Each of the nations has its own national music, and for some of them it hardly changes from century to century. And, of course, in addition to music, each country has its own national musical instruments. With their sound, they convey the spirit of the people, their mood, culture, feelings and identity. In Russia, for example, balalaika, bonjo – in the USA, bagpipes – in Scotland, mandolin – in Italy. And in Armenia it is duduk, the melody of which is often called the music of the soul: lingering aching sounds touch all its strings.
Legend of the duduk
According to an ancient Armenian legend, Young Breeze fell in love with a beautiful flowering apricot tree, however, as in all legends, the hero ran into an obstacle. The evil and old Whirlwind did not allow the Wind to caress the petals of the apricot tree and threatened to turn the emerald mountain valley into a desert – then the Wind’s favorite tree would die from the hot breath of the Whirlwind. But the young hero could not imagine life without the object of his love and began to persuade Whirlwind to let him stay among the apricot flowers. The old man agreed, but with only one condition: Veterok would never be able to fly again. If he breaks the agreement, the tree will die.
So spring passed, and then summer. The happy and carefree Breeze played in the leaves of his beloved tree, and it hummed harmonious melodies to him. With the advent of autumn, the flowers and leaves fell off, the tree fell silent. From boredom Veterok more and more began to pull to the heights – circling with friends in the sky. The young man could not stand it and flew away. The tree could not endure the longing for its beloved and died, only one twig was lost among the withered foliage. This branch was found by a lonely young man and made a pipe out of it. As soon as the young man raised the pipe to his lips, she sang, telling her sad love story. This is how, according to legend, the duduk appeared – one of the most ancient musical instruments in the world, which is also considered a symbol of love and parting.
From Tigran the Great to the present day
The Armenian duduk is one of the oldest musical instruments on the planet. The sound of the duduk accompanies the Armenian throughout his life – from birth, wedding and until the very funeral.
The second name of the duduk is “tsiranapokh”, which in Armenian means the spirit/sound of an apricot tree. It was from the apricot tree that Armenians made duduk in ancient times. For the first time, the Armenian scientist and historian of the 5th century AD Movses Khorenatsi mentions tsiranapokh in his writings. But according to most scientists, the duduk dates back to the time of Urartu. But nevertheless, it was finally decorated at the court of the Armenian king Tigran II the Great, who ruled from 95 to 55 BC, a great lover of culture, theater and music.
Duduk gained worldwide fame thanks to the greatest duduk player maestro Jivan Gasparyan.
And the outstanding Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian said that of the musical instruments, only the duduk can make him cry.
The instrument has been used on soundtracks for films such as Gladiator, The Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Da Vinci Code, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Xena – Warrior Queen”, “Ashes and Snow”, “Onegin”, “Game of Thrones”, “Hulk” and “House. Travel history.
In 2005, the duduk and the music performed on it were given the status of a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
We invite you to visit Armenia, to join the ancient civilization, to become a part of the ancient culture, and during the visit, unforgettable melodies will be performed for you on one of the most ancient musical instruments in the world – the duduk.