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Another Woodwind Instrument from the creators of iDuduk, iShvee, iFlute and iShaku, the instrument that accompanies the festivities of the high-spirited Armenian Culture.
Zurna (pronounced “zoor-na”) is an ancient Armenian traditional woodwind instrument that can easily be described as being a double reed trumpet. Despite the many variations of form and tuning, the Zurna has a loud, piercing nasal sound. The Zurna has deep roots in the traditional Armenian culture. In fact, there is specific mention of the Zurna in Armenian literature as early as the IX century in the epic story “David of Sasoun”. In the past, Zurna was played during harvests, holidays, outdoor gatherings, weddings, and is even known to have accompanied tight-rope walkers in traveling circuses. Today, just as it did in the past, the Zurna still has an important place in the musical culture and can be heard at weddings and festivals throughout Armenia.
As with the Duduk, the Armenian Zurna is most commonly played in pairs, with one musician playing the lead melody and the other playing a continual drone note (called the “dum”) that is held by circular breathing. However, unlike the Duduk which is often played without percussion, the Zurna is almost always accompanied by the Dhol (the traditional, double sided drum).
The range of the instrument is roughly a single octave, and as with the other Armenian wind instruments (namely the Duduk and the Shvee), the notes are laid out diatonically. It is important to note that you do not use a “forked tuning” with the Zurna, as it will only cause the reed to pinch up and squawk. Therefore, in order to get chromatic scales you have to “half hole” each note. To make this easier, however, the holes have been made relatively large compared to the overall size of the instrument. This not only gives the instrument a loud, clear sound, it also allows for more play between the notes.
The iZurna™ LT version does not support the chromatic note option because the iPhone being an electronic device has its limitations, therefore we have only included the C major scale starting from low middle C going up to high D in the second octave which will also make the application more consumer friendly.
Key Features of iZurna™ LT
•In the Blow Mode, blow into your microphone to play music
•In the Press Mode option, simply play by pressing down the holes (for iPod Touch users as well)
•Press down individual holes to change pitch within one octave
•The Blow Mode includes 9 notes including the open blow middle C
•The Press Mode includes 8 notes D-Dorian
•In the Duet Mode, use the ‘Dum (Drone) slider to choose a pitch to harmonize and enrich your melody.
•In the info section on top right corner, find out more about the recording Zurna virtuosos. You may purchase their music through the link provided.