- Birgit Kjellström
Wooden duct flute of Sweden, used into the 20th century, mainly as a recreational instrument, but also in herding cattle. A few early examples show the influence of recorders made in the 17th and 18th centuries, and many have a tapering or conical bore. They vary greatly in length (from 20 to 45 cm, usually between 24 and 31 cm), in the shape of the mouth hole (circular, oval, half-moon, or square) and in the number of fingerholes (six to eight, with or without a thumbhole). Fingerholes are usually equidistant and give a range of between a 7th and a 10th. In 1846 the folklore collector Richard Dybeck described a spälapipa or fingerpipa of Jämtland and Hälsingland, made of willow bark with six fingerholes. Some wooden flutes are more elaborate and are provided with carved or turned projections above the fingerholes and by the mouthpiece, while some have sketchily formed bells. At the beginning of the 20th century, the instrument was manufactured in increasing numbers in Dalecarlia as a souvenir for tourists....