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date: 18 November 2019

Puntong pulitlocked

  • Elaine Dobson

Extract

Bamboo transverse flute of the Lepcha people of Sikkim, North India. A special variety of pulit (bamboo) called gopi is considered best; a whole plant is required to make one instrument, about 40 cm long. The flute has four fingerholes, and an embouchure hole placed approximately 25 cm from the proximal end. The middle hole must be made in the exact centre of the pipe, then the other fingerholes are made, separated by the width the player’s index, middle, and ring fingers (players usually make their own puntong pulit). Two fingerholes are towards the open end and one is on the opposite side of the middle hole. The middle joint of the index and middle fingers of each hand stop the fingerholes, the left hand being closer to the mouth. The flute is supported by the little and ring finger of the left hand and by both thumbs. A very breathy sound is produced, which represents wind blowing through bamboo groves. The ...

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