Category Archives: Open



The open-ended or end-blown flute also called an edge-blown flute or rim-blown flute. These flutes are usually a keyless woodwind instrument played by directing an airstream against the sharp edge of the upper end of a tube. Unlike a recorder or tin whistle, there is not a ducted flue voicing, also known as a fipple.

Most rim-blown flutes are “oblique” flutes, being played at an angle to the body’s vertical axis. They generate sound by at this end blown voicing by siphon effect. A notched flute is an end-blown flute with a notch on the blowing surface. A lip-valley flute is a type of notched flute.

End-blown flutes are widespread in folk music and art music. In the Middle East and Mediterranean the ney is frequently used, constructed from reed. Depictions of early versions of the ney can be found in wall paintings in ancient Egyptian tombs, indicating that it is one of the oldest musical instruments in continuous use. Further, several ancient Persian artworks also depict the use of Ney in Persian traditional music.


Name: Floyara.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Open > Ended.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Country: Ukraine.
Region: Eastern Europe.

Description: The floyara [in Ukrainian: Флояра pronounced “floy-arka”]. It is open ended notched flute that is approximately a metre in length. The top end is bevelled, much like the Greek Flogera or Kaval. The floyara was often played at funerals in the Carpathian mountains. The floyarka is often called a frilka or sometimes zubivka in central Ukraine.

Playing Techniques: Shepherds were also able to accompany themselves with guttural humming which produced an ostinato tone or drone.

Construction: The floyarka is a smaller version of the floyara and is similar in length to the frilka. The floyara is approximately 60 cm [24 in] in length. The mouthpiece is bevelled in the same manner as the flogera or kaval. Six finger holes are drilled into the flute and spaced according to pitch.

Citations: Bibliography: Гуменюк, А. Українські народні музичні інструменти – Київ: Наукова думка, 1967 ; Humeniuk, A. Ukrainski narodni muzychni instrumenty – Kiev: Naukova dumka, 1967 ; Mizynec, V. Ukrainian Folk Instruments Melbourne: Bayda books, 1984 ; Cherkasky, L. – Ukrainski Narodni Muzyczni Instrumenty // Tekhnika, Kiev, Ukraine, 2003 – 262 pages, ISBN 966-575-111-5 ;


Name: Palendag.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Open > Ended.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Country: Philippines.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The palendag, also called Pulalu [in Manobo and Mansaka], Palandag [Bagobo], Pulala [Bukidnon] and Lumundeg [Banuwaen] is a type of Philippine bamboo flute, the largest one used by the Maguindanaon, a smaller type of this instrument is called the Hulakteb [Bukidnon]. For the Maguindanaon, the palendag was used for intimate gatherings for families in the evening.

Construction: The construction of the mouthpiece is such that the lower end is cut diagonally to accommodate the lower lip and the second diagonal cut is make for the blowing edge. Among the Bukidnon, a similar instrument with the same construction except that it is three-fourths the length of the palendag, is called the hulakteb.

Citations: Bibliography: Hans Brandeis – Musical Instruments for Individual Use. Music and Dance of the Bukidnon-s of Mindanao -A Short Introduction; Archived from the original on June 16, 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2006 ;


Name: Zybuvka.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Open > Ended.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Country: Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine.
Region: Eastern Europe.

Description: The zubivka [in Ukrainian: Зубівка, Hungarian: Beregfogaras] also known as a Skosivka, Skisna Dudka or Frukanka. The zubivka is considered one of the oldest folk wind instruments in Ukraine and is found primarily in the Carpathian region.

It was first described by wandering Arabic scholars in the 11th century. This instrument is very similar to the telenka. It is an open-ended flute. Played not unlike the floyara by having the breath break against the side of the pipe. This surface is wedge-shaped. The zubivka is usually approximately 60 cm [24 in] long.

Citations: Bibliography: [in Ukrainian] Гуменюк А. – Українські народні музичні інструменти – Київ: Наукова думка, 1967 р. Мизинец, В. – Українські народні інструменти – Мельбурн: книги Байди, 1984 р. Черкаський, Л. – Українські народні музичні інструменти // Техніка, Київ, Україна, 2003 р. 262 сторінки, ISBN 966-575-111-5 ; [in English] Gumenyuk A. – Ukrainian folk musical instruments – Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1967 Myzynets, V. – Ukrainian folk instruments – Melbourne: books by Baidy, 1984 Cherkassy, ​​L. – Ukrainian folk musical instruments // Technique, Kyiv, Ukraine , 2003 262 pages. ISBN 966-575-111-5 ;


Name: Quray.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Open > Ended.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Country: Republic Of Bashkortostan.
Region: Ural Mountains, Russian Federation.

Description: The quray [in Bashkir ҡурай, Tatar quray, “quˈrɑɪ”] is a long open end-blown flute with two to seven finger-holes, it is a national instrument among the Bashkirs and Tatars. The instrument is similar to the Mongolian chuur. On March 1, 2018 the Quray was registered as a territorial brand of Bashkortostan, a patent was received from the Federal Service for Intellectual Property of the Russian Federation

The most widespread kind of quray is a quray made from the stem of the umbelliferous plant, called urals edgepistil or Kamchatka pleurospermum [Pleurospermum uralense]. The stem of a quray is 2–3 metres [6 feet 7 inches–9 feet 10 inches] long. It flowers in July, then dries out in August–September. It is cut in September and kept it in a dry and dark place.

Types: The sor-quray – a sort of quray made by the Bashkirs who lived in the steppe where the natural quray does not grow. It is made of steppe grass and its length is not more than one meter, but it is wider in its diameter. The specialists say it was used for calling signals. 2] copper quray – a quray made from copper.

Construction: The length of a quray is about 510–810 mm to [20 inches to 32 inches]. The length is found by measuring 8-10 times the width of a palm encompassing the stem of a plant. The first hole must be done at four fingers distance from the top of the plant, the next three holes at two fingers distance from each other, the fifth at the back at three fingers distance from the fourth hole.

The diapason [range] of a quray consists of three octaves. The quray is used as a solo as well as an ensemble instrument. Now, a quray can be made from veneer. It is more stable and its sound is similar to the natural quray’s sound.

Citations: Bibliography: Seryogina, Olesya October 24, 2007. Musician’s Seven Kurais. Culture. BASHvest. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved December 26, 2007. Victor Belaiev 1963;


Name: Tsuur.
Type: Aerophones > Open > Ended > Flutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Country: Mongolia.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The tsuur [in Mongolian], choor [in Kyrgyz] or chuur [in Tuvan] is an end-blown flute of varying lengths that is common among Inner Asian pastoralists. It is similar to the syzygy [Kazakh] and quray [Bashkir]. In western Mongolia it is mainly used by the Altai Uriankhai people, although other ethnic groups like the Kazakhs and the Tuvans are known to play them or have played them. There are only three to five holes.

The Uriankhai called the Tsuur the “Father of Music”. A three-holed pipe was in use in Mongolia in the 18th century and was believed to possess the magical properties of bringing Lamb’s bones back to life. In the Jangar epic of the 14th century the Tsuur is said to have had a voice like a swan.

This reference may also be indirectly a very early reference to khöömii as the singing style sung with the Tsuur is Khailakh. Traditional Mongolian Tsuur music was added to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2009.

Repertoire: The melodies that are played on the Tsuur are usually imitations of the sound of water, animal cries and birdsongs as heard by shepherds whilst on the steppes or the mountain slopes of the Altai.

Construction: The Tsuur is usually immersed in water before playing in order to seal any leaks in the wood.

Citations: Bibliography: Chuluunbaatar, Otgonbayar 2013: The Cuur as Endangered Musical Instrument of the Urianxai Ethnic Group in the Mongolian Altai Mountains ;


Name: Svirel.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Open > Ended.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Country: Russia.
Region: Eastern Europe.

Description: Svirel [in Russian: свирель, Svirel] is an old folk Russian wind instrument of the end-blown flute type. Classification: Aerophone-Whistle Flute-recorder. In the Old Rus’ this instrument was made either of hollow reed or cylindrical wood branches. A legend says that Lel’, son of the Slavic goddess of love Lada was a svirel player.

In spring he would make his svirel of birch branches. The traditional Russian svirel has not yet been studied well enough. Specialists have long tried to relate the present day’s pipe instruments to their Old Russian names. Most often the chroniclers used three names for this type instruments: svirel, sopel (sopilka) and tsevnitsa.

History: Two such pipes were found during archeological excavations of the Old Novgorod in 1951-1962. One of them dating back to the late 11th century is 22.5 cm [approximately 9 inches] in length and has four finger-holes. The second pipe dating to the early 15th century is 19 cm [approximately 7.5 inches] long and has only three holes. However, it is difficult to say whether the Old Russian svirel was a double or a single pipe: there is no data about this preserved.

The names of these similar instruments of the Russian, Ukrainians and Belarusians are often mixed. N. I. Privalov fixed the name svirel to the double pipe, because this is how the instrument was called in Smolensk region, the major area of its popularity. This being the case the single svirel came to be called sopel. Nowadays svirel is more and more often referred to the end-blown flute type instrument with a whistle device nested into its upper part.

Citations: Websites ; “Svirel”. The Metropolitan Museum of Art ; Svirel, Ancient Russian Pipe, ;


Name: Supelka.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Open > Ended.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Country: North Macedonia.
Region: Balkans & South Eastern Europe.

Description: The Šupelka [in Macedonian: шупелка, or in Latin script Šupelka, in API: ‘ʃupɛɫka] is a Macedonian traditional woodwind instrument very similar to the kaval. It is mostly made of walnut, cornel, ash, or maple wood. The šupelka plays a chromatic scale ranging up towards a range of two octaves, with the exception of the first note of the lower octave. In the lower register, the šupelka gives a soft and pleasant sound, while the upper register tone is sharp and high-pitched.

The instrument represents a chromatic end-blown flute with openings on both sides of the cylindrical form. The upper opening serves for blowing [called ustinje or rez], with narrow sharp edges to tear the air and complete the sound. On its front side, the šupelka has six playing holes, although there are some šupelka’s with seven playing holes. While playing the šupelka it is held with both hands, leaning to the left about 45 degrees towards the vertical.

Its length varies between 240 mm and 350 mm. The tone is produced by blowing a hole with slimmed and rounded edges [ustinje], so that the mouth covers the hole for about three quarters. The musical repertoire of the instrument consists of improvising traditional melodies, as a background instrument in musical performances imitating the sounds of other instruments used in the Macedonian traditional music.

Considered to be primarily a sheepherder’s instrument, the šupelka is widespread in Macedonia. The šupelka receives its name from the Macedonian word shupliv [in Macedonian: шуплив], meaning hollow. It has also many similarities with the Arabic woodwind instruments gasba, used in Tunisia and Algeria.

Citations: Bibliography: “Народни инструменти – Шупелка” [in Macedonian] translation in English as “Folk Instruments Shupelka” 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2014 ; Боривоје Џимревски 2000. Шупелката во Mакедонија [in Macedonian]. Институт за фолклор “Марко Цепенков“. ISBN 9989-642-09-5 ; “Народни инструменти – дувачки – Шупелка” [in Macedonian], – Traditional Instruments in Macedonia [in Macedonian] Skopje, Macedonia: Makedonska Kniga 1986 ;


Name: Washint.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Open > Ended.
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] ;


Name: Kaliyuka.
Type: Aerophones > Open > Ended > Flutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.111.12
Country: Russia.
Region: Eastern Europe.

Description: The kalyuka [or Kolyuka in Russian: Калюка, Колюка] is a Russian and Ukrainian overtone flute, lacking playing holes. In Eastern traditions, Kalyuka were played on summer evenings after the hay was harvested from suitable crops with a scythe.

The kalyuka player was often accompanied by percussionists who kept pace with the melody. The existence of the tradition was uncovered in 1980 by students of the Moscow and St. Petersburg Conservatories.

Playing Technique: The upper end of the Kalyuka is open, and although it has a built-in fipple to produce sound, a player should also partly close the opening of the tube with the tongue. The lower end of the tube is also open and occasionally there is a small side hole near the end. The side hole and/or end are opened and closed while playing to produce different notes [like the Slovak Koncovka]. Higher tones are reached through over blowing.

Construction: Traditionally, Kalyukas were made from hollow plant stems, such as Motherwort, or Angelica. Modern versions of the instrument are usually made from PVC [Poly Vinyl Chloride] an inexpensive and durable substitute.

Citations: Bibliography ; Иванов А.Н. Волшебная флота южнорусского фольклора. Сохранирование и возведение фольклорных традиций. 2-е издание. Москва, 1993 ; Банин А.А. Русская инструментальная музыка фольклорной традиции. Москва, 1997. с.85 ; Ivanov A.N. The magical flute of South Russian folklore. Preservation and erection of folklore traditions. 2nd edition. Moscow, 1993; Banin A.A. Russian instrumental music of folk tradition. Moscow, 1997. p.85 ;