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date: 17 October 2019

Bālābān [balaman, yasti balaman, duduk]locked

  • Jean During,
  • Johanna Spector,
  • Scheherazade Qassim Hassan
  •  and Mark Slobin


[balaman, yasti balaman, duduk]

(1) Cylindrical oboe of the Caucasus (particularly Azerbaijan), northern Iran and north-east Iraq. In northern Iran the bālābān is also known by its older Turkish name nerme ney or mey. It has a cylindrical wooden pipe, a broad reed and eight finger-holes, giving the scale E♭ (with an A♮). The warm, full tone of the bālābān is often used with the choghur (lute) and qāvāl (frame drum) to accompany the singing of an ‘āshiq (poet-singer); it is also played solo, and in pairs with one instrument providing a drone.

The Azerbaijani balaban is 28 to 31 cm long and made of mulberry or apricot wood. The reed is 9 to 11 cm long and is inserted into the globular head. The older balaban had five to seven finger-holes, while contemporary instruments have eight finger-holes and one thumb-hole. Sometimes an additional hole is made in the lower end of the tube at the back....

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The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments