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date: 13 November 2019


  • Robert At’ayan
  • , revised by Jonathan McCollum


End-blown flute of Armenia. It is usually made from apricot wood, though other materials such as bone and cane can be used. The pipe is 38 to 70 cm long. The bore diameter at the lower end is 15 to 20 mm, and 10 to 15 mm at the top. Pitched most commonly in C, D♭ or E♭, it has seven (occasionally eight) fingerholes, a thumbhole, and two lower tuning vents, producing a diatonic scale, usually in the Aeolian mode. Chromatic notes are obtained by partly opening or closing the holes. The blul is easily overblown and has a wide range, up to two and a half octaves. The timbre in its lower register is soft, velvety, and slightly nasal; the middle register sounds similar but lighter. Playing softly, it is possible to sound an octave, a 5th or (in the high register) a 3rd simultaneously with the fundamental pitches. Shaking the instrument or fluttering the fingers produces a distinct vibrato....

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