Lamzdeliai

Name: Lamzdeliai.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Duct.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 421.211.12
Country: Lithuania.
Region: Baltic & North Eastern Europe.

Description: Lamzdeliai are traditional wind instruments as played in Lithuania. The instrument was popular during night, herding, at young people’s gatherings and weddings. Lamzdeliai are used to play improvised herding melodies—raliavimai, ridovimai and tirliavimai.

Herders calmed their animals with these melodies, or they imitated the sounds of nature and birds. Lamzdeliai were first mentioned by J. Bretkūnas in 1580. Other tunes played on the pipes were sutartines, songs, and contemporary dances [polka, waltz, mazurka, quadrille, and march].

Traditional lamzdeliai are made of either bark or wood. The bark pipe [zieves lamzdelis] is made in the springtime of a willow, aspen or pine sprout. The bark is pealed off the of the main branch used to make the pipe. The blowing end is closed off with a stopper made from the wood, with one side cut off. At the place where the stopper ends, a whistle hole is cut into the bark, and one end of the hole is bent slightly inwards.

Three to six finger holes are cut in the pipe. Wooden pipes are made of ash or linden wood. The bark is removed, and the instrument is hollowed out by burning, drilling or carving. The blowing hole, whistle hole and finger holes are made in the same way as for the bark pipes. Lamzdeliai are usually tuned to a diatonic major scale. The timbre is soft and breathy, but when the instrument is blown too strongly, the sound becomes sharp and shrill.

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