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Other namesTav shvi
Related instruments

The shvi (Armenian: շվի, "whistle", pronounced sh-vee) is an Armenian fipple flute with a labium mouth piece.[2] Commonly made of wood (apricot, boxwood, or ebony) or bamboo and up to 12 inches (300 mm) in length, it typically has a range of an octave and a-half.[3] The tav shvi is made from apricot wood, it is up to 18 inches (460 mm) long, and is tuned 1/4 lower producing a more lyrical and intimate sound.

The shvi is up to 12 inches in length and is made of reed, bark of willows, or walnut wood. It has 8 holes on the front, 7 of which are used while playing, and one thumbhole. One octave is obtained by blowing normally into the shvi and a second octave is attained by blowing with slightly more force. The lower octave has a timbre similar to a recorder whereas the higher octave sounds similar to a piccolo or flute. 8-hole traditional flute. The shvi is played with the mouth. Typically, most Armenian duduk or zurna players learn the shvi before moving on to either instrument.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Volkan Gücer - Üflemeli Çalgılar". Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  2. ^ McCollum, Jonathan (2014). "Shvi." New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. Second Edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199743391.
  3. ^ "Description of Armenian shvi, photo, audio preview". Retrieved 2014-03-04.


  • Ararat Petrossian - "Melody of Sunik", Aya Sofia Records, 1995.
  • Nor Dar - "Opus of the Lizard", Libra Music, 1997.
  • Tamar Eskenian
  • Various Artists - "Kalaschjan - Rural and Urban Traditional Music from Armenia", Weltmusic, 1992.
  • Soviet Music and Society Under Lenin and Stalin By Neil Edmunds

External links[edit]