Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Duct.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.211.12
Region: Caucasus Region.
Description: The shvi [in Armenian: Շվի, “whistle” pronounced sh-vee] is a fipple flute with a labium mouth piece. Available in two sizes of varying length; 300 mm or 12 inches in length, The shvi typically has a range of an octave and a half. The tav shvi is made from apricot wood, it is up to 460 mm [18 inches] long, and is tuned 1/4 lower producing a more lyrical and intimate sound.
The shvi is up to 12 inches in length and is made of reed. It has 8 holes on the front, 7 of which are used while playing, and one thumbhole. One octave is obtained by blowing normally into the shvi and a second octave is attained by blowing with slightly more force.
The lower octave has a timbre similar to a recorder whereas the higher octave sounds similar to a piccolo or flute. 8-hole traditional flute. Typically, most Armenian duduk or zurna players learn the shvi before moving on to either instrument.
Construction: materials used, reed, willow bark, walnut wood.