VIDEO: He plays askomantoura with a straw!

His name is Giannis Trevlakis and he is a musician. He plays a traditional Cretan organ called askomantoura.

But… is it possible to make the sound of askomantoura with a straw?

Let’s see…

Askomantoura or bagpipe, is a member of the woodwind family and consists of three main parts: the mouthpiece, the bag and the pipe.

The pipe is the most complicated part and consists of a wooden socket with two reeds and the melody pipe.

For the mouthpiece or the blowpipe (fouskotari) a hollowed out bone is generally used, as it is considerably stronger than wood.

The bag (askos) is made out of the skin of a kid or a lamb. An animal of approximately 7 kilos is preferred, as it gives the best size of the bag.

The hairs are cut to the length of ½ cm to prevent the bag from bursting.

The hairs will also catch the moisture when you blow, and thus prevent the wooden parts from being destroyed.

Afterwards the holes from three of the legs are sewn up, while the hole from the throat and the fourth leg remain open for the wooden socket and the mouthpiece.

Then the reverse side is turned out.

The wooden socket, cut out of oleander or maple, is hollowed out in order to make room for the two reeds (kalami). Any leaks that may occur are sealed with beeswax.

The fingerholes in the reeds are made by glowing pieces of wood in order to make them completely round.

The reeds, which together make the melody pipe (mandoura), each consist of two parts.

Partly of the reeds, which are fastened in the socket, and partly of two smaller reeds. A fine blade cut into the smaller reeds creates the vibrations in the air-current and in that way the sound of the instrument.

The two smaller reeds are pressed into the top of the socket and can easily be changed when the blade becomes worn.

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