Monday, 1 June 2015

Belarusian National Instrument

Bagpipe or "Duda"
18 Mar 2015 | From Helen of Belarus

The Belarusian Duda is a musical instrument of complex design with the following necessary parts: leather bag, and no less that three pipes of different size: "soska"('nipple"), "perabor"("finger runs") and "huk"("sound"). It is extremely well known and wide spread in the territories we now call Belarusian at least in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th, then almost forgotten after WWII. It has been brought to live again starting from 1980s.

The bag is usually created from the skin of badger, goat or calf. The skin was stitched with the fur in and had only single minimal seam (double stitch). An additional leather band is stitched on top of double stitch to air-seal the bag. Two holes were left open - neck and behind - then bag was turned inside out with fur out. The soska is a small maple pipe gradually narowing to the top. It was used to blow air inside the bag. The perabor is used to play the melody. The huk is made from a large maple stick with 'pishchyk' (goose feather or a straw) and 'rahaven' (horn).

Two general types of bagpipes were known on described territories: in the Middle Ages these were so called “medieval bagpipes”, spread all over the Europe of the time and disappeared together with a chivalry culture. But later on, in ethnographic period we found another type of bagpipes, even several of them. These are a single-drone bagpipe with a wood carved horns on a chanter and a drone (the most famous nowadays), a two-drones bagpipe (not too much is known about it) and dudá-maciánka with at least three drones and no horns. 

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