Category Archives: Aerophones

Aerophones

Ipu Hokiokio

Name: Ipu Hokiokio.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Nose.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: Hawaii, USA
Region: Pacific Ocean.

Description: The ipu hōkiokio or also ipu hoehoe, pu’a is a vessel nose flute aerophone of the Hawaiian people. The ipu hōkiokio was played as a solo instrument, the performer supposedly imitating the melodic contour of 2, 3 and 4-tone mele ho’oipipo [love chants].

Origins: Vessel nose flutes are not found in other parts of Polynesia, so it has been assumed that the ipu hōkiokio is of Hawaiian invention [Hiroa 1964, p. 393]. However, McLean [1999, p. 496] points out that gourd whistles are found elsewhere in Oceania, but does not explicitly state if they are played as nose flutes. It is at least possible that the gourd whistle or the idea of it might have been introduced to Hawaii by ancient Polynesian voyagers, but it is unclear if the method of sounding it with the nose originates in Hawaii or elsewhere.

The ipu hōkiokio is seldom used today but is still made and easily procurable at hula supply stores, Hawaiian craft fairs and tourist venues, sold as a symbol of ancient Hawaiian culture or as a novelty.

Citations: Bibliography: Emerson, Nathaniel B. 1909 Unwritten Literature of Hawaii: The Sacred Songs of the Hula. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office ; Hiroa, Te Rangi [Peter H. Buck] 1964 – Arts and Crafts of Hawaii–IX: Musical Instruments. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press ; McLean, Mervyn. 1999 – Weavers of Song: Polynesian Music and Dance – Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press ; Roberts, Helen H. 1967. Ancient Hawaiian Music. New York: Dover Publications, Inc ; Tatar, Elizabeth. 1979. “’Ohe hano ihu,” in Kanahele, George S. Hawaiian Music and Musicians. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, pp. 270-272 ; Websites: Grinnell Instrument Collection / Ipu Hokiokio – Hawaiian Nose Flute [of gourd] ;

Ohe Hano Ihu

Name: Ohe Hano Ihu.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Nose.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: Hawaii, USA
Region: Pacific Ocean.

Description: The ohe hano ihu [translation hereafter ‘ohe] is an end-blown nose flute aerophone of the Hawaiian people. Traditionally the Ohe Hano Ihu was used in the rendering of courtship, love poetry. A practice perhaps evolving from the origin myths which a prince was taught how to make and play the ohe’ by a god, played it to attract the attention of a princes. This practice died along ago, with the arrival of missionaries to the Hawaiian islands in the 19th century. The profound changes to traditional Hawaiian culture than ensued.

Repertoire: The ‘ohe was most often played as a solo instrument, the performer supposedly imitating the melodic contour of 2, 3 and four tone mele ho’oipipo [love chants]. However, Tartar [1979: 272] reports that at least in the early 19th century it was used in combination with the membranophone pahu to accompany hula.

Today the ‘ohe is still made and easily procurable at hula supply stores, Hawaiian craft fairs, and tourist venues. They are sold as a symbol of ancient Hawaiian culture or as a novelty. It is occasionally heard on commercial recordings of contemporary Hawaiian popular music.

Construction: This ‘ohe is a length of bamboo 29.21 cm / 11.5 inches with a broad cylindrical bore 3.5 cm / 1.4 inches, cut in such a manner as to leave one end closed by a natural node, the other open. The blowhole is located on the sidewall near the closed end, and three finger holes are located further down the body of the flute with a gap of 1.2 inches between them.

Citations: Bibliography: Emerson, Nathaniel B. 1909 Unwritten Literature of Hawaii: The Sacred Songs of the Hula. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office ; Hiroa, Te Rangi [Peter H. Buck] 1964 – Arts and Crafts of Hawaii–IX: Musical Instruments. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press ; McLean, Mervyn. 1999 – Weavers of Song: Polynesian Music and Dance – Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press ; Roberts, Helen H. 1967. Ancient Hawaiian Music. New York: Dover Publications, Inc ; Tatar, Elizabeth. 1979. “’Ohe hano ihu,” in Kanahele, George S. Hawaiian Music and Musicians. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, pp. 270-272 ; Websites: Asza.com / Ohe Hano Ihu ; Grinnell Instrument Collection / Ohe Hano Ihu – Hawaiian Nose Flute ;

Tongali

Name: Tongali.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Nose.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: Philippines.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The tongali is a vertical nose flute having four finger holes, this includes the thumb hole at the back of the flute. The kalinga is played by the Kalinga and other peoples in Luzon, Philippines and the ongoing effects of the music department of UP [University of Philippines] Quezon. The tongali is one of numerous traditional instruments that students can study at UP [University of Philippines].

Origin: There are stories from this region that say that the nose flute was used to help rice grow when it was young, as the rice was attracted to the soft sounds of the flute, and would grow to put its ear above the water to hear it better.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: Randy Raine-Reusch @ asza.com [Tongali Article] ;

Pensol

Name: Pensol.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Nose.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: Malaysia.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The pensol is a nose-flute played by the Semang people of Central Malaysia. The pensol is a very thin and quiet instrument. It is unique from other Malaysian nose flutes, in that the last hole is very close to the end of the instrument thereby making the first interval a minor second. Pensol are very rare instruments.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: Randy Raine-Reusch @ asza.com [Pensol Article] ;

Selingup

Name: Selingup.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Nose.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: Borneo, Malaysia.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The selingup or selingut is a nose flute played by the Kayan people of the interior of Sarawak, a province on the Malaysian side of Borneo. Nose flutes in Sarawak were traditionally played by both men and women, as part of the courtship process, and also at funerals to appease the spirits of those that have passed. This instrument is thicker and shorter than neighbouring Kejamin instruments, but has the same sweet sound, and is capable of two octaves.

A recording Ajang, playing the selingup in found on Sawaku, Music of Sarawak, Pan Records 2067CD. Mering and Ajang are two of the last good nose flute players in the region.

Citations: Bibliography: Discography: Websites: Randy Raine-Reusch @ [selingup article] asza.com ;

Dulali

Name: Dulali.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Nose.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: Fiji
Region: Oceania & Pacific Islands.

Description: The dulali is a nose flute that is played in Fiji. It is known by many names, its over-all length ranges from 35 cm to 70 cm and 3 cm to 6 cm in diameter. The dulali is made of a single internode of bamboo. It is closed at both ends by the nodes, and has four to nine finger holes spaced in an equidistant manner along the length. Often three additional holes evenly spaced around the midpoint. It is probable that it functions as a vessel flute.

Some examples in museums show burned-in decorations. Fijian nose flutes are now almost obsolete. Formerly, they accompanied certain meke dances and women singing – entertainment for chiefs – and it is said that the music had the power to attract women. Music recorded in 1972 was based on a three-tone scale, but it must have been possible to play more notes. Nose flutes also existed on Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, and other Pacific islands.

Citations: Bibliography: article by Raymond Ammann ; P. Crowe: ‘Nose Flute Music of Fiji’, Domodomo: Fiji Museum Quarterly… ; Websites: MIMO Article / Dulali ; Babasiga [blogger] Fijian Nose Flute ;

Veenu

Name: Veenu.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Transverse.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The veenu [in Sanskrit: वेणु; veṇu] in the Dravidian languages this flute is known by many names including [in Tamil புல்லாங்குழல் ; pullankuzhal], [in Malayalam: പുല്ലാങ്കുഴല് ; pullāṅkuḻal], [in Kannada: ಕೊಳಲು ; Kolalu], [in Telugu: పిల్లన గ్రోవి pillana grōvi or వేణువు Vēṇuvu].

The veenu is one of the ancient transverse [side blown]  flutes of Indian classical music. It is an aerophone typically made from bamboo. The veenu continues to be in use in the South Indian Carnatic music tradition.

History: The venu is discussed as an important musical instrument in the Natya Shastra, the classic Hindu text on music and performance arts. The ancient Sanskrit texts of India describe other side blown flutes such as the murali and vamsika, but sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. The venu is mentioned in the iconography of Hindu god Krishna.

Playing Techniques: Circular breathing is used when playing the venu as with numerous other Indian flute or single reed instruments.

Citations: Bibliography: Lochtefeld 2002, p. 747 ; Bruno Nettl; Thomas Turino; Isabel Wong; et al. 2015. Excursions in World Music. Taylor & Francis. p. 691. ISBN 978-1-317-35029-3. Dalal 2014, p. 163. Rowell 2015, pp. 99–103. The Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhu of Rūpa Gosvāmin; Motilal Banarsidass. 2003. p. 217. ISBN 978-81-208-1861-3. Tarla Mehta 1995. Sanskrit Play Production in Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 149–150. ISBN 978-81-208-1057-0.

Beck, Guy 1993. Sonic Theology: Hinduism and Sacred Sound. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-87249-855-6. Caudhurī, Vimalakānta Rôya 2000. The Dictionary of Hindustani Classical Music. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-1708-1. Dalal, Roshen 2014. Northern Indian Music, Volume 1. Theory & technique; Volume 2. The main rāgǎs. London: C. Johnson. OCLC 851080. Gautam, M.R. 1993 – Evolution of Raga and Tala in Indian Music. Munshiram Manoharlal. ISBN 81-215-0442-2. Kaufmann, Walter 1968. The Ragas of North India. Oxford & Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34780-0. OCLC 11369. Lochtefeld, James G. 2002. ISBN 978-0-8239-2287-1. Martinez, José Luiz 2001. Semiosis in Hindustani Music. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-1801-9. Nettl, Bruno; Ruth M. Stone; James Porter; Timothy Rice 1998, The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: South Asia : the Indian subcontinent ; Routledge, ISBN 978-0-8240-4946-1 Randel, Rowell, Lewis 2015. Music and Musical Thought in Early India. University of Chicago Press ; ISBN 978-0-226-73034-9 ; Neil Sorrell ; Ram Narayan 1980. Indian Music in Performance: A Practical Introduction. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-0756-9 – Te Nijenhuis, Emmie 1974 ; Indian Music: History and Structure – BRILL Academic ; ISBN 90-04-03978-3. Wilke, Annette; Moebus, Oliver 2011. Sound and Communication: An Aesthetic Cultural History of Sanskrit Hinduism. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-024003-0 ;

Bansuri

Name: Bansuri.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Transverse.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The bansuri is a side blown flute from South Asia found in many parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It is one of the most common instruments in the North Indian or Hindustani classical music.

A similar flute is called venu is played in South Indian or Carnatic classical tradition. It is referred to as nadi or tunava in the Rigveda and other Vedic texts of Hinduism. Its importance and operation is discussed in the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra.

Etymology: The word bansuri originates in the bans [बाँस] [bamboo] + sur [सुर] [melody]. A phonetically similar same for the same instrument, in early medieval texts, is the Sanskrit word vamsi which is derived from root vamsa [Sanskrit: [वंश] meaning bamboo. A flute player in these medieval texts is called vamsika.

Other regional names of bansuri-style, six to eight play holes, bamboo flutes in India include bansi, eloo, kulal, kulalu, kukhl, lingbufeniam, murali [Rajasthan], murli, nadi, nar [Rajasthan], pawa, pullankuzhal, pillana grovi, pulangoil, vansi, vasdanda and venuvu. In central and south India, a similar flute is called nagoza or mattiyaan jodi and Buddhist stupa reliefs in central India, from about the 1st century BCE, depict the single and twinned flute designs.

In Iconography: The bansuri-like flute is depicted in ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temple paintings and reliefs, as well as is common in the iconography of the Hindu god Krishna. It is intimately linked to the love story of Krishna and Radha.

The bansuri is revered as Lord Krishna’s divine instrument and is often associated with Krishna’s Rasa lila dance. These legends sometimes use alternate names for this wind instrument, such as the murali.

However, the instrument is also common among other traditions such as Shivaism. The early medieval Indian texts also refer to it as vamshi, while in medieval Indonesian Hindu and Buddhist arts, as well as temple carvings in Java and Bali dated to be from pre-10th century period, in China this transverse flute has been called wangsi or bangsi.

Playing Techniques: The musician creates the notes while their finger pads cover the finger-hole. Circular breathing as with most aerophones played in India is required.

Construction: The bansuri is traditionally made from a single hollow shaft of bamboo with six or seven finger holes. Diverse materials maybe used in modern designs from bone, fibreglass and a variety of metals. The six hole instrument covers two and a half octaves of music.

The bansuri is typically between 30 centimetres [12 in] and 75 centimetres [30 in] in length, and the thickness of a human thumb. One end is closed, and few centimetres from the closed end is its blow hole. The pitch of the bansuri is defined by the length of the instrument.

Citations: Bibliography: Arthur Berriedale Keith [1995] Vedic Index of Names and Subjects. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 441. ISBN 978-81-208-1332-8 ; Suneera Kasliwal [2004] Classical musical instruments – Rupa. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-81-291-0425-0 ;

Kuisi

Name: Kuisi.
Type: Aerophones > Flute > Duct.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.211.12 
Country: Colombia & Panama.
Regions: Central & South America.

Description: A kuisi or kuizi is a duct flute that is made from a cactus stem, with a beeswax and charcoal powder mixture for the head [where the air stream is blown into]. The kuisi is played in both Colombia and neighbouring Panama. In the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta; for example the Spanish speaking village of Atánquez. Similar flutes called carrizos, whose name originates from the name of the cane they are made from. The ensemble is thus named conjunto de carrizos.

The conjunto accompanies the dance chicote, a circle dance in which men and women alternate, placing their arms n each other’s shoulders. On the coastal plain, for example the town of San Jacinto, Bolivar. An ensemble known as the conjunto de gaitas commonly provides the music for the cambia, porro and other such genres as the vallenato. This ensemble consists of two duct flutes [ghaitas], a maraca and two hand-beaten drums of African descent.

Playing Techniques: Musicians often use wax to close the finger-holes and to alter the tone of the flute. By blocking one or the other tone hole on the kuisi sigi, and in the kuisi bunzi either the upper or lower finger-hole is covered. So that only the four finger-holes are used at any one time.

Varieties: There are male and female versions of the kuisi [or gaita in Spanish for pipe]. The female kuisi bunsi [also rendered kuisi abundjí in Spanish] is also commonly known as a gaita hembra in Spanish and has five holes; the male kuisi sigi [or kuisi azigí] is called a gaita macho in Spanish and has two holes.

Construction: Modern kuisi’s are between 70 cm and 80 cm in length, traditionally the measurement of the kuisi was defined by the arm of the maker. Kuisi’s built by the Kogi people are reported to be up to two feet or 60 cm in length. They are constructed from cane [carrizo] by the flautist him self.

The kuisi is always made by a male. The length being measured as three times the span between the extended thumb and little finger. Plus the span between the extended thumb and index finger. The finger holes are located with a distance between them. The finger holes are then located with a distance between them measured by the width of two fingers plus, half of the width of the thumb.

They are constructed from a cactus [Selenicereus grandifloras]  which is bored and whose thorns are cut. The centre is removed, first moistening and then boring with an iron stick. The cactus stem is thicker at one of its ends, this will go upside and coupled with the bee wax head which carries the feather mouth piece. Though the instrument is slightly conic on the outside, its perforation is cylindrical.

Citations: Bibliography: Joaquin Posada Gutierrez, Memorias Historico Politicas 1865 ; Bogota, Imprenta Nacional in 1929  ; Aquiles Escalante, El negro en Colombia, Monografias Sociológicas, no. 18 Bogota: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1964, pp. 149] on the fusion of Indigenous, African and European instruments and music cultures ; Websites: