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date: 13 November 2019

Surnāy [sornā, surla, surle, sūrnā, surnāī, ṣurnāy, zournas, zukra, zurla, zurna, zūrnā]locked

  • Christian Poché
  • , revised by Razia Sultanova


[sornā, surla, surle, sūrnā, surnāī, ṣurnāy, zournas, zukra, zurla, zurna, zūrnā]

Folk shawm of West and Central Asia, south-eastern Europe and parts of North Africa. Its general form is a conical wooden tube 30–45 cm long, but its length may extend to 60 cm. It is played with a double reed and usually has a pirouette.

The instrument is widely distributed under various closely related names: in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (surnāy), Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (ṣurnāy); Kashmir and Rajasthan (surnāī); Iran and Afghanistan (sornā); Pakistan (sūrnā, but more usually śahnāī); Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and to a lesser extent Georgia (zurna/zūrnā); northern Greece and Bulgaria (zournas); Macedonia and southern Yugoslavia (zurla); Albania (surle) and Romania (surla).

The instrument is also found in North Africa, although terminology is more varied: Tunisia (zukra); Algeria (sometimes zūrnā...

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Yearbook for Traditional Music
Galpin Society Journal
A. Lavignac and L. de La Laurencie, eds.: Encyclopédie de la musique et dictionnaire du Conservatoire
Asian Music