Articles

The Duduk & Mey: History, Info and Set-Up

Posted by Eric Azumi on

Basic Info for Mey or Duduk By David Brown   The Mey and Duduk are two closely related instruments of the double reed family. Perhaps best known in America are the duduk performances on the soundtrack to "The Last Temptation of Christ", where the mournful and plaintive tone of the duduk is used to great effect. The Mey is the Turkish name, Duduk the Armenian term, for an ancient woodwind instrument that also includes the Balaban of Central Asia and the Chinese Guan among its varieties. The essential feature is a short cylindrical tube with 7 or more fingerholes and...

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Central Asian Stringed Instruments

Posted by Eric Azumi on

Central Asian Stringed Instruments by David Brown   The tar and kemanche (kemane in this case, due to Uzbeki dialect) is from Central Asia that are very well made and have excellent sound. These instruments, although not from Iran but from the countries just North of the Iranian border, are ideal for Persian music. The Kemane is a spike fiddle but unlike our Turkish spike fiddle (kabak kemence) which has a gourd body with a skin head these have a body made of strips of staved wood, and are heavier constructed and even feature a leg rest with swivel base-...

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Hawaiian Music: Ukes, Steel Guitars and More

Posted by Eric Azumi on

Hawaiian Music by David Brown   My wife and I visited the Hawaii in 1981, and were both struck by the beauty of the islands and the people. There was only one thing I found disappointing- I didn't hear one steel guitar player. Sure the slack-key guitar was riding a wave of newfound popularity, and the 'ukulele too was ubiquitous; but in our 2 week stay I never was able to find young people playing the kind of guitar named after Hawaii. I even found a baritone ukulele in the shape of Oahu, but most of the interest and development...

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The Balalaika: History and Information

Posted by Eric Azumi on

The Balalaika by David Brown   The varied family of Central Asian lutes is a large one, and one of the most popular and best known is the balalaika, with its unique triangular body shape. Developed from unstandardized folk lutes by the nobleman Andreyev in the late 18th century into a whole family of instruments with standard tunings, the balalaika has become one of the most important plucked stringed instruments in Eastern Europe, and the quintessential lute in Russia and the Ukraine. A very intricate, virtuosic repertoire has elevated the balalaika to a level of a classical instrument, and is...

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The Irish Harmonica: Interview With Mick Kinsella

Posted by Eric Azumi on

Irish Harmonica An Interview With Mick Kinsellaby Paul Farmer   Thanks to his performing in "RIVERDANCE" the playing of New Zealander Brendan Power has done much to increase the popularity of the harmonica in folk music circles around the world. At the same time Ireland's Mick Kinsella has been leaving his own mark. Paul Farmer- What's your story as far as playing the harmonica goes? Mick Kinsella - I'd say I've been playing about 15 years. I've always loved the harmonica but I was a drummer for years. I played in show bands and rock bands and stuff and drums...

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