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date: 15 December 2019


  • Ardian Ahmedaja


Whistle of Albanians. About 10 cm long, it is made mostly of willow or similar wood in the spring when the bark can be pulled without breaking. One end has a beaked mouthpiece, and there is only one fingerhole. A pebble or seed is sometimes put in the hollow to produce a rolling sound. Other names are cyli in Kavajë (central Albania) and pipi in Kosovo. Bilbil are also incorporated into the handles of wood spoons, called lugëfyllka (spoon-flute) in southeastern Albania, and in the top of a shepherd’s crook.

A variant called stërkalca is known in Peshkopi (north Albania). Its hollow is bigger and is filled with water, which sprinkles (stërkat) while the instrument is blown. In Korçë (southeast Albania) whistles are made in the shape of earthenware jugs, shtambushka or bardhaçkag; these have a hole on the body near the beginning of the spout and are played with or without water. In southeast Albania this type has been produced in the shape of birds, cocks, lambs, sheep, and more....

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