Launeddas – 19 Mediana a pipia in DO#

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The launeddas (also called triple clarinet or triplepipe) is a typical Sardinian woodwind instrument made of three pipes. It is a polyphonic instrument, with one of the pipes functioning as a drone and the other two playing the melody in thirds and sixths.

Predecessors of the launeddas can be traced back to approximately 2700 BCE in Egypt, where reed pipes were originally called ‘memet’. During the Old Kingdom in Egypt (2778-2723 BCE), memets were depicted on the reliefs of seven tombs at Saqqarra, six tombs at Giza, and the pyramids of Queen Khentkaus. The launeddas itself dates back to at least the eighth century BCE and are still played today during religious ceremonies and dances (su ballu in Sardinian language). Distinctively, they are played using extensive variations on a few melodic phrases, and a single song can last over an hour, producing some of the “most elemental and resonant (sounds) in European music”.

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