Traditional Musical Instruments


Duduk - An Armenian oboe. It is a single or double reed instrument made of apricot wood with nine holes.

    History: The duduk dates back to the time before Christ. Throughout the centuries, the Armenian duduk has traveled across Europe and Asia. Different countries adapted the duduk, changing its name, length, and number of holes. The duduk used to be made of bone, but later it was changed to double reed and a body made of wood.


Dhol - A cylinder shaped percussion instrument with two batter heads. It is made of pine, walnut, or willow. The membranes are made of sheepskin or goatskin. One head has a low pitch, the other having a higher pitch.

   History: In medieval times, the dhol was called a "gos."


Tar - A double stringed, long flute, placed on the chest when played. it consists of an oval and teardrop shape body and animal skin face.

Kanon - A type of harp played by finger plucking. It has 72 strings stretching from end to end. the board is trapezoid-shaped.

Shvi - A woodwind instrunent made of apricot wood or bamboo. It is up to 18 inches and can cover an octave and a half. It has 8 holes, 7 in the front and a thumbhole on the back. Most duduk or zurna players learn the shvi before moving on to anything else.

Zurna - One of the most popular instruments in Armenia. A wind instrument made of pear wood and has a removable double reed. The Davul and the Zurna are often used together in dances and parties; they are inseparable. It produces loud, cheerful sounds.

    History: The zurna is believed to have its origins in China. Variations can be found in Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, as well as in the Caucasus, along with their various names. The earliest mention of the zurna in Armenian history is the 4th century.