Posted by Gary | Posted in Pan Pipes | Posted on 09-06-2010
Tags: pan flute, pan pipes, types of pan pipes
As you may have read in our article ‘origin of the panpipes‘ the instrument was being made across many different continents in its own unique way. Below, is a small summary of just some of the pan pipes produced. Each entry has the name and photograph of the instrument, its origins, its unique characteristics and an interesting fact that may surprise you!
Origin: Somewhere along the Andes!
Characteristics: Usually 13 pipes made from bamboo. Curved shape.
Interesting Fact: Traditionally played by only men or boys.
Origin: Unknown. However, popular in the Brianza region of Italy.
Characteristics: Curved shape with pipes decreasing in size from left to right. Usually contains around 24 pipes.
Interesting Fact: Difficult to obtain outside of Italy, the firlinfeu is kept alive by the “La Primavera” (translation: ‘the Spring Group’).
Characteristics: A free reed instrument (air flows past brass or silver placed inside the instrument). Usually between 14-16 pipes. The pipes are all connected with a small, hollowed-out reservoir into which the player blows.
Interesting Fact: According to Lao legend, the khene was created by a woman who was trying to imitate the sound of a garawek bird which she heard whilst walking through the forest one day. You can read more about the story here.
Characteristics: Contain various numbers of pipes. Many versions exist; the one sided kuvytsi has the pipe lengths in descending order whilst the two-sided has the largest pipe in the centre.
Interesting Fact: The oldest kuvytsi ever found is over 5000 years old!
Characteristics: Usually 22 pipes made from bamboo or reed. Curved with lower pipes on the left.
Interesting Fact: Often found in gypsy tarafs throughout Moldova.
Origin: Ancient China. The earliest surviving sample dates back to 6th century BC.
Characteristics: Differs from South American and European panpipes as the holes at the top are cut at an angle. This allows the pitch to be ‘bent’. Usually 16 tubes.
Interesting Fact: The Paixiao died out in ancient times but recent interest has seen the instrument being reborn during the 20th century.
|Zampoña (also known as the Siku)
Characteristics: Many different varieties but often made from bamboo and contain 13 pipes. Pipes split over two rows which the player must alternate between.
Interesting Fact: It is tradition that two people usually play the different rows on the same siku.
So, there are seven of the most popular pan pipe variations that can be found across the world. There are literally hundreds (if not thousands?) of different types of pan pipes so it would have been impossible to cover all of them! However, I hope those explained above whet your appetite to investigate this amazing instrument further.
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