, is called bâzoi
- The chanter pipe, made of reed or elder, is called carabă. The chanter can be cylindrical or conical, single or double, straight or curved, from 5 to 8 finger holes
- The reeds are single, with a rectangular tongue, cut from the common reed using a knot in the reed to stop the pipe
- These chanter options lead to 6 types of cimpoi; 4 single changer, 2 double chanter. The double chanter has one for the melody and the other has two drone notes a 4th apart which are set using a finger hole on the drone chanter.