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date: 19 November 2019


  • Alan R. Thrasher
  • , revised by June L.F. Lam


Nose flute of the aboriginal cultures of Taiwan, notably high mountain dwellers such as the Bunun, Thao, Tsou, Paiwan, and Rukai, and plains peoples such as the Ami and Puyuma. The Chinese name, bidi (‘nose flute’), is a generic term for all flutes of this type; local terms include dibolo (Ami) and burari (Rukai). Structures differ regionally but are all basically end-blown bamboo duct flutes, with either a single or double pipes, the latter slightly more common. They are bound together with rattan, separated by a wooden support, or held together by hand. A plug inserted into the upper end (in some flutes a node may be partly pierced) forms a duct that directs the air against a sharp edge located at a small window in the back. Some players use a finger to block one nostril to increase the air pressure. While some flutes have three fingerholes, most double flutes have four in each pipe. Dimensions and tunings vary according to the individual taste of the craftsman and irregularities in bore configuration. An Ami four-holed double flute kept at the Academia Sinica in Taipei is 23 cm long, with a distance between each fingerhole of 2.3 cm, yielding a scale of ...

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