Alboka

Name: Alboka.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Hornpipes.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 422.211.2
Country: Basque.
Region: Iberian Peninsula & Western Europe.

Description: The Basque alboka is a single-reed woodwind instrument consisting of a single reed, two small diameter melody pipes with finger holes and a bell traditionally made from animal horn. Additionally, a reed cap of animal horn is placed around the reed to contain the breath and allow circular breathing for constant play. In basque language alboka player have the name albokari.

Although native to the Basque region, similar instruments can be found around Spain including Madrid [gaita serrana], Asturias [turullu] and Castile and Andalusia [gaita gastorena]. But in those cases they only have a single pipe. The name is derived from the Arabic “al-bûq” [البوق], which means “the trumpet” or “the horn”.

The alboka was established in Spain by the end of the 13th-century. Representations of it can be found in the “Poema de Alexandre” and surviving medieval sculptural church decorations

Construction: The alboka has two cane pipes, a wood handle, and a horn at each end. It may be descended from the Moroccan double hornpipe, which has two cane pipes, each cane pipe is fitted with a cow horn.

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