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MUSIC IN SARDINIA

Launeddas

Launedda is a polyphonic reed instrument, which is made up of three canes. Since it requires a constant flow of air it is played using circular breathing.

The longest cane is called tumbu and is always tuned on the tonic and emits a single drone note in the low register.

The two chanters are called mancosa manna and mancosedda. They have five holes each and the four located on the upper part are fingered by the left and right hand, respectively.

The lowest hole on the melodic canes is called arrefinu or pentiadori and is always tuned on a note that belongs to the triad built on the tonic.

When the finger holes are closed, the arrefinu plays and blends with the note of the tumbu. In this way it is possible to create what has the effect of a pause and staccato in the melody without interrupting the flow of air created by the player's circular respiration.

The mancosedda and the mancosa manna with which two melodies are played at the same time can have five different combinations of notes that always correspond to a portion of the major scale.

The arrefinu is always tuned on the note, which belongs to the tonic triad, which is closest, by descending scale to the lowest note of the melodic canes.


The melodic canes mancosedda and mancosa manna play two melodies at the same time, they can have five different combinations of notes that always correspond to a portion of a major scale. By putting together these five combinations in different ways, different "types" of Launeddas are created: the cunzertus.
Every cunzertu has its own specific name, the most common ones being: Mediana, Mediana a pipia, Fiorassiu, Simponia. Punt'e'Organu and Fiuda Bagadia.
Here follows a transcription on a D scale of the different cunzertus. Melodic notes of mancosa and mancosedda are in black and the white notes represent the arrefinu.


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