Blog on Alghoza: The Dual Flute needs an intro.
So, from an anonymously released list of rules, Rule 38 of the Internet states, ‘No real limits of any kind apply here – not even the sky.’ Well, it can be applied in real life too.
The invention of cars eased transportation. Soon after, someone invented monster trucks. Piano and concertinas are different from every angle. Soon, someone transmuted the two, and the Accordion was born. You may be wondering, ‘Now he would mention how boring it is to play one flute at a time, so play two flutes together.’ Well, guess what? Correct! Hop on the bus already. We will explore the Dual Flute, Alghoza.
1. Rest assured, the Alghoza is not evil as it might sound to some. It is, in fact, an intelligently modified flute. More specifically, it is a pair of fipple flutes.
2. It first originated in the Afghani headlands. Nowadays, it is a popular instrument used by the folk musicians of north-western India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It goes by many names Mattiyan, Jorhi, Pawa Jorhi, or Do Nali are some of the many.
3. Construction of the Dual Flute involves tying together or physically joining two fipple flutes. Two separate flutes loosely held together by hand also do the job.
4. The player blows into the Dual Flute simultaneously. The quick breathing of the player creates an interesting sound effect.
5. Initially, the 2-flutes (of the Dual Flute) were supposed to be of the same length. However, flutes of different sizes were used to create an Alghoza with time. These produced different sounds that altered the entire experience.
6. The number of holes in the two flutes also varies. The longer flute has 6-7 holes. The shorter flute is made in a way that only produces a droning sound. However, some Alghozas are built with the same number of holes in both flutes. This removes the shorter flute’s melody-producing restriction.
7. Alghoza artists consider the instrument to be a couple. The longer flute is the male flute, and the shorter one is the female flute.
8. ‘The alghoza sounds like the sound of war, peace, forests, seasons, the weather, mountains, seas and the sounds of nature,’ says Ustad Ameer Ali Khan (renowned connoisseur of Sindhi music). The male sound of the Alghoza continuously plays at the same pitch without any gap while the female note fluctuates.
9. A few famous Sindhi songs on the Alghoza are Peren Pavandisaan, Chavandisaan, the ever-popular folk song, Yaar daadi Ishq aatish aai-hai by Runa Laila.
Although the instrument produces a rich melody and has a curious cultural legacy, it is slowly becoming history. Today, few people are willing to master the instrument. Will the Alghoza regain its popularity like the Rubab, or will it become a victim at times? Only Time will tell.
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I am Rakshit Aswal, a recent graduate of English Hons. from University of Delhi. I like to play videogames and read books while on my pursuit to experience amazing stories.