Duduk (Doudouk, Balaman or Balaban) is a double-reed (approximately 3 inches long), wind instrument that has a human like voice quality. It usually has simple holes and only rarely has mechanical keys. The Duduk is most often played with an accompanist who sustains one tone or drone as in this duduk audio clip. Much of the music heard on this instrument is quite somber.


Zurna is a musical instrument from the wooden wind family. It has a double reed for generating the sound. The Zurna is mentioned as early as the IX century in the epic tale "David of Sasun". It was widely used in everyday life-it accompanied grape gathering, grain grinding, cloth making, tight rope walkers' feasts, popular games, etc. Today the Zurna is played at weddings and other public festivities, usually in the open air.


The Shvi (Shavi) is a wind instrument with a libium mouth piece (similar to that of a western recorder). It may be made of wood or bamboo. It generally has a range of an octave and a-half. The pitches vary with the size of the instrument. There are no metal keys on the Shvi. The pictured Shvi above is a two piece Shvi from Armenia.


Kemenche (Kemanche, Kamancha, Kemen) is a spiked fiddle. It is played on the knee with a horse-hair bow which is tightened with the hand while playing. Armenians from the Black Sea (Sev Dzov) Trebizond region of a village called Shabin Karahisar (Black Castle) played another type of Kemenche (pictured below). This Kemenche is also known as a Black Sea, Karadeniz, Laz, or Pontos Kemenche. The shape of this Kemenche is similar to the violin. It has 3 strings.


The oud (ud) is a tear-drop shaped instrument, much like the European Lute. There are five pairs of strings and one bass string. The Oud is played by Armenians from Western Armenia and the Middle East. Both ouds pictured above are Karibian Ouds. Karibian was a world renowned Oud maker in the 20th century. He resided in Istanbul.


Kanoon (Kanoun) is a lap-harp with approximately 72 strings, tuned in sets of three. It is plucked with finger-picks extended from each index finger held by a metal circular band. It is the predecessor to the harpsichord and piano. The kanoon is played by Armenians from Western Armenia (Historical Armenia).


Dhol (Dowoul) is a double-sided drum, most often played with the fingers. The Dhol is played by Armenians from Eastern Armenia.


Musical instruments