Vladimirskiy rozhok

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Rozhoks from the Russian Ethnographic Museum, first half of 20th century

The vladimirskiy rozhok (Russian: Владимирский Рожок) is an ancient Russian wooden trumpet, a relative of the cornett.[1]

A rozhok is a conical straight tube with the six playing holes: five on top and one underneath. The total length of a rozhok ranges from 320 to 830 mm (13" to 33"). A mouthpiece is cut in the form of a small cap, and the lower end of the tube is shaped like a conical bell. A rozhok is usually made of birch, maple, or juniper. Musicians say that rozhoks of juniper have the best sound.[citation needed] In the past they were made in the same manner as a shepherd's rozhok, in which two halves are fastened together with birch bark; today they are turned.[2] The sound of a rozhok is strong, but mellow, having a range of about an octave, or a little more. There are several types of rozhoks: the shortest one, having the highest sound is called vizgunok (squeaker); the longest and thus the lowest one is call bas (bass), while a mid-size instrument is called a polubasok (half-bass). It is polubasok instruments that are most frequently used for solo playing.

The origins of the instrument date to before AD 1600. The tradition of playing the rozhok in an ensemble probably dates to a much earlier time. It is possible that the name rozhok was used for the instrument later, and that in the earliest written sources it was simply called a pipe. A rozhok can be called be various names: shepherd’s, Russian, or song rozhok. At the end of the 19th century, the name Vladimir was added to this instrument's name, due to the success of a chorus of rozhok players under the leadership of Nikolai Vasilyevich Kondratyev from the Vladimir region.[3]

Rozhok’s folk tunes are divided into four stylistic varieties: signal, song, dancing, and dance,[clarification needed] with a large number of songs in all styles. There are several types of shepherd's signals and more of others. The main repertoire is song folk-tunes.

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