- Andrew C. McGraw
Slit-reed aerophone of the Ende area of Flores, Indonesia. It is made from a naturally hollow papaya stem about 30 cm long and 2 cm in diameter. The growing stem extends nearly horizontally from the trunk for 30 or 40 cm before turning up abruptly for about 4 cm to support a dense leaf network. To construct the instrument, the stem is broken from the trunk and the leaves are mostly cut away, leaving their crown to close the tube. A short lengthwise slit is made at the inside of the curve of the stem. When the stem is blown at the open end, the slit opens and shuts rapidly to produce a loud, sharp tone. The length of the stem does not affect the pitch. The instrument is a child’s toy in Flores. Kunst suggested that a similar instrument, also a toy, exists in Java and is called the ...