The duduk (// doo-DOOK; Armenian: դուդուկ IPA: [duˈduk]) is an ancient double reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood. It is indigenous to Armenia. Variations of the Armenian Duduk are found in other regions of the Caucasus and the Middle East including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Turkey and Iran. It is commonly played in pairs: while the first player plays the melody, the second plays a steady drone called dum, and the sound of the two instruments together creates a richer, more haunting sound.
The unflattened reed and cylindrical body produce a sound closer to the English horn than to more commonly known double reeds. Unlike other double reed instruments like the oboe or shawm, the duduk has a very large reed proportional to its size.
UNESCO proclaimed the Armenian duduk and its music as a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005 and inscribed it in 2008. Duduk music has been used in a number of films, most notably in The Russia House and Gladiator.
This instrument is not to be confused with the northwestern Bulgarian folk instrument of the same name (see below, Balkan duduk).
The duduk is a double reed instrument with ancient origins, having existed since at least the fifth century, while there are Armenian scholars who believe it existed more than 1,500 years before that. The earliest instruments similar to the duduk's present form are made of bone or entirely of cane. Today, the duduk is exclusively made of wood with a large double reed, with the body made from aged apricot wood.
The particular tuning depends heavily on the region in which it is played. In the twentieth century, the Armenian duduk began to be standardized diatonic in scale and single-octave in range. Accidentals, or chromatics are achieved using fingering techniques. The instrument's body also has different lengths depending upon the range of the instrument and region. The reed (Armenian: եղեգն, eġegn), is made from one or two pieces of cane in a duck-bill type assembly. Unlike other double-reed instruments, the reed is quite wide, helping to give the duduk both its unique, mournful sound, as well as its remarkable breath requirements. The duduk player is called dudukahar (դուդուկահար) in Armenian.
The performer uses air stored in their cheeks to keep playing the instrument while they inhale air into their lungs. This "circular" breathing technique is commonly used with all the double-reed instruments in the Middle East.
Duduk "is invariably played with the accompaniment of a second dum duduk, which gives the music an energy and tonic atmosphere, changing the scale harmoniously with the principal duduk."
Armenian musicologists cite evidence of the duduk's use as early as 1200 BC, though Western scholars suggest it is 1,500 years old.[unreliable source?][dubious ] Variants of the duduk can be found in Armenia and the Caucasus. The history of the Armenian duduk music is dated to the reign of the Armenian king Tigran the Great, who reigned from 95–55 B.C.[unreliable source?][dubious ] According to ethnomusicologist Dr. Jonathan McCollum, the instrument is depicted in numerous Armenian manuscripts of the Middle Ages, and is "actually the only truly Armenian instrument that's survived through history, and as such is a symbol of Armenian national identity ... The most important quality of the duduk is its ability to express the language dialectic and mood of the Armenian language, which is often the most challenging quality to a duduk player."
While "duduk" most commonly refers to the double reed instrument described on this page, by coincidence there is a different instrument of the same name played in northwestern Bulgaria. This is a blocked-end flute resembling the Serbian frula, known also as kaval or kavalče in a part of Macedonia, and as duduk (дудук) in northwest Bulgaria. Made of maple or other wood, it comes in two sizes: 700–780 millimetres (28–31 in) and 240–400 millimetres (9.4–15.7 in) (duduce). The blocked end is flat. Playing this type of duduk is fairly straightforward and easy, and its sound is clean and pleasant.
In popular culture
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The sound of the duduk has become known to wider audiences through its use in popular film soundtracks. Starting with Peter Gabriel's score for Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ, the duduk's archaic and mournful sound has been employed in a variety of genres to depict such moods. Djivan Gasparyan played the duduk in Gladiator, Syriana, and Blood Diamond, among others. It also used extensively in Battlestar Galactica. In the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender, its computer-altered sound was given to the fictitious Tsungi horn, most notably played by Iroh and often being featured in the show's soundtrack. The sound the duduk was used in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for a lullaby which Mr. Tumnus plays on a fictitious double flute. It was also used in the theme song of the Dothraki clan in the TV adaptation Game of Thrones.
The duduk has been used in a number of films, especially "to denote otherworldliness, loneliness, and mourning or to supply a Middle Eastern/Central Asian atmosphere".
- Ararat (2002) by Mychael Danna
- Avatar (2009) by James Horner, in the track Shutting Down Grace's Lab
- Bedtime Stories (2008) by Rupert Gregson-Williams
- Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) by Joseph LoDuca
- Chilean Gothic (2000) by Fractal
- Constantine (2005) by Brian Tyler, Klaus Badelt, in the track Circle of Hell
- The Crow (1994) by Graeme Revell featuring the duduk player Djivan Gasparyan
- Dead Man Walking (1995) by David Robbins
- Elektra (2005) by Christophe Beck
- Gladiator (2000) by Djivan Gasparyan in the track Duduk of the North
- Hotel Rwanda (2004) main theme music
- Hulk (2003) duduk by Pedro Eustache by Danny Elfman
- The Island (2005) by Steve Jablonsky
- The Kite Runner (2007) by Alberto Iglesias
- The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) by Peter Gabriel, featuring the duduk player Vatche Hovsepian
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) by Harry Gregson-Williams, in the track A Narnia Lullaby
- Munich duduk by Pedro Eustache (2005) by John Williams
- Mayrig (1991) by Omar Al Sharif
- Next (2007) by Mark Isham
- The Passion of The Christ (2004) by Mel Gibson, composer John Debney duduks by Pedro Eustache and Chris Bleth
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) by Hans Zimmer
- Rendition (2007) by Paul Hepker and Mark Kilian, duduk by Pedro Eustache
- Ronin (1998) by Elia Cmiral, duduk by Albert Vardanyan
- Syriana (2005) by Alexandre Desplat, duduks by Djivan Gasparyan and Pedro Eustache
- The Russia House (1990) by Jerry Goldsmith
- The Siege (1998) by Graeme Revell, in the track Torture
- Vantage Point (2008) by Atli Orvarsson
- Wanted (2008) by Danny Elfman
- Warriors of Heaven and Earth (2003) by A. R. Rahman
- You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008) by Rupert Gregson-Williams
- Angel by Rob Kral
- Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series) by Bear McCreary. Its tracks "Two Funerals", "Starbuck on the Red Moon", "Escape from the Farm", "Colonial Anthem, "Black Market", "Something Dark is Coming", "Martial Law", "Prelude to War" feature the duduk. Roslin's theme was set to lyrics a second time for the third-season premiere "Occupation", this time in Armenian.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Christophe Beck, Tomas Wanker, Rob Dunkin, Douglas Stevens
- Castle by Robert Duncan
- Children of Dune by Brian Tyler in the tracks "Dune Messiah", "The Throne of Alia", "The Preacher At Arrakeen", "Farewell"
- Cold Case by Michael A. Levine
- CSI: New York by Bill Brown
- Firefly by Greg Edmonson
- Game of Thrones by Ramin Djawadi features the instrument in Daenerys Targaryen's theme
- JAG by Steve Bramson
- The Mummy Who Would Be King by Gil Talmi, Andrew Gross
- Over There by Ed Rogers
- The Pacific by Blake Neely and Geoff Zanelli
- Path to 9/11 by John Cameron
- Rome by Jeff Beal
- Spartacus by Randy Miller. Track Second Thought
- Star Trek: Enterprise by Paul Baillargeon
- Yu-Gi-Oh! by Wayne Sharpe
- Xena: Warrior Princess by Joseph Loduca
Video game scores
- 'Shards of the Exodar' in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade by Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford and Russell Brower
- 'Dalaran' in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King by Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford and Russell Brower
- 'Orsis' in Hearthstone: League of Explorers
- Civilization V by Michael Curran
- Crimson Dragon by Saori Kobayashi and Jeremy Garren
- Dark Void by Bear McCreary
- Dota 2 by Jason Hayes
- F.E.A.R. by Nathan Grigg
- God of War III by Gerard Marino
- Mass Effect by Jack Wall
- Myst III: Exile by Jack Wall
- Myst IV: Revelation by Jack Wall
- Outcast by Lennie Moore in the track Oriental Spirit
- Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones by Inon Zur
- Uncharted 2 by Greg Edmonson
- 'Croft Manor Theme' in Tomb Raider Legend by Troels Brun Folmann
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) by Jeremy Soule in the track Tundra
- Total War: Rome II by Richard Beddow
- Empire: Total War
- Metro Exodus by Oleksii Omelchuk
- "Come Talk to Me" by Peter Gabriel (from the 1992 album Us)
- "Zachem Ya" by t.A.T.u. (from the 2001 album 200 Po Vstrechnoy)
- "Prelude & Nostalgia" by Yanni (from the 1997 album Tribute)
- "Science" and "Arto" (Hidden Track) by System of a Down (from the 2001 album Toxicity)
- "Jenny Wren" (2005) and "Back in Brazil" (2018) by Paul McCartney
- "All That I Am" by Rob Thomas (from the 2006 album ...Something to Be)
- "Touching the Void" by Soulfly (from the 2008 album Conquer)
- "Qélé, Qélé" by Sirusho (from the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest Armenian entry)
- "1944" by Jamala (2015)
- "Soulfly X" by Soulfly (from the 2015 album Archangel)
- "Come Along" by Cosmo Sheldrake (from the 2017 album "The Much Much How How and I", and featured in advertisements for Apple's iPhone XR in the UK, USA, and Canada)
- Tales from Earthsea by Tamiya Terashima, in the tracks "The Trip", "The Spider" and "Violent Robbery/The Seduction of the Undead".
- "The Duduk and National Identity in Armenia". Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society. American Musical Instrument Society. 32: 183. 2006.
...the duduk (pronounced doo-dook)...
- "…which is indigenous to Armenia,…" Archived 2018-05-09 at the Wayback Machine, World Music: Africa, Europe and the Middle East p.335
- Stokes, Jamie, ed. (2008). Peoples of Africa and the Middle East, Volume 1. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8160-7158-6.
One of the oldest indigenous Armenian instruments is the duduk, a woodwind instrument usually made from apricot wood, with a double reed mouthpiece.
- "Armenian duduk and other Armenian folk instruments" (PDF). UNESCO. June 2003. p. 32. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
Duduk is considered to be the most Armenian of all folk instruments for its Armenian origin and honest expression. It has a 1500 – year history and is native to Armenia, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
- "Sounds of Armenian duduk". UNESCO. November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014.
Duduk and its music were inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008 (originally proclaimed in 2005). The duduk, or "dziranapogh" in Armenian, is a double-reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood, conventionally called the "Armenian oboe".
- "Duduk and its music". UNESCO. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- Duduk in Nişanyan Sözlük
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- Encyclopedia.com:DJIVAN GASPARYAN Archived 2011-06-28 at the Wayback Machine
- "The roots of Armenian duduk music go back to the times of the Armenian king Tigran the Great (95-55 BC)": "The Duduk and its Music Archived 2014-03-16 at the Wayback Machine. UNESCO. Accessed February 8, 2010.
- Turpin, Andy (12 February 2010). "Nothing Sounds Armenian Like a Duduk: ALMA Lecture". Armenian Weekly. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- www.macedoniadirect.com/instruments/supelki.htm Archived 2006-05-25 at the Wayback Machine
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- Brennan, Mike (2 December 2005). "The Chronicles of Narnia Review". Archived from the original on 16 March 2014.
These include the use of the duduk as Mr. Tumnus' pipe in "A Narnia Lullaby"...
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