Armenian duduk – an instrument that prays
The appearance of an unusual tool
Duduk is a very ancient representative of the genus of wind instruments. One part of the researchers believes that the first mention of the duduk belong to the written monuments of the country of Urartu, dating back about 3 thousand years. Another part of the researchers claims that the duduk appeared in 95-55. BC e. (at that time the Armenian king Tigran II the Great ruled).
Proceedings of the Armenian historian of the 5th century e. Movses Khorenatsi speaks of a musical instrument with the soul of an apricot tree – “tsiranapokha”. These records are the oldest written records of duduk. This tool is often depicted in Armenian manuscripts of the Middle Ages. One thing is certain: the duduk has a glorious and very ancient “biography”.
How the Armenian duduk went around the world
The Armenian states (we are talking about Greater Armenia, Lesser Armenia, the Kingdom of Cilicia, etc.) occupied an impressively vast territory, but Armenian settlements were found not only in these territories, but everywhere. Persia, the Middle East, Asia Minor, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Crimea – Armenians inhabited different lands.
Due to this, the duduk spread to all of these territories. Today you will find various varieties of Armenian duduk in Georgia (there it is called “duduks”), Azerbaijan (there this instrument is called “balaban”), Turkey (“May”), Persia and even in the Balkans.
Armenian duduk from … crystal
Over the years, the Armenian duduk has become part of the culture of different nations, undergoing all kinds of musical improvements. The number of sound holes changed. The materials from which the tool was made also changed.
Initially, a duduk (like most ancient wind instruments) was created from bone. Later, the tool began to be made from whole sections of reed stems. But this material was very impractical – the tools cracked. Subsequently, even crystal was used to make the Armenian duduk.
But as a result of all these experiments, only one material was recognized as the most ideal – an apricot tree with a unique resonant property was finally approved for creating a duduk. And the external form of the instrument over the centuries has remained almost the same.
What can the soul of an apricot tree tell?
It is the Armenian duduk that is called the “instrument that prays.” The sound of the Armenian duduk differs from its foreign counterparts in its soft, touching, moaning, crying sound, reminiscent of a broken prayer.
My favorite apricots bloom every year. And every year, the echoes of winter mercilessly rattle their flowers. A week later they would bloom, and so many inflorescences would not die. But no, they are in a hurry to dissolve their flowers first. As if they didn’t have time. As if they would have no other chance. Hurry people to please, At such a price. The first one is always hard. Maybe the Armenian dudu sighs about that? Maybe he prays for those …
Where did the music come from? When did she appear on earth? Why is it needed? What is God’s voice? How were the music schools at the tabernacle arranged? What musical instruments did the first people use for worship? How did the first people record music? What does the Bible say about music? If you’ve ever been interested in these questions, see Bible Music Lessons on our YouTube channel.