Duduk is a double-reed chalumeau from the Transcaucasus area of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kurdistan. It has various forms and names in the different countries of the region. In Armenia it is traditionally played in pairs, with one musician playing the melody and a second the drone, using circular breathing. Reed-making for the duduk is a highly skilled art, and each reed takes two or three weeks to make. The instrument body can easily be fashioned on a lathe. The best-sounding instruments are made from apricot wood.
Jivan Gasparian: 'The native Armenian name of duduk is Tsiranapogh. Originally, duduk was made of a piece of cane. The short mouthpiece fixed to duduk – Pipich – was made of a special sort of cane, growing only in certain districts of Armenia. It is indeed due to this fact that the instrument has such an unusual and particular sound. Pipich is perhaps the only thing that was inherited from the ancient Tsiranapogh by the modern duduk. The instrument as it looks today was first made in XIII century.'
The duduk is variously dated to between 1500 years old and 3000 years old.
traditional Armenian melody
composed by Dirk Campbell, featuring duduk, synths, Iranian daf, kora
Jivan and me discussing
reeds, Yerevan 2010
All arrangements and performances by Dirk Campbell
In Greece 2004
composed by Dirk Campbell, featuring duduk, synths and middle East percussion
composed by Dirk Campbell, featuring duduk, world percussion