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date: 13 November 2019


  • Scheherazade Qassim Hassan


Duct flute of the Near East. The term was formerly a generic name for all wind instruments but is now used only for duct flutes, sometimes known loosely as nāy, shamshāl, or shabbāba. The māsūl varies in length from 10 to 55 cm, and can be made from baked clay, wood, or reed. The baked clay flute (in Arabic māsūla and in Syriac sfūrta) is sometimes replaced by a plastic instrument about 10 cm long, with three fingerholes; it is used only by children. The wooden flute from Mandali in northeast Iraq is known by the Kurds as a blūr (or bluir), dudak, or pīk. It is made from walnut or apricot wood, about 55 cm long, and has six fingerholes and one thumbhole. It is played by Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmens, both young and old, for private entertainment, to accompany songs, and at religious festivals. In Syria the instrument is made from wood or reed and is sometimes known as the ...

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