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date: 18 November 2019

Brerelocked

  • Raymond Ammann

Extract

Bundle panpipe of Vanuatu. It is called brere in the Fimele language on Santo island, bepwe sangawulu in Wailapa, nehr in several languages in northwest Malakula, and nimbucan in Nahai’i on Tomman Island. There is no formal difference between the Santo and Malakula bundle panpipes. In both cases the upper end of the bamboo tubes are half-open (the node is pierced only in the centre) and completely open at the bottom, the distal end being cut above the node. All the instruments have a fixed order of tubes arranged according to length. The tubes can number from six to ten. For example, in Brenwei village in northwest Malakula the instrument consists of six bamboo tubes. The longest are named un in and mit unin, the middle ones are called mit and sar mitn, and the two shortest are called sar in and sar in mitn.

The instrument is not set at the lip, as is a raft panpipe, but held about 10 cm away from the mouth. The musician blows in a finely directed stream, as in whistling. While playing, the instrument is not moved but the musician moves his head to direct the air into the desired tube....

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