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Birbyne front back.jpg
Other namesBirbynė, klernata, parputas, ragelis[1]
Classification Single reed
Related instruments
Sorna, Rhaita, Suona, Sopila, Shawm, Zurna

A birbynė is a Lithuanian aerophone that can be either single or double-reeded and may or may not have a mouthpiece. Birbynė can be made of a variety of materials: wood, bark, horn, straw, goose feather, etc.[2] The earliest and simplest examples were used by children as playtoys and by shepherds as a tool to control the herd.[1] In the 19th century, influenced by classical instruments and especially the clarinet, the birbynė evolved into a serious musical instrument used in ensembles.[1] Modern birbynės are made of wood with bells of horn and usually have ten tone holes. They are divided by pitch range into three categories: soprano, tenor, and contrabass.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Baltrėnienė, Marija; Romualdas Apanavičius (1991). Lietuvių liaudies muzikos instrumentai (in Lithuanian). Vilnius: Mintis. pp. 107–114. ISBN 5-417-00122-8.
  2. ^ a b "Birbynė". State song and dance ensemble “Lietuva”. Retrieved 2010-01-26.