End blown bamboo flutes have been played for centuries in various cultures around the world. They are also known as Shakuhachi in Japan, Dizi in China, and Bansuri in India. These flutes have a unique and beautiful sound that is soothing to the ears and can be used to create a variety of musical styles.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the end blown bamboo flute with five holes. We will explore its origins, construction, tuning, playing techniques, and its use in different musical genres.
Origins of the End Blown Bamboo Flute
The end blown bamboo flute has its origins in China and Japan. The Chinese Dizi dates back to the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and has been played in various Chinese musical traditions such as Cantonese music, Chaozhou music, and Beijing opera. The Japanese Shakuhachi is said to have been introduced to Japan in the 8th century by Chinese Zen Buddhist monks. It has been used in various Japanese musical traditions such as honkyoku, sankyoku, and minyo.
Construction of the End Blown Bamboo Flute
The end blown bamboo flute is made from a single piece of bamboo. The bamboo is carefully selected and seasoned to ensure that it is dry and free from cracks. The length and diameter of the bamboo determine the pitch and tone of the flute. The bamboo is then carved with a specialized knife to create the bore and the tone holes. The end of the bamboo is cut at an angle to create the blowing edge. The surface of the bamboo is sanded and polished to give it a smooth and attractive finish.
Tuning of the End Blown Bamboo Flute
The end blown bamboo flute can be tuned to different scales depending on the musical tradition and genre. In Japan, the Shakuhachi is commonly tuned to the pentatonic scale (five notes per octave) and the minor pentatonic scale (five notes per octave with a flattened third and seventh). In China, the Dizi is commonly tuned to the major scale, the minor scale, and the pentatonic scale. The tuning of the flute is done by adjusting the size and position of the tone holes.
Playing Techniques for the End Blown Bamboo Flute
The end blown bamboo flute can be played using various techniques such as blowing, tonguing, and vibrato. The blowing technique involves blowing air into the flute and adjusting the pressure and angle of the lips to create different notes and tones. The tonguing technique involves using the tongue to stop and start the flow of air to create staccato and legato notes. The vibrato technique involves modulating the pitch of the note by quickly varying the air pressure.
Use of the End Blown Bamboo Flute in Different Musical Genres
The end blown bamboo flute is used in various musical genres such as classical, folk, and new age music. In Japan, the Shakuhachi is used in the honkyoku tradition to play solo pieces that express the beauty of nature and the impermanence of life. In China, the Dizi is used in the Chaozhou music tradition to play upbeat and lively pieces that depict rural life and festivities. In the West, the end blown bamboo flute is used in new age music to create a calming and meditative atmosphere.
The end blown bamboo flute with five holes is a unique and beautiful musical instrument that has been played for centuries in various cultures around the world. Its construction, tuning, and playing techniques make it a versatile and expressive instrument that can be used in different musical genres. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, the end blown bamboo flute is a wonderful instrument to play and enjoy.