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Hornbostel–Sachs classification 421.111-12
Related instruments

The volynka (Ukrainian: волинка, Russian: волынка, Crimean Tatar: tulup zurna – see also duda, and koza) is a bagpipe. Its etymology comes from the region Volyn, Ukraine, where it was borrowed from Romania.[1]

The volynka is constructed around a goat skin air reservoir into which air is blown through a pipe with a valve to stop air escaping. (Modern concert instruments often have a reservoir made from a basketball bladder}. A number of playing pipes [two to four] extend from the reservoir holding the air. The main playing pipe on which the melody is played has five to seven, sometimes eight finger holes. The other pipes produce a drone. This is usually either a single tonic note or a perfect fifth. Each of these playing pipes has a double reed usually made from a goose quill. In the 20th century this instrument has lost the popularity it had previously, and is rarely used today in an authentic context.

Modern usage[edit]

The instrument has gained popularity in stage performance. It has been used in a number of songs by Russian rock bands DDT, Aquarium, and Aria. It also appears more in Russian folk music and Ukrainian folk music ensembles.

See also[edit]


  • Humeniuk, A. - Ukrainski narodni muzychni instrumenty - Kiev: Naukova dumka, 1967
  • Mizynec, V. - Ukrainian Folk Instruments - Melbourne: Bayda books, 1984
  • Cherkasky, L. - Ukrainski narodni muzychni instrumenty // Tekhnika, Kiev, Ukraine, 2003 - 262 pages. ISBN 966-575-111-5


  1. ^ Vasmer, Max (1986). Etymological dictionary of the Russian language. Moscow: Progress. p. 347.