Tag Archives: Reeds



Name: Tangmuri.
Type: Aerophones > Shawm > Reeds.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Meghalaya State, India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: The tangmuri [or “ka tangmuri” as it is called in the Khasi language]. It is a double-reed conical-bore wind-instrument played by the Hynniew Trep people of Meghalaya State in North-East India.

The tangmuri is used by musicians playing for traditional dances, and for other traditional rituals, such as cremations performed according to the indigenous religion, Niam Khasi. The tangmuri delivers a very high pitched sound when played by the musician.

Construction: The instrument consists of a turned conical-bore wooden chanter, about 20 cm in length. This instrument has seven finger-holes on the front, and a separate flared wooden bell turned 15 cm long.

The turned wooden bell is fitted directly onto to the chanter by a push-fit. The double-reed is tied onto a thin conical-bore metal tube 3.0 cm in length, which is wound with thread to hold it in place in the chanter.



Name: Taepyeongso.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Korea.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The taepyeongso [in Hangul 태평소 in Hanja 太平簫] literal translation “big peace wind instrument” it also called hojok, hojeok 호적 號笛 / 胡笛, nallari, or saenap, 嗩吶] is a Korean double reed wind instrument in the shawm or oboe family, probably descended from the Persian zurna and closely related to the Chinese suona. It originated during the Goryeo period [918 – 1392].

Construction: It has a conical wooden body made from yuja [citron], daechu [jujube, Ziziphus jujuba Mill. ] or mulberry wood [Morus alba L. 1753], with a metal mouthpiece and cup-shaped metal bell.

Citations: Bibliography ; Discography ; Websites ;


Name: Sralai.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Cambodia.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The sralai [in Khmer: ស្រឡៃ sralai] is a wind instrument used in the pinpeat royal court orchestra of Cambodia. Its quadruple reed is made of palm leaf, and its body has a slightly conical bore. Belonging to the conical bore double / multiple reed family of wood-wind instruments.

The instruments used in the pinpeat tune to the sralai’s pitch. Circular breathing is required to maintain the long notes through the performed melodies. The sralai is very similar in construction and playing technique to the Thai pi.



Name: Sarunai.
Type: Aerophones > Shawms > Reeds.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia & Malaysia.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The Sarunai is a shawm, belonging to the multiple reed group of reed aerophones. It is primarily played in Sumatra Indonesia and neighbouring Malaysia. It is related to the Arabic zurna in it basic design.

Varieties: In Minangkabau, West Sumatra, the sarunai consists of a double reed of palm leaf lamellae inserted into a metal ring. The reed assembly is then fitted into the top of the instrument. The bell is made of water buffalo [Bubalus bubalis] horn attached to the front end of the instrument. Two conically bored pipes are fitted with a wooden or metal ring. Alternatively a piece of rice stalk is fitted into an open piece of bamboo about 23 cm in length. A “U” shaped slit is cut into the top of a stalk t serve as a reed. Four finger holes are cut into the bamboo tube.

Citations: Bibliography: New Grove Dictionary of Music by Stanley Sadie Volume 3, P to Z pages 301 / 302 Sarunai ; A.D. Jansen: Gonrang Music: Its Structure and Functions in Simalungun Batak Society in Sumatra, diss. University of Washington, 1980 ; Margaret J. Kartomi ; Dualism in Unity: the Ceremonial Music of the Mandailing Raja Tradition, Asian Music, xii/2, 1981 ; Lyn Moore with Jack Percival Baker Dobbs ;


Name: Piri.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Korea.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The piri [in Hangul; 피리 piri] is a Korean double reed instrument, used in both the folk and classical [court] music of Korea. It is made of bamboo. Its large reed and cylindrical bore gives it a sound mellower than that of many other types of oboe.

In the typical piri, there are eight finger holes on the bamboo body. Seven of the finger holes are on the front and one is on the back for the thumb. The piri’s equivalent in China is the guan [also known as bili] and its counterpart in Japan is the hichiriki.

History: Piri is thought to have been introduced to Korea from a country bordering west of China before Goguryeo period. According to Suseo [수서; 隋書] the piri was also known as gagwan [가관; 笳管] and it originates from Kucha. During the reign of King Yejong of Goryeo dynasty, another double-reed cylindrical instrument was imported from Song dynasty China, and to disambiguate, the former was named hyang piri and the latter dang piri. Se piri is smaller than hyang piri but has the same structure and range. Se piri appears to be invented much later than hyang piri.

Types: There are four types of piri; each type of piri has a use specific to the music being performed. The Hyang piri is the longest and most common out of all piris. Because of its loud and nasal tone, it usually plays the main melody in an ensemble. The se piri is the smaller, thinner, and much quieter one. Additionally, because of its quiet tone, it is used along with voices or soft stringed instruments. The Dang / Tang piri is wider and is similar to the Chinese guanzi instrument. Additionally, the dae piri is a modernized piri, with keys and a bell, looking much more like a western oboe.

Piri Family
Names Hangul Hanja Translation
Hyang Piri 향피리 鄕–
Se Piri 세피리 細–
Dang Piri 당피리 唐–
Dae Piri 대피리

Citations: Bibliography: “Piri – Korean tubular double reed”. World Instrument Gallery. Retrieved 17 September 2012. – 《국악개론》, 전인평, 현대음악출판사 “Introduction to Korean Music”, Jeonin Inpyeong, Hyundai Music Publishing Co.,283p《국악통론》, 서한범, 태림출판사, Korean Traditional Songs”, Seo Han Bum, Taerim Publishing Co. p. 195 ;


Name: Sopila.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Croatia.
Regions: Balkans & South East Europe.

Description: The sopile [or roženice, as it is called in Istria] is an ancient traditional woodwind instrument of Croatia, similar to the shawm or oboe. It is used in the regions of Kvarner, Kastav, Vinodol, Island Krk, and Istria. Sopile are always played in pairs so there are great and small or thin and fat sopila.

Sopile are musical instrument of sound very interesting possibilities and very piercing special sound. This is replicated in more modern examples of Kvarner music through use of modified double reed clarinet or soprano Dulzaina. Sopile are, by “mih” and “šurle,” today very popular in folk tradition of Istria, Kvarner and Island Krk.

The sopila is a wooden horn originating from Istria and some of the northern islands along the Adriatic Coast of Croatia. Like oboes, sopilas have double reeds, but are always played in pairs; one larger than the other. Both have six finger holes, being equally spaced on the smaller one, and set in groups of three on the larger one. Often used to accompany dancing, the voice of the sopila is that of the Istrian scale.

Roženice are ancient traditional musical instruments which continue to be used today in the region of Istria. Roženice are very similar to sopile from Island Krk. Roženice are always played in pairs so there are great and small or thin and fat rozenica. Roženice have a very piercing special sound, and have the possibility of producing a variety of sounds. Roženice are, by “mih” and “šurle”, today very popular in folk tradition of Istra.



Name: Pilili.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Georgia.
Region: Caucasus.

Description: Pilili is reed wind instrument in Adjara in the West of Georgia. During performances and dances It is accompanied often by a doli [drum].

Tuning: D1 / E1 / F1 / G1 / A1 / B1 / C2

Construction: It is a pipe of 25-30cm in length. It has five to seven finger holes. The main components include the bore. The bore is made from plum tree [prunus] and elder [Sambucus nigra] which features the finger holes. The reed is double reed as seen on related instrument [Turkish / Azeri Zurna].

Citations: Websites: Georgian Folk Music Instruments [Pilili Article].


Name: Pi.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Shawm.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Thailand.
Region: South East Asia.

Description: The Pi [in Thai: ปี่, pronounced [pìː] is the generic term for any of a variety of quadruple reed oboes used in the traditional music of Thailand, piphat. It is very similar in construction and playing technique to the Cambodian sralai.

Varieties: Pi chawa [ปี่ชวา] The pi chawa is pi song thon [ปี่สองท่อน], [pi that consist of two parts] like the pi chanai, but longer. It is made from wood or ivory. It is presumed Thais took on introducing the pi chawa as same time as the glong khaek. From some evidence, they used pi chawa in Krabuan Phayuhayattra [กระบวนพยุหยาตรา, military march] in the pre-Ayutthaya period. The pi chawa today is used mostly during funeral rites.

Pi chum [ปี่จุม] A pi chum [in Thai: ปี่จุม] is a musical instrument from northern Thailand. It is like an oboe. It is found in the provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampoon and Lampang. People play a pi chum for their activity. The word “chum” in Thai means “group”, so when people play a pi chum, they play as a group.

Pi klang [ปี่กลาง]
Pi mon [ปี่มอญ]
Pi nai [ปี่ใน]

Pi nok [ปี่นอก] The pi nok is smallest among pi nok, klang and nai. The pi nok has been played since the ancient times.

Pi chanai [ปี่ไฉน] The pi chanai is pi song thon [ปี่สองท่อน, pi that consists of two parts]. The body part is called lao pi [เลาปี่], the mouthpiece part is called “lamphong” [ลำโพง]. Both parts are made from wood or ivory. It is presumed that the Thais obtained this musical influence from India due to its similarity to the Indian shehnai. Pi have been used in Thai since the Sukhothai period. At present, it is played together with the pi chawa in parades and in concerts.

An entirely different instrument, a bamboo free reed pipe called pi chum [ปี่จุม], is used by the Lanna of Northern Thailand.

Construction: The body of the pi chum is made from bamboo. The pipe and the reed are made from copper. A pi chum has seven holes on the body that are used to set the tone of played,There are four types of pi chum that are separated by size, length and voice.

The first one is the pi mae [in Thai: ปี่แม่] which has a length of 70 cm to 80 cm. It is larger than other pi chums and has a bass voice. The second one is the pi krang [in Thai: ปี่กลาง], which is smaller than the pi mae. It has a length of 60 cm to 65 cm.

The pi has a balanced voice. The third one is pi koy [in Thai: ปี่ก้อย], which is smaller than the pi krang but bigger than the pi tad. It has a length of 45 cm to 55 cm. The voice of the pi koy is treble. The last type is the pi tad [in Thai: ปี่ตัด] or pi lek [in Thai: ปี่เล็ก], which is the smallest pi chum. It has a length 35–40 cm.

The voice of pi tad is treble but higher than the pi koy. A group that has all four instruments is called a ‘pi chum si’ [in Thai: ปี่จุมสี่] and a group that has three instruments is called a ‘pi chum sarm’ [in Thai: ปี่จุมสาม].



Name: Hne.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Myanmar [Burma].
Region: South-East Asia.

Description: The hne [in Burmese: နှဲ; also spelled as hnè] is a conical shawm of double reed used in the music of Myanmar. The earliest extant written occurrence of the word hne dates to 1491 AD and is likely a Middle Mon loan word, derived from sanoy. The hne is used in an ensemble together with xylophone, tuned gongs, and tuned drums.

There are two distinct types of hne: the smaller form is called the hne galay [နှဲကလေး] whilst the larger is called the hne gyi [နှဲကြီး]. The former is used for songs in the ordinary key of the diatonic major scale, while the latter is used for grand style songs in the subdominant mode.

Construction: The hne has a sextuple reed [called hnegan], made from the young leaf of the toddy palm [Borassus flabellifer L.] which is soaked for six months. The body of the hne is made of wood, with a conical bore and seven finger holes at the front, set in a straight line, with a bell [ချူ, chu] hung at the top. It has a flaring metal bell and has a loud tone.

Citations: Bibliography: Okell, John 1971 The Burmese Double-Reed “Nhai”. Asian Music. University of Texas Press. 2 : pp 25–31 ; Khin Zaw 1940. Burmese Music [A Preliminary Enquiry]. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. School of Oriental and African Studies. 10 -3: 738 ;


Name: Rhaita.
Type: Aerophones > Reeds > Shawms.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.112
Country: Morocco.
Region: North Africa.

Description: The rhaita or ghaita [in Arabic: غيطة rhaita‎] is a double reed instrument from North Africa. It is nearly identical in construction to the Arabic mizmar and the Turkish zurna. The distinctive name owes to a medieval Gothic-Iberian influence. In southern Iberia, various sorts of wind instruments, including the related shawm, are known as rhaita, but in northern Iberia gaita refers only to bagpipes.

Citations: Bibliography: Dictionnaire des musiques et danses traditionnelles de la Mediterranée, Paris, Fayard, 2005 articles on gaita and ghayta ; Pierre Bec, Les instruments de musique d’origine arabe, sens et histoire de leurs désignations, Toulouse, Isatis, Conservatoire Occitan 2005 ;