In childhood we all loved to read fairy tales. The wonderful world of magic stories initially taught us goodness and justice. And the exciting adventures of the heroes, who always reached the goal, despite the fact that they were in unrealistic situations with an incredible number of different obstacles, were optimistically set to believe in success in all life endeavors. And we also liked fairy tales because there were very often magical things that could perform amazing miracles. For example, a carpet is a plane that carried the hero to where he wished, living water that could revive the deceased, or a magic pipe, at the sounds of which everyone started to dance and could not stop. If we open a collection of fairy tales, then surely in the table of contents we will find a fairy tale, in the name of which one can find the name of this wonderful instrument: “magic pipe”, “shepherd's pipe” or simply “pipe”. What is this wonderful musical instrument endowed with such magical properties? In Russia they believed that the pipe was an instrument of love. According to legend, Lel, among the Slavs, who was the god of love and marriage, delighted young girls with cheerful plays with his flute.
Read the story of the pipe and many interesting facts about this musical instrument on our page.
"Folk", rich in overtones, but at the same time very gentle and pastoral voice of the pipe is easily recognizable. It is a little bit dry in the lower register, but in the upper one, which is usually used by the performers, it sounds bright and light.
Playing music on a pipe is not particularly difficult; to play the instrument, the scale should simply open the sound holes from bottom to top.
The structure of the pipe is diatonic, but if the sound holes on the instrument are not completely blocked, it is possible to extract chromatic sounds. The range, when applying a special method of sound extraction, which is called over-blowing by musicians, can reach two octaves from the "mi" of the first octave to the "mi" of the third octave.
- A tool like a pipe is found in many nations, Bashkirs call it kurai, Uzbeks hire, Belarusians a pipe, Moldovans use Fluer, Georgians use Salamuri, and Ukrainians use a sopilka.
- In different countries, not only different sorts of trees are used to make tools like the pipe, but also materials such as clay, silver, bone, porcelain, and even crystal.
- The great Russian poets, such as Alexander Blok, Bela Akhmadulina, Valery Bryusov, Dmitry Merezhkovsky and many others, sang fire in their poems.
- The image of the flute is brightly represented in the animation. An example is the animated film "The Magic Pipe", based on the Ossetian folk epos.
The construction of the pipe is very simple and consists of a tube, at the end of which the whistle device is located. The tube with a diameter of 1.5 cm has a length of from 35 to 40 cm. 6 or 7 sound holes are drilled on the tool barrel. The whistle device has the form of a beak or just a slanting cut along the tool barrel. It includes a glottis with a slider and an oblique cut, called a “tooth”.
Currently, bamboo or soft-core wood is used for making pipes: elder, hazel, buckthorn, maple, willow, ash and bird cherry.
The pipe has an interesting variety, consisting not of one tube, but of two - a double pipe, or it is also called a twin or silt twine. Currently, it is used quite rarely. Its design includes two paired channels of the same diameter, but not always equal in length. Double-pipe whistles for each tube are their own. Such a paired instrument has more performing capabilities, for example, you can play two-part melodies on it. Sometimes one of the tubes may simply be a jig, that is, a sounding background sound.
Today, the pipe does not belong to the category of sought-after tools, so the range of its use is very limited. It is mainly used in ensembles performing folk music, as well as orchestras of folk instruments. However, it should be noted that recently it began to be used at the initial stage of children's music education, which later would seriously like to play vocals. Playing the flute improves the future vocalists' purity of intonation, develops a musical memory, fine motor skills, and also improves the child's speech.
The time of the appearance of the first instrument, which could be the ancestor of the flute, now nobody can say for sure. Perhaps it was when the ancient man cut off the reed, made holes in it, put it to his lips and played the first sounds on it. Many people in different parts of the world had such instruments as flute, and there is even the possibility that they appeared independently of each other. Such tools were very loved, people endowed them with magical properties and composed beautiful legends about them. According to one ancient Greek myth, the instrument is a creation of the god Hermes, gifted by many talents. He played on it when grazing cows in infancy. According to another truth, a very sad legend, Niyad Siringa, fleeing the forest god Pan in love with her, turned into a marsh reed. Frustrated, Pan, trying to find Syring, cut out the whole reed, but not finding his beloved, tied up several reed tubes and played a sad melody on them.
When and how the pipe appeared in Russia, no one can say for sure now about this. Art critics suggest that the instrument on the Russian land came from ancient Greece. The existence of the flute among Rusich has many hundreds of years, but we received the first information about musical instruments only from The Tale of Bygone Years, the earliest Russian chronicle, compiled by Nestor, a monk of the Kiev-Pechersk monastery in the twelfth century. We acquired a more accurate picture of the ancient pipe on which our ancestors played, only as a result of discoveries of a scientific archeological expedition conducted in the area of the ancient cities of Novgorod and Pskov in the middle of the last century. Two instruments were found: one, dating back to the end of the eleventh century, was 22.5 cm long and four sound holes. The second, somewhat smaller in size and dated to the fifteenth century, had only three sound holes and a length of 19 cm. However, it should also be noted that there was another special type of flute in Smolensk region, which was a pair, double-barreled instrument consisting of two tubes of the same type but different lengths. The big tube was held in the right hand, and the smaller - in the left. On such an instrument, it was possible that two-part melodies were performed.
Piglet was the favorite tool of shepherds and buffoons. Buffoons in the 17th century, because of their attacks on church and secular power, fell under disgrace and were sent into exile by special order of Patriarch of All Russia Nikon, and their tools, including flutes, were mercilessly destroyed. As a result of this reprisal, the tool was preserved only in remote villages by the shepherds, and even the name "shepherd's pipe" was stuck to it.
For a long time no one showed special interest in the instrument, and only at the end of the 19th century on the initiative of a Russian nobleman, a patriot and an expert on folk art, the creator of the first orchestra of Russian folk instruments V.V. Andreeva pipe was improved and introduced to the folk orchestra.
Unfortunately, the flute is currently not very popular, but it is remarkable that in our country there are now enthusiasts, real patriots who know and love their roots. They revive interest in the Russian national culture and try so that the sound of the pipe is never forgotten.