Type: Single Reed > Aerophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 422.211.2
Region: Aegean, Mediterranean & Middle East.
Description: The sipsi (pronounced [sipˈsi]) is a Turkish woodwind instrument. It is a clarinet-like, single-reed instrument used mainly in folk music. The word “sipsi” is possibly onomatopoeic. The sipsi is one of many reed instruments in Turkey used to play lead melodies in instrumental folk music. It is generally played in the Western part in the Aegean Region of Turkey. Most folk tunes played in this area with the sipsi are in 9/8 time signature.
Definition: The Turkish Language Society lists “sipsi” as 1. Ağaç dallarından yapılan düdük – a whistle or flute made from the branch of a tree. 2. Gemici düdüğü, Sailor’s while or pipe 3. Zurnanın dudaklara gelen kamış bölümü. The reed section that fits into the opening “lips” of a zurna.
Playing Technique: Musicians who perform on the sipsi use circular breathing as one would see in parallel other similar reed instruments.
Construction: The sipsi can be made of bone, wood, or reed, though the reed variant is most common. Its size varies from region to region, but it generally contains five finger holes in the front, and one finger hole in the back.
Citations: Akdeniz, Tayyar “Sipsi- Turkish Music Instruments- Folk Tours”. Folk Tours. Folk Tours LLC. Retrieved 2011-09-28 ; Reinhard, Kurt; Martin Stokes ; “Turkey: II Folk Music, 4 Instrumental Music”. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 2011-09-29 ;