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date: 13 November 2019


  • Alastair Dick


Small oboe of Sind, Pakistan. The body, of very old kirarr wood, is an externally cylindrical pipe with eight fingerholes and a thumbhole and a conical bell. The mouthpiece consists of a double reed of kangor cane tied with thread to a brass staple which carries a round lip disc or pirouette of shell and is inserted in the pipe. A decorative silk belt is slung beneath the oboe. The sharnai itself is about 21 cm long. Two other sizes are found in the region: the ghazzi, about 15 cm long, is used for mourning tunes (osara) during the Shī’ite lamentation of Muharram; the mutta, about 25 cm long, belongs to the northern Sind and Multan (lower Panjab) areas. The sharnai often accompanies the duhl (barrel drum) in the rhythmic dass suites at wrestling, dances, and so on, though, as in other contexts in the Indian subcontinent, it may be replaced by a bagpipe....

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