Duduk: the voice of the Armenian soul

UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage

Duduk is an Armenian national musical woodwind instrument, which is made with an apricot tree wood. It is an Armenian national musical woodwind instrument having nine playing holes and a double cane.

Duduk is an Armenian national musical woodwind instrument, which is an apricot wood tube with nine playing holes and a double cane. In Armenia, the duduk is also known as “tsiranapogh”, which literally translates as “apricot pipe” or “the soul of an apricot tree”.

Duduk is considered one of the oldest wind musical instruments in the world. Some researchers attribute the appearance of the duduk to the time of the state of Urartu, others believe that it appeared during the reign of the Armenian king Tigran the Great (95-55 BC). You can find the image of the duduk in medieval Armenian manuscripts. The fact that the duduk already existed in the 5th century AD e. is a fact - the Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi in his writings mentions the “tsiranapokh” instrument.

Duduk has a warm, soft, slightly muffled sound and velvety timbre; it is distinguished by lyricism, emotionality and expressiveness. With the sound of this instrument, peace and a high spiritual beginning are felt. Duduk, like no other instrument, is able to express the soul of the Armenian people. The famous composer Aram Khachaturian once said that a duduk is the only instrument that can make him cry. Due to the sound range, a duduk can express different moods, therefore, in Armenia, a duduk is played both during festive and mourning events.

In the modern world, duduk has become one of the popular instruments for playing music for Hollywood soundtracks. The most famous films are: “The Last Temptation of Christ”, “Gladiator”, “Alexander”, “The Passion of the Christ”, “Da Vinci Code”, “Hulk”, “Xena: Warrior Princess ”. In addition, in 2005, the music of the Armenian duduk was recognized as a masterpiece of UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage.​

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