'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shame (Flute) about the African Nose Trumpet

I haven't as yet been able to establish why, but in the last few days there have been a number of new visitors here from America, all arriving at the same page.

They found their way to a post I ran back in October 2007, called, The Shame Flute, which you can read here.

Whether there has recently been a radio or T.V. programme featuring the said flute, I'm not sure, but whatever the source, the interest has spanned from coast to coast.
But I am very pleased to welcome all new visitors and hope you enjoy the Hillhouse experience!

This got me thinking about unusual and interesting facts connected to instruments, so, I did a bit of research.

Did you know, for example, that the flutes used by Inca chieftains were made from the arms and shinbones of their captured foes?
Worth remembering next time you happen to be asked to play one.

Or that drums on the island of Timor are carved in the shape of a human torso, because an ancient tribal hero could imitate the sound of the drum by thumping his chest.

Finally, that the national instrument of Polynesia is the nose flute, which is played with one nostril.

This last point reminds me of a rather harrowing time our eldest child recently had.
He was being interviewed for a place at senior school, by the headmaster.
This, as you can imagine, is a stressful situation for an 11 year old, especially when shown an unusual object and asked to guess what it was.

Poor son was at a complete loss.
He'd never seen the item before, and correctly surmised that he was being tested on his lateral thinking.
After much examination, and soul searching, he still had no idea, so decided to try injecting a little humour.
"It's an African nose trumpet," he declared.
Their was no response from the headmaster, and I spent the next few days reassuring son number one, that his response had been acceptable given his family background. (By that I mean musical and not raving mad...)

Anyway, he starts at the school in September, so I assume he either guessed correctly, and the item was in fact an African nose trumpet, or, and more likely, the head 'overlooked' the attempt at humour and dismissed it as youthful high spirits...


Anonymous said...

better to be playing on a shin or arm bone of a captured foe, than the be turned into one yourself...

Anna said...

Ha, very true!!