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

Description: Stabule [or stebule, stabuļa] is a national woodwind musical instrument of Latvia. The name can apply to variety of wind instruments, but in general sense it is a pipe with 4-8 finger holes.

Varieties: A similar more simple type of stabule without finger holes can be made from willow bark. This type of instrument differs in that its end [opposite to mouthpiece] is plugged. The plug is generally meant for tuning the stabule, but sometimes also used as a slide to adjust tone while playing.

Construction: All bark stabules were usually made in spring when bark is looser – the features of the stabule are carved right on a fresh broom of willow and the bark is then slid off; the remaining branch is then used to make the fipple and, for the simpler type of stabules, the plug. Due to the natural shrinkage of bark they were short-lived. Stabule are typically 1.5 cm [internal core diameter] to 2.5 cm [exterior diameter] in diameter and can be anywhere from 20 cm to 40 cm in length. Stabules have either fipple or reed. Fipple stabule are usually constructed from wood; although in some areas clay and bark stabules of this type were made and bone stabules have been found by archaeologists.


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