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date: 22 November 2019


  • John M. Schechter
  • , revised by J. Richard Haefer


Spanish term used for various aerophones of Spain and the New World. In Spain it may designate a simple whistle, or a duct flute with three holes (such as the Basque txistu or the gaita of León, Galicia, and lower Andalusia) or a cane flute with mouthpiece and seven holes, popular in Castille. Among the Guatemalan Maya, the xul or tzijolaj (also referred to in written sources as a pito) is an end-blown, open duct flute of cane, usually with six fingerholes and ranging from a few centimetres to a metre long. It is played in processions, along with a European drum. In Honduras the pito is a vertical cane flute, while on the Atlantic coast of Colombia the term is used for the caña de millo, a transverse clarinet. The mulattos of certain villages in Zulia, Venezuela, construct and play the pito de los chimbángueles (‘flute of the ...

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Latin American Music Review