Category Archives: Vessel



Name: Bojita.
Type: Idiophones > Percussions > Struck.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 111.11
Country: Cuba.
Region: Caribbean, Central America.

Description: The botija [botijuela or bunga] is a Caribbean musical instrument of the aerophone type. The botija is a potbellied earthenware jug or jar with two openings and was used in the early son sextetos in Cuba as a bass instrument. The botija was used to hold kerosene brought from Spain.

Botijas were also used as a means to hide money underground. They were buried to prevent humidity from reaching the floors. Bojita were blown into producing a sound, during performance not unlike the jug as in Appalachian jug-bands. Classifying this instrument as a plosive idiophone.

Bojito in Use: Later, botijas were dug up and used as musical instruments in the late 19th century in the Caribbean island of Cuba. During the first stages of development of the Cuban Son. The music’s defining characteristic was a pulsing or anticipated bass that falls between the downbeat, leading to the creation of many bass instruments including the botija. Other instruments included a marímbula, serrucho, contrabass and bajo.

Other bass instruments were used according to the size of the musical arrangement or timbre of the bass instrument needed. The marímbula, for example, was used mainly for smaller ensembles.



Vessel Flutes, in the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system vessel flutes are those whose body behaves as a Helmholtz resonator. Such a body on these instruments are vessel shaped in the following designs, egg shaped as in the Chinese Xun, cone shaped as in the Ocarina. Types of vessel flutes: These flutes have a fipple to direct the air at an edge. This side of the vessel flute sub-category includes the Gemshorn, Pifana, Ocarina, Molinukai, Tonnette and Niwawu. Behaviour of vessel flutes: When a vessel flute is played; the air in the body of a vessel flute resonates as one. With the air moving alternately in and out of the vessel, and pressure inside the vessel increasing and decreasing. Blowing across the opening of empty bottle produces a basic edge-blown vessel flute. Multi-note vessel flutes include the ocarina.


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 bayin [eightfold system] 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 mouthpiece, 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] ;