HUNGARY

Doromb (Jew’s harp)

Jew’s harp is a musical instrument which works by plucking. It consists of a metal or bamboo tongue or reed and a frame. The tongue/reed is placed in the performer’s mouth and plucked with the finger to produce a note.
It is known all over the world. It can be made of wood, leaf, bamboo and bone but the stablest ones are made of iron or steel.
It is one of the oldest musical instruments in the world. Presumably, the first Jew’s harp was made 15 000 years ago and according to the research, the first Jew’s harpers were Celts and Germans. Originally, it was used for magic by shamans to make their spells more effective. In Hungary, in the beginning of 20th century, it was used as a toy for kids.

by Niki Ofella


Körtemuzsika (“Pear music”)

The körtemuzsika („pear music”) is a 4-6 hole instrument, made of clay or pear wood. It is usually egg-  or pear-shaped. It is also known as „cserépsíp” (clay flute), or „kakas” (cock), „bika” (bull) according to its shape.
It is an ancient Hungarian instrument having eastern origins. The körtemuzsika usually has 2-4, sometimes 6 sound openings. Since they were made of non-rottening clay, körtemuzsika instruments were able to last until our days, unlike other traditional instruments made of organic materials.
The körtemuzsika belongs to the flute instrument family. Its structure is similar to a common flute.
The sound of körtemuzsika represents the wondering soul. According to ancient Hungarian tradition, if blown for a long time it heals sickness. Hungarian shamans used körtemuzsika to conjure away sickness.
The more advanced version of the körtemuzsika is the more and more popular ocarina.

by Petra Jurkinya


Madársíp (“Bird call”)

These wistles, formed like animals – mostly birds – were originally made for chidren as toys and were usually sold by potters on fairs and markets. This clay instrument basically works the same way a recorder or a flute does. It has a whistle on one end (the tail of the bird) and a gap on the other end (the open beak of the bird). Occasionally it also has a few holes so the player can diversify some notes. If you put water in it, it sounds like the chirping of birds.

by Nóra Kertész