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date: 15 November 2019


  • Reidar Sevåg


Side-blown harmonic duct flute of Norway. It is traditionally a tube of willow bark about 60 cm long, without fingerholes. A wooden plug, carved with a sloping duct, is inserted into the proximal end. The player holds the instrument transversely and blows into the duct, which directs the air stream at a right angle to a mouth in the side of the tube. The player mixes open and stopped notes by opening and closing the lower end of the instrument with a finger. A good instrument can give eight to ten different notes. The seljefløyte of willow bark can only be made in spring. Nowadays, however, it is made from plastic tubing covered with paper printed to imitate bark, as devised by Egil Storbekken. The seljefløyte has attracted interest since the 1920s, when Groven (1927) suggested that it fundamentally influenced the intervallic and melodic structure of Norwegian folk music as a whole—a scarcely tenable hypothesis which nevertheless initiated and influenced a considerable amount of research....

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