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Yugoslav double whistle music

Jack Campin 19 May 10 - 09:14 AM
Mr Happy 19 May 10 - 09:18 AM
Jack Campin 19 May 10 - 09:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 May 10 - 10:39 AM
Jack Campin 19 May 10 - 10:58 AM
Stringsinger 19 May 10 - 05:52 PM
Jack Campin 24 May 10 - 08:07 PM
Bill D 24 May 10 - 08:33 PM
Jack Campin 26 May 10 - 11:31 AM
Jack Campin 26 May 10 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Ana 26 May 10 - 11:39 PM
Jack Campin 10 Dec 10 - 08:05 PM
Jack Campin 21 Mar 11 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 22 Mar 11 - 05:38 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 15 - 12:14 PM
Mrrzy 03 Oct 15 - 05:31 PM
Mrrzy 03 Oct 15 - 06:34 PM
Jack Campin 03 Oct 15 - 06:57 PM
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Subject: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:14 AM

I'm just back from holiday in Croatia and Bosnia. You see wooden whistles on street stalls everywhere; often they're quite well made. There are three basic types, two variants of the usual six-hole whistle and a double one. The latter always seem to be in C, three holes for the left hand and four for the right, giving notes C D E F / C D E F G. They overblow to the octave easily.

But I couldn't find any music for them, either on paper or recordings. My guess is that these double whistles were meant to play an instrumental form of the archaic "ganga" singing, but I didn't find any recordings of that, either.

Anybody know of anything?

(Yes, I said "Yugoslav" on purpose - these instruments are found all over the former Yugoslavia and have no ethnic specificity. At a guess they were invented by one of the oldest peoples to live in the Balkans, before the Romans and Slavs arrived).


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:18 AM

I've a wood whistle given me by a fiend who'd visited eastern Europe.

It has 5 holes


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:58 AM

5 holes is unusual - the only type I know like that is the Moldavian kaval (never less than two feet long, sometimes over3 feet). Search "moldvai kaval" on YouTube. Is that what you've got?


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 May 10 - 10:39 AM

There were lots of 5 hole whistles for sale in souvenier shops in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I picked one up and was instantly targetted by the saleman. When I explained that the whistles I play had 6 holes he offered to put an extra one in:-)

I declined.

DeG


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 May 10 - 10:58 AM

I have discovered a feature that changes my ideas about what the double whistle is for.

It will overblow at the twelfth as well as the octave. So the full scale goes

(left) C D E F / c d e f / g a b c'
(right) C D E F G / c d e f g / g a b c' d'

It's a three-hole pipe with seven holes.

With a bit of ingenuity you can even blow at different pressures for the two sides so they play in different harmonics.

A pretty sophisticated seven quids' worth of peasant woodwork.

It could probably do morris dance tunes.


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 May 10 - 05:52 PM

I think that the whistle in question is called a "Fruli". Pronounced "froo-lee".


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 May 10 - 08:07 PM

I have checked in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, which mentions this instrument in several chapters. Not a "fruli", that's a single-bore whistle - the word for the double one is "dvojnice" in most of the former Yugoslavia, "dvojanka" in Macedonia. Its primary use was for calling cattle.

Unfortunately the encyclopedia didn't include any transcriptions or CD tracks of it.

Hmm. I see there are pictures and mp3s on the web and a few YouTube videos, now I know what the word is. Enough to get me started on it.


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Bill D
Date: 24 May 10 - 08:33 PM

Jack... Mark Gilston knows some stuff about such instruments. He was in the Peace Corps in the Balkans, and is an amazing instrumentalist, though he is doing more dulcimer work at present. I have heard him play double-flutes and such at one time.

He plays Gaida quite well, and really understands the music. He is on Facebook, and other places and I suppose he might have been one you saw on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 May 10 - 11:31 AM

Somebody who knows how to play it:

Nenad Zekanovic


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 May 10 - 11:49 AM

And some more. This is in the style of "ganga" singing that I expected to find:

Joso Nimac

And this must be derived from the cattle-calling use of the instrument, though he calls it a dance tune:

an old man playing in an odd style with subvocalizations


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: GUEST,Ana
Date: 26 May 10 - 11:39 PM

The instrument is called a Frula in Serbia, and the place to find songs and information about it is the eefc.org discussion list.

There are plenty of folks there who will have lots of opinions and hopefully music to share. It's sort of the mudcat of Eastern European music for the US.


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 08:05 PM

Another sample of it - at 3:08 in the middle of this dramatic Bosnian ritual wolf-hunting dance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebGAOunAygA


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Mar 11 - 08:11 PM

Another shepherd (I guess) playing it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aVz9UYOK1w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYvB6kX7uNA

It's a gentle sound in a rather indefinite rhythm. Presumably because sheep are easily frightened. There isn't much music of such archaic function and character on the web, from anywhere.

The videos are by a man with the same surname as the player - maybe his son?


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 22 Mar 11 - 05:38 AM

Thanks for those, Jack. My introduction to music was via a single 6-hole carved wooden whistle flute given to me by my grandparents as a souvenir of their holiday in Yugoslavia back in 1968 when I was six or seven. The thing I remember is being laughed out of the school recorder class on thinking this qualified me to join, then, in later years, finding pastoral pleasure in its singular breathy scale. I still have it, and it still finds its way into my music, as it does in the closing section of Totentanz.

Over the years I've picked up a few double whistles, and have a very fine example brought back by a friend who worked out there during the troubles, but regret that I didn't buy the one I saw in an Edinburgh antique shop back in 1994 - can't even remember the shop (somewhere off the Royal Mile), but the whistle was beautifully carved, and very dark.


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 15 - 12:14 PM


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Oct 15 - 05:31 PM

I'll ask my uncle, from the former Yugoslavia.


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Oct 15 - 06:34 PM

From Uncle Steve (civil engineers know him) via Serbiwiki:

Dvojnice ili svirale (an alternate name?) su narodni duvački (is a national wind) instrument. Sastoji se od dve cevi izrađene jedna uz drugu od istog komada drveta (it consists of two tubes, both [carved] from the same piece of wood) najčešće šimširovog. Gornji kraj cevi, u koji se duva (the upper tube, into which one blows ...) istesan je zajedno. Svaka cev ima pisak i rupice (each tube has ... and holes). Desna cev ima jednu rupicu više od leve (the right tube has one more hole than the left one) i svira se dvoglasno (and one plays it with two sounds?).
Dvojnice su obično izvana ukrašene (usually decorated with ...) šarama izrezbarenih, obojene žutim mastilom (yellow ink) i sl. Kao izrazito pastirski instrument rasprostranjene su širom Balkana (as an genuine pastoral instrument it is distributed the width of the Balkans). Služe za pratnju pesama i plesova, najviše kola (it is used to accompany songs and dances, most often kolos [the national dance in circles, very similar to the Israeli hora]).


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Subject: RE: Yugoslav double whistle music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Oct 15 - 06:57 PM

the right tube has one more hole than the left one

Usually. This seems to be regionally variable, some places insist on the other way round.

Both videos I linked to have gone. I seem to remember they were filmed in a sheepfold on a hill. I should have mentioned the players' names when making the link.


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