Historically, the word ծիրանափող, pronounced [tsiɾɑnɑˈpʰoʁ], (literally "apricot pipe") has been used in Armenian. According to some sources, the word "duduk" was put into wide circulation in Armenia in the 1920s, during the early Soviet period, thus largely replacing "tsiranapogh".
The word "duduk" (also spelled doudouk or duduk) is a loanword ultimately derived from Turkish "düdük". According to the 2003 book Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages, the Proto-Turkic*dǖtük ("pipe") derives from Proto-Altaic*tū́ti ("tube, round vessel", cf. Old Japanesetutu). The word dudka in Slavic languages is a diminutive of duda and is of native Proto-Slavic 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 at least the fifth century, while there are Armenian scholars who believe it existed more than 1,500 years before that. 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. Nowadays, the instrument is mainly made from aged apricot wood.
The particular tuning depends heavily on the region in 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.
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."
Armenian musicologists cite evidence of the duduk's use as early as 1200 BC, though Western scholars suggest it is 1,500 years old. 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. According to ethnomusicologist Dr. Jonathan McCollum, the instrument is depicted in numerous Armenian manuscripts of the Middle Ages, 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."
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, and as duduk (дудук) in northwest Bulgaria. 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.
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.
The duduk has been used in a number of films, especially "to denote otherworldliness, loneliness, and mourning or to supply a Middle Eastern/Central Asian atmosphere."
Avatar: The Last Airbender The character Zuko, Iroh and the band "Flamey-Os" play a fictional instrument called a "Tsungi Horn" and its sound is actually a duduk electronically modulated to resemble a brass instrument
Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series) by Bear McCreary. Its tracks "Two Funerals", "Starbuck on the Red Moon", "Escape from the Farm", "Colonial Anthem, "Black Market", "Something Dark is Coming", "Martial Law", "Prelude to War" feature the duduk. Roslin's theme was set to lyrics a second time for the third season premiere "Occupation", this time in Armenian.
^Stokes, Jamie, ed. (2008). Peoples of Africa and the Middle East, Volume 1. p. 63. ISBN978-0-8160-7158-6. "One of the oldest indigenous Armenian instruments is the duduk, a woodwind instrument usually made from apricot wood, with a double reed mouthpiece."
^"Armenian duduk and other Armenian folk instruments". Dialogue among civilizations. Caucasus. UNESCO. June 2003. p. 32. Retrieved 16 March 2014. "Duduk is considered to be the most Armenian of all folk instruments for its Armenian origin and honest expression. It has a 1500 – year history and is native to Armenia although there are its variants played in Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan."
^"Sounds of Armenian duduk". UNESCO. November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. "Duduk and its music were inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008 (originally proclaimed in 2005). The duduk, or “dziranapogh” in Armenian, is a double-reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood, conventionally called the “Armenian oboe”."
^"Բրոնզե ականջ պետք է ունենաս, որ չհուզվես". Azg Daily (in Armenian). 15 February 2013. "Միայն Հայաստանում է աճում այն ծիրանենին, որից երաժշտականՙ հոբոյին նման այս գործիքն են ստանում, եւ որը դարեր ի վեր հայերը ծիրանափող են անվանում: Ռուսներն այս բառը չեն կարողացել արտասանել, «դուդկա» անունն են տվել, այստեղից էլՙ դուդուկ ուրախ բառը:"
^“дуда” in М. Фасмер (1986), Этимологический Словарь Русского Языка (Москва: Прогресс), 2-е изд. — Перевод с немецкого и дополнения О.Н. Трубачёва
^Broughton, Simon; Ellingham, Mark; and Trillo, Richard, ed. (1999). World Music: Africa, Europe and the Middle East. p. 334isbn=9781858286358.
^Andrea L. Stanton, Edward Ramsamy, Peter J. Seybolt, ed. (2012). Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. p. 167. ISBN9781412981767.