Category Archives: Aerophones

Aerophones

Volynka

Name: Volynka.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Bagpipes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Russian Federation.
Region: Eastern Europe & Eurasia.

Description: The volynka [in Ukrainian: волинка, Russian: волынка, Crimean Tatar: tulup zurna] is a bagpipe. Its etymology comes from the region Volyn, Ukraine, where it was borrowed from Romania.

Construction: The volynka is constructed around a goat skin air reservoir into which air is blown through a pipe with a valve to stop air escaping. Modern concert instruments often have a reservoir made from a bladder. A number of playing pipes [two to four] extend from the reservoir holding the air. The main playing pipe on which the melody is played has five to seven, sometimes eight finger holes.

The other pipes produce a drone. This is usually either a single tonic note or a perfect fifth. Each of these playing pipes has a double reed usually made from a goose quill. In the 20th century this instrument has lost the popularity it had previously, and is rarely used today in an authentic context.

Citations: Bibliography: Humeniuk, A. Ukrainski narodni muzychni instrumenty – Kiev: Naukova dumka, 1967 ; Mizynec, V. Ukrainian Folk Instruments – Melbourne: Bayda books 1984 ; Cherkasky, L. Ukrainski narodni muzychni instrumenty // Tekhnika, Kiev, Ukraine 2003 – 262 pages. ISBN 966-575-111-5 ;

Xeremia

Name: Xeremia.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Bagpipes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Majorca [Mallorca], Spain.
Region: Iberian Peninsula & Western Europe.

Description: The xeremia [in Catalan xeremia in IPA: ʃəɾəˈmi.ə], plural xeremies] is a type of bagpipe native to the island of Majorca [Mallorca].

History:The first documented evidence of bagpipes in the Iberian Peninsula dates to the Middle Ages. The first documentation and written evidence dates to the 9th century, in a letter from Saint Jerome to Dardanus: “The chorus is a simple leather hide with two brass tubes. The player blows into one, and the chorus emits the sound through the other”.

The influence of the court of Aragon and particularly that of Catalonia in the Balearic Islands and the cultural exchanges on both sides of the Pyrenees together with Catalan hegemony in Occitania. Which had been a strong cultural center, caused an increase the number of bards and minstrels increased. In 1209 there was a massive migration of bards and minstrels fleeing Occitania, due to repression by the northern French monarchs, encouraged by Pope Innocent III.

Bagpipes became prominent in those areas where the courts of Aragon and Catalonia had influence. When James I the Conqueror, conquered Majorca and Ibiza and repopulated those lands with his vassals of Catalan origin, they brought the bagpipes with them: the sac de gemecs, from which the Mallorcan xeremia [xeremia mallorquina] is derived.

In the archive of the Crown of Aragon there is a document from the year 1343 that names one Joan Mascum, bagpipe minstrel to the king, from Majorca in reference to king James III. Further, it is known that the minstrels of the king of Mallorca brought to the court of Peter IV the ceremonial playing of the bagpipe through the city of Tortosa in the year 1353. There are further reports that bagpipers from a variety of nations would congregate, especially during Lent.

Etymology: The name xeremia is of French origin. The Old French word chalemie over time became charemie. This is related to the influence of Occitania during the Kingdom of Aragon, as Catalan was quite strong from the year 531 to approximately 1131, as the Occitan cultural centre expanded through the means of minstrels and bards, throughout the territory that would later be known as Catalonia.

The instrument’s name may be used in the singular or in the plural and has several variants, depending on the location. In Ibiza the instrument exists only without a bag, but is called also Xeremia. In the Balearic Islands it is called xeremia, xirimia, xeremies o xirimies while in Catalonia it is known as sac de gemecs.

Construction: It consists of a bag made of skin or modern synthetic materials, known as a sac or sarró which retains the air, a blowpipe [bufador], a melody pipe or chanter [grall] and several, generally three, drones [bordons]. The primary drone [roncó] sounds a tonic note, but the other drones are sometimes simply false drones for ornamentation.

Citations: Bibliography: Genovart Espinosa, Antoni [October 2007, archived by way back machine]. “Xeremies i Xeremiers a Mallorca”. Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, Spain. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2007; Breno [2002-03-02]. “Xeremies mallorquina, un poco de lenguas, geografia e historia”. Archived from the original on December 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-30 ; Cucurull, Tomàs [2007]. “Es sac de gemecs. El sac de gemecs” [año 2000 ed.]. Sant Jaume dels Domenys, Cataluña, Spain. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011 ;

Sac De Gemecs

Name: Sac De Gemecs.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Bagpipes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Catalan, Spain.
Region: Iberian Peninsula & Western Europe.

Description: The Sac de Gemecs [in Catalan: Pronunciation in IPA: ˈsaɡ də ʒəˈmeks – literally “bag of moans”]. In Andorra the sac de gemecs is known as a buna [‘buna] or coixinera [kuʃiˈneɾə], gaita [ˈɡajtə] or botella [buˈteʎə] is a type of bagpipe found in Catalonia, eastern Spain and in Southern France.

Legend: The instrument is mentioned in the Andorran legend “El Buner d’Ordino” in which a bagpiper from the parish of Ordino, en route to a festival in Canillo, is chased and treed by wolves, but frightens them off by playing his buna.

Construction: The instrument consists of a chanter, a blowpipe, and three drones. The lowest drone [bordó llarg] plays a note two octaves below the tonic of the chanter. The middle drone [bordó mitjà] plays a fifth above the bass. The high drone [bordó petit] plays an octave below the chanter, thus one octave above the bass drone.

Citations: Bibliography: Àlvar Valls Oliva – Roser Carol Romàn; Àlvar Valls i Oliva; Roser Carol i Romàn [15 November 2010] ; Llegendes d’Andorra. L’Abadia de Montserrat. pp. 95–. ISBN 978-84-9883-340-9 ;

Washint

Name: Washint.
Type: Aerophones > Open-Ended > Flutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Country: Ethiopia.
Region: Africa.

Description: The washint is an end-blown flute originally played in Ethiopia. It is played by the Azmari’s who are bards, analogous to Griots or Bards. They would pass their oral history through melody accompanied on the washint as well as the krar [plucked lyre], the masenqo [bowed instrument].

Construction: The washint can be constructed using wood, bamboo, or other cane. Varieties exists in different lengths and relative finger-hole placement. Also a performer might use several different flutes over the course of a performance to accommodate different song types. It generally has four finger-holes, which allows the player to create a pentatonic scale.

Citations: Bibliography: Nidel, Richard 2005 – World Music: The Basics. Routlidge Taylor & Francis Group, NY. Websites; Washint Melody [youtube video] ;

Xun

Name: Xun.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Vessel.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.221.42
Bayin: 土 Clay.
Specimen: 1 in collection.
Country: China.
Region: Far East Asia.
Acquisition Source: Randy Raine-Reusch @ China.

Description: The Xun [simplified Chinese: 埙; traditional Chinese: 塤; pinyin: xūn; Cantonese= hyun1] is a vessel flute of the Han Chinese, the main ethnic group of China. It is one of the oldest instruments of china having approximately 7000 years of history. Most xun are usually egg shaped, with a flattened bottom. In the bayin classification system this instrument would be classified as a clay 土 as the pain classifies the instruments based on the materials the musical instruments are made of.

Construction: The xun is an egg-shaped aerophone, containing at least three finger holes in front and two thumb holes in back often a total of five or seven finger holes. It has a blowing hole on top and can have up to ten smaller finger holes, one for each finger. Although similar to an ocarina there is a clear fundamental difference. The xun lacks a fipple mouth piece, unlike other Chinese flute-like instruments such as the Wudu and Taodi. The xun can come in a variety of sizes.

Citations: Bibliography: Jin, Jie 2011 – Chinese Music. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521186919 ; Thrasher, Alan 2000 – Chinese Musical Instruments. New York: Oxford University Press Inc. p. 16. ISBN 0-19-590777-9 ; Websites: Randy Raine-Reusch @ [Xun Article] asza.com ;

Sipsi

Name: Sipsi.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Single.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.211.2
Country: Turkey.
Region: Aegean, Asia Minor & Mediterranean.

Description: The sipsi [pronounced in Turkish / in IPA: sipˈsi] is a Turkish woodwind instrument. It is a clarinet-like, single-reed instrument used mainly in folk music. The word “sipsi” is possibly onomatopoeic. The sipsi is one of many reed instruments in Turkey used to play lead melodies in instrumental folk music. It is generally played in the Western part in the Aegean Region of Turkey. Most folk tunes played in this area with the sipsi are in 9/8 time signature.

Definition: The Turkish Language Society lists “sipsi” as 1. Ağaç dallarından yapılan düdük – a whistle or flute made from the branch of a tree. 2. Gemici düdüğü, Sailor’s while or pipe 3. Zurnanın dudaklara gelen kamış bölümü. The reed section that fits into the opening “lips” of a zurna.

Playing Technique: Musicians who perform on the sipsi use circular breathing as one would see in parallel other similar reed instruments.

Construction: The sipsi can be made of bone, wood, or reed, though the reed variant is most common. Its size varies from region to region, but it generally contains five finger holes in the front, and one finger hole in the back.

Citations: Bibliography: Akdeniz, Tayyar “Sipsi- Turkish Music Instruments- Folk Tours”. Folk Tours. Folk Tours LLC. Retrieved 2011-09-28 ; Reinhard, Kurt; Martin Stokes ; “Turkey: II Folk Music, 4 Instrumental Music”. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 2011-09-29 ;

Shenai

Name: Shenai.
Type: Aerophones > Shawm > Reeds.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Vadya: Mangal Vadya.
Specimens: 2 in collection.
Country: India.
Region: South Asia.
Acquisition Source: Ian MacKenzie, trip to Rajasthan, India.

Description: The shehnai, shenoy, sanai, shahnai, shenai, shanai or mangal vadya or sahanai [in Hindi: शहनाई, Bengali: শানাই, Marathi: सनई, Odia: ଶାହାନାଇ, Kannada: ಸನಾದಿ] is a member of the conical double reed family. The shenai is common to North India and over all South Asia.

The variant names of this instrument including Sahanai [Nepal] are virtually the same type of instrument they may differ in tuning due to over all size and length. The shenai is used in religious events but in recent times it became an instrument of virtuosity. The introduction of the shenai to western audiences was by George Harrison’s “Wonderwall” album. Furthering a passion for Indian Classical Music in the west since the 1960s.

Techniques: In the hands of a great player the shenai creates a fluid tone rich in subtleties and expression. The shenai is played with the pads of the second joint of the finger rather than the finger tips to enable the fingers to be slowly rocked off the holes to produce a flawless unbroken portamento of up to almost a full octave. The shenai is usually played with another shenai [sur] holding a drone.

Construction: The shenai has a reed that is folded multiple times, this allows for the embodiment of four or six reeds. The reeds are made from folding a leaf and cutting it in shape, so that when its bound to the mouth piece, the reed spreads with equal amount of tongues on both-sides. Usually the shenai has a small piece of wool around the reed so that when tightened it can splay the reed further.

Citations: Bibliography: Ranade, Ashok Damodar 2006 ; Music contexts: a concise dictionary of Hindustani Music. Bibliophile South Asia – ISBN 81-85002-63-0 ; Hoiberg, Dale – Indu Ramchandani 2000 Students’ Britannica India. Popular Prakashan ; Websites:

Midjweh

Name: Midjweh.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Single.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.211.2
Specimens: 3 in collection.
Country: Egypt.
Region: Middle East & Mediterranean.

Description: The midjweh is an ancient folk clarinet found in the Nile region of Egypt. It has several analogue instruments that are found through out the Mediterranean Near East and as far away as western China. The midjweh has two identical pipes bound together and parallel sound holes. The midjweh is considered to be one of the oldest instruments of the Nile region. The midjweh player is often accompanied by another midjweh player or a drummer.

The Midjweh one of the reed-pipes referred to in the Bible, and depictions of the midjweh are found on the walls of the Egyptian funeral chambers. The midjweh is also known by a number of names including midjwiz and midjwiz. Many people confuse this instrument with the arghul that is a related instrument with only one melody pipe and a drone.

Playing Technique: The pipes are played in unison by placing the fingers across both pipes. Both reeds are totally enclosed in the mouth, and circular breathing is employed to create a continuous flow of air. Circular breathing is awkward on this instrument though, due to the depth that the reeds extend into the mouth, and this has resulted in related instruments, such as the pungi or bagpipes, having wind chambers. The reeds are made by a slight cut into a small section of cane with a closed nodal point.

The performer holds the midjweh with both hands nearly horizontally in front of him with the finger-holes up. The bulk of the reeds are situated inside the mouth cavity with the player’s lips creating a tight seal abound them. The first three fingers of one hand cover the top three finger-holes of both tubes, the first three fingers of the other hand the bottom three.

In order to finger both tubes simultaneously, the soft pads between the knuckles are used to cover the holes. The notes on the two pipes are purposefully tuned slightly apart from one another so as to produce an acoustic beat. The technique of circular breathing is used by performers to achieve a continuous flow of melody. Melodies are typically narrow in range. Each reed pipe is by itself not very loud, so having two of them sounding simultaneously increases the instrument’s volume.

Construction: The midjweh consists of two tubes, each made of three interlocking segments of reed fitted into one another. The longest segment is an open tube, it has s cylindrical bore. The midjweh has six equally distanced finger-holes in a row and lacks a thumb hole on the bottom side of the instrument. These two tubes are securely bound together with tarred cotton cord at three points along their length so that their lines of finger-holes run parallel to one another.

A short about 2 inches in length second section, likewise of two parallel tubes of cane, but with no finger-holes, is inserted into the top end of the finger-hole section. Separate 2-inch lengths of reed are then inserted into the top ends of the second section. These reed tubes, closed at their top end, have a deep back cut in them along much of their length to articulate a single flexible lamellae or idioglot reed, this instrument is classified as an idioglot because the reed is not a separate entity attached to the tube, but part of the tube itself.

Citations: Bibliography: Hassan, Scheherazade Qassim 2002 – “Musical Instruments in the Arab World.” In The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music v. 6. The Middle East. ed ; Virginia Danielson, Scott Marcus, and Dwight Reynolds. New York: Routledge, pp. 401-423 ; Marcus, Scott L. 2007 ; Music in Egypt: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. New York: Oxford University Press ; Marcuse, Sibyl. 1975. A Survey of Musical Instruments. New York: Harper and Row ; Morris, R. Conway. 1984. “‘Çifte [çifte].” NGDMI v.1: p. 369 ; Picken, Laurence. 1975. Folk Musical Instruments of Turkey. London: Oxford University Press ; Poché, Christian. 1984. “‘Mijwiz [midjwiz, miğwiz, mizwidj; mizwij]” NGDMI v.2: p. 661 ; Websites: Randy Raine-Reusch [Midjweh Article] @ asza.com ; Grinnell College Musical Instrument Collection [Midjweh article] ;

Serdam

Name: Serdam.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Duct > Ring.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.221.12
Country: South Sumatra & Jambi Sumatra, Indonesia.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The serdam is a duct flute that is found in South Sumatra and Jami Sumatra, Indonesia. The player utilizes circular breathing in performance. Playing the serdam often involves ornamentation in the melody and improvisation. On sad occasions the serdam is played when some one is dying or when a married woman longs for her home village or on certain days after a bereavement.

The serdam is about 50 cm in length. It is played in an oblique position. The duct is completed by a ring of bamboo a diameter wider than the flute its self. The ring its self is made from rattan. The distance of the finger holes is proportionate to the diameter of the bamboo.

Citations: Bibliography: Margret J. Kartomi, Stanley Sadie ~ New Grove Dictionary Of Music Vol, 3 Book P to Z Pages 347 ; Websites:

Shinobue

Name: Shinobue.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Transverse.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: Japan.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The shinobue [In Japanese, kanji 篠笛; also called “takebue” in kanji: 竹笛] it is a Japanese transverse flute or fue that has a high-pitched sound. It is found in hayashi and nagauta ensembles, and plays important roles in noh and kabuki theatre music. It is heard in Shinto music such as kagura-den and in traditional Japanese folk songs.

History: The shinobue was not originally devised in Japan, it is thought that “Ryuteki” was originally transmitted from Chinese mainland as gagaku flute was supposed to have spread and spread among the common people. During the 8th century [Nara period] and later the 9th century [Heian era] the flute was introduced to Nara, Shosoin, Miyagi prefecture, Natori City “Shimizu site”.

Excavated flutes have been studied, the scale and structure are slightly different from each other, and a unified view on the history of flute in Japan has not been obtained. The shinobue to be described later was developed by Yoshinori Fukuhara from the Taisho and the 6th generations from the Taisho era to the early Showa era, and the name “Shinobue” was also attached by Fifu Hoshino Kosuke 5th at that time.

The two styles uta [song] and hayashi [festival]. The uta is tuned to the chromatic scale, and can be played in ensembles or as a solo instrument. The Hayashi is not in the correct pitch, because it is simply a piece of hollow bamboo with holes cut into it. It emits a very high-pitched sound, and is appropriate for the festival/folk music of Japan. Both shinobue flutes play a very important role in the Japanese theatre.

Citations: Bibliography: David W. Hughes, Fue, Ongaku Daijiten / Encyclopedia of Music, Tokyo 1981 ; Stanley Sadie ~ New Grove Dictionary of Music, Vol, 3 Book P to Z Page 374 ; Websites: Taiko-shop.com / Fingering Chart of Shinobue ;