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Duduk (landscape).jpg
A traditional duduk
Other namesԾիրանափող (Tsiranapogh)
ClassificationWind instrument with double reed
Playing range
Duduk range.jpg
Gevorg Dabaghyan, Djivan Gasparyan, Pedro Eustache, Vache Sharafyan, Didier Malherbe
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Duduk (landscape).jpg
A traditional duduk
Other namesԾիրանափող (Tsiranapogh)
ClassificationWind instrument with double reed
Playing range
Duduk range.jpg
Gevorg Dabaghyan, Djivan Gasparyan, Pedro Eustache, Vache Sharafyan, Didier Malherbe
A duduk

The duduk (Armenian: Դուդուկ), traditionally known since antiquity as a Ծիրանափող (Tsiranapogh) is a traditional woodwind instrument indigenous to Armenia.[1][2] Variations of it are popular in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.[2][3][4][5]

It is a distant relative of East Asian instruments, such as the Chinese guanzi, the Korean piri and the Japanese hichiriki. Unlike other double reed instruments, such as the oboe or shawm, the duduk has a very large (in proportion to the instrument) and unflattened reed, and is cylindrical in shape (not conical) giving it a quality closer to a clarinet or saxophone than a double-reed.

In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed the Armenian duduk music as a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.[6][7][8]


The English word is often used generically for a family of ethnic instruments including the doudouk or duduk (դուդուկ), pronounced [duˈduk], also tsiranapogh ծիրանափող, pronounced [tsiɾɑnɑˈpʰoʁ], literally "apricot horn" in Armenian).

The word itself is a loanword ultimately derived from Turkish "düdük",[9][10] likely of onomatopoeic origin. During the Ottoman occupation of Armenia, usage of the word "duduk" displaced the original name of the instrument, which was known since antiquity as a Tsiranapogh (Armenian: Ծիրանափող).[citation needed] The word dudka in Slavic languages is a diminutive of duda and is of native Slavic[11] origin. This instrument is not to be confused with the northwestern Bulgarian folk instrument of the same name (see below, Balkan duduk).


A duduk mouthpiece

The duduk is a double reed instrument with ancient origins, having existed since the fifth century, while there are Armenian scholars who believe it existed more than 1500 years before that.[12] The earliest instruments similar to the duduk's present form are made of bone or entirely of cane. Today, the duduk is exclusively made of wood with a large double reed. Duduks are mainly made from aged apricot wood.

In Armenia the instrument is called "tsiranapogh" or "apricot pipe".[13]

The particular tuning depends heavily on the region which it is played. In the twentieth century, the Armenian duduk began to be standardized diatonic in scale and single-octave in range. Accidentals, or chromatics are achieved using fingering techniques. The instrument's body also has different lengths depending upon the range of the instrument and region. The reed (Armenian: եղեգն, eġegn), is made from one or two pieces of cane in a duck-bill type assembly. Unlike other double-reed instruments, the reed is quite wide, helping to give the duduk both its unique, mournful sound, as well as its remarkable breath requirements. The duduk player is called dudukahar (դուդուկահար) in Armenian.

The performer uses air stored in his cheeks to keep playing the instrument while he inhales air into his lungs. This “circular” breathing technique is commonly used with all the double-reed instruments in the Middle East.[14] Duduk "is invariably played with the accompaniment of a second dum duduk, which gives the music an energy and tonic atmosphere, changing the scale harmoniously with the principal duduk."[15]


Armenian musicologists cite evidence of the duduk's use as early as 1200 BC, though Western scholars suggest it is 1,500 years old.[16] Variants of the duduk can be found in Armenia and the Caucasus. The history of the Armenian duduk music is dated to the reign of the Armenian king Tigran the Great, who reigned from 95–55 B.C.[17] According to ethnomusicologist Dr. Jonathan McCollum, the instrument is depicted in numerous Armenian manuscripts of the Middle Age, and is "actually the only truly Armenian instrument that’s survived through history, and as such is a symbol of Armenian national identity ... The most important quality of the duduk is its ability to express the language dialectic and mood of the Armenian language, which is often the most challenging quality to a duduk player."[18]

Balkan duduk[edit]

While the term duduk most commonly refers to the double reed instrument described on this page, there is a different instrument of the same name played in northwestern Bulgaria. This is a blocked-end flute resembling the Serbian frula, known also as kaval or kavalče in a part of Macedonia,[19] and as duduk (дудук) in northwest Bulgaria.[20][21] Made of maple or other wood, it comes in two sizes: 700–780 mm and 240–400 mm (duduce). The blocked end is flat. Playing this type of duduk is fairly straightforward and easy, and its sound is clean and pleasant.

Film music[edit]

The sound of the duduk, if not the instrument itself, has become known to a large audience through its use in popular film soundtracks. Starting with Peter Gabriel's score for Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ, the duduk's archaic and mournful sound has been employed in a variety of genres to depict such moods. Djivan Gasparyan played the duduk in Gladiator, Syriana, and Blood Diamond, among others.[22] The duduk was also used extensively in Battlestar Galactica.[23] The sound of the duduk was used in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A Lullaby that Mr. Tumnus plays on a fictitious double flute.[24] In America, famed oboe player Chris Bleth has played the duduk on select recordings for film and television.

In popular culture[edit]

The 2010 Eurovision Song Contest entry from Armenia "Apricot Stone", which finished 7th in the final, featured prominent duduk played by Djivan Gasparyan. In the indie-rock genre, the French-American band Deleyaman is the first alternative music band to have featured the duduk on all of their albums with Gerard Madilian as a permanent member in their line-up.

Movie soundtracks[edit]

A duduk player

Television soundtracks[edit]

Video game scores[edit]

Popular music[edit]

The duduk also appears on "Zachem Ya" by t.A.T.u. (from the album 200 Po Vstrechnoy, 2001), on "Jenny Wren" by Paul McCartney (2005), "All That I Am" by Rob Thomas (from the album ...Something to Be, 2006), and "Come Talk to Me" by Peter Gabriel.

Anime soundtracks[edit]

See also[edit]

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Melody performed with duduk instrument by SERGO.TEL.


  1. ^ Broughton, Simon et al (1999). "World music: the rough guide.". books.google.co.uk 1. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Stokes, Jamie (2008). "Peoples of Africa and the Middle East, Volume 1". books.google.co.uk. ISBN 978-0-8160-7158-6. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  3. ^ [1] Dialog among civilizations Caucasus, Page 32
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ [3] UNESCO/Culture/Armenia
  6. ^ The Armenian duduk as a "Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity"
  7. ^ UNESCO: The Armenian Duduk and its music
  8. ^ Farmer, H.G. "Mizmār." Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd Ed., v. 7. P. Bearman et al. (eds.) Leiden: Brill, 1993, p. 209.
  9. ^ (Russian) "Дудук." Great Soviet Encyclopedia.
  10. ^ Russian language dictionary in 4 volumes. Volume 1. 1999
  11. ^ “дуда” in М. Фасмер (1986), Этимологический Словарь Русского Языка (Москва: Прогресс), 2-е изд. — Перевод с немецкого и дополнения О.Н. Трубачёва
  12. ^ Broughton, Simon; Ellingham, Mark; and Trillo, Richard (1999). World Music: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, p.334. ISBN 9781858286358.
  13. ^ Armenian apricot at welcomearmenia.com
  14. ^ Albright, Ch. "BĀLĀBĀN." Encyclopaedia Iranica.
  15. ^ [4] Duduk Info at Ethnicinstruments.co.uk
  16. ^ Encyclopedia.com:DJIVAN GASPARYAN
  17. ^ "The roots of Armenian duduk music go back to the times of the Armenian king Tigran the Great (95-55 BC)": "The Duduk and its Music. UNESCO. Accessed February 8, 2010.
  18. ^ Turpin, Andy. "Nothing Sounds Armenian Like a Duduk: ALMA Lecture". The Armenian Weekly. 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  19. ^ www.macedoniadirect.com/instruments/supelki.htm
  20. ^ "Дудук : Horo.bg - българският сайт за народни хора, песни, танци, обичаи, фолклор". Horo.bg. Retrieved 2013-09-22.  (Bulgarian)
  21. ^ For a detailed description of the instrument (in Bulgarian), see http://www.bgjourney.com/Bit%20t%20Kultura/Old%20gloss/Old%20gloss%20Du.html
  22. ^ Gasparian article at imdb.com
  23. ^ Duduk article from composer Bear McCreary's Battlestar Galactica site
  24. ^ Harry Gregson-Williams Talks Narnia & Narnian Lullaby Clip
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Chris Bleth Movie Credits". Chrisbleth.com. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  26. ^ Gladiator by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard
  27. ^ "Hotel Rwanda Film Music"http://www.musicweb-international.com/film/2006/apr06/hotelrwanda.html
  28. ^ "Hulk (Danny Elfman)". Filmtracks.com. 2003-06-17. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  29. ^ Other reviews by Mike Brennan (2005-12-02). "soundtrack.net". soundtrack.net. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  30. ^ Savita Gautham. "inese rhapsody". The Hindu. Retrieved 2003-10-23. 
  31. ^ "Instruments of Battlestar Galactica: Duduk". Bearmccreary.com. 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  32. ^ Runner, Blade (2004-02-26). "Duduk: The Instrument That Makes Hollywood Cry". Galactica-station.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  33. ^ "Battlestar Galactica: Season Two". Musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  34. ^ "Children of Dune". Cinemusic.net. Retrieved 2010-02-15. [dead link]
  35. ^ "Civ5in". Michaelcurran.net. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  36. ^ "Rome - Augustus Caesar War - "Ancient Roman Melody Fragments" by Geoff Knorr". ISSUU. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  37. ^ Bloodworth, Daniel (2012-04-09). "BackTrack: Composing Mass Effect – Jack Wall Interview, Part 1 | Side Mission". GameTrailers. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  38. ^ Benoit Basirico (2005-11-14). "Gedo Senki (Les Contes de Terremer)". Cinezik.org. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 

External links[edit]