Chiff and Fipple Forums

Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk
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Author:  pigwhistle [ Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

Howdy Folks,
Does anyone know where I may be able to purchase a 'Vlashki Duduk' as seen and heard here played by Theodosii Spassov- . I have found a couple of clips of a 'Bulgarian Duduk' on two websites but they sound more like a normal whistle and nothing like the 'Vlashki'. The sound that I'm particularly after is that of the Persian/Farsi Ney as heard here- - but without the weird embrochure required to play one ( teeth and tongue being used for this). It is the strong breathy lower octave of the 'Persian Ney' that interests me which the other Neys' don't have to the same degree as far as I understand. Does anyone know of any other instruments that produce the same sound? Any and all help is much appreciated,thanks for reading,

Author:  MichaelLoos [ Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

Hi David,
first of all - I have no idea where to get one of these; if you should find out, I'd be highly interested myself.
"Duduk" is the bulgarian name for a whistle, and "Vlashki" means "Wallachian" (used synonymously for "Romanian"). "Vlashki" instruments and music can be found where the two countries border, along the Danube river.
At first I thought this instrument was a Romanian caval (not to be confused with the Bulgarian kaval) but a closer look showed it seems to be a very big six-hole whistle (in Romania it would be called a "fluier mare", but it is not very common there). Fipple, windway and labium are at the back of the instrument.
The sound you're after is called "kaba" in Bulgarian kaval playing (which also uses a weird embouchure similar to that of the ney). A very similar sound is achieved by romanian caval players by half-covering the window with the lower lip (you can hear it here: Basically, the same technique can be applied to any duct flute with the windway on its back - which may well be the main reason why most East-European duct flutes are made this way.
This instrument maker makes duduks as well as bulgarian kavals (which he also offers with a duduk mouthpiece): - I guess he would be able to make a low-pitched duduk, if you asked him. I know nothing about the quality of his instruments, though.

Author:  pigwhistle [ Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

Hi Michael,
Thanks for the information, I figured/hoped you would probably know about these things and give a reply. If I do manage to track down a Vlashki Duduk I will certainly let you know. At the moment I'm leaning towards a Turkish Kaval for the particular low octave breathy sound that I like as other kavals' I listen to on Youyube don't seem to be all that strong in the lower octave but my knowledge and understanding of these insruments is still in it's fledgling stage, any suggestions would be most welcome.

Author:  MichaelLoos [ Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

The strength of the low register depends mostly on the player, not the instrument... although some bad instruments just won't give a good kaba sound.
It is not easy to do, I've been practicing this for years, and I'm still not happy with my kaba.
Here's some wonderful, strong kaba playing from Shtilian Tihov and Stoyan Stoilov of the Sliven Ensemble:
BTW, this vlashki duduk Theodosii plays is very quiet, altogether.

Author:  MichaelLoos [ Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

A friend of mine said he reckons this vlashki duduk might be an old instrument from northwest Bulgaria that somehow found its way into Theodosii's hands, but it's not commonly played there.
You could ask Radoslav Paskalev if he could make an instrument like that.

Author:  pigwhistle [ Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

Michael, I've decided to put searching for a vlashki duduk on hold for a while and have ordered a Turkish Kaval made by Ali Riza Acar (at least I hope it is actually made by him) from off ebay. There are insruments called Dilli Kaval/Flagolets' in various sizes also on ebay which do seem similar to the vlashki, do you know anything about this type of whistle?

Author:  MichaelLoos [ Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

Can you post the ebay link?
You've probably read this: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=95573
This is more or less all I know about Turkish kavals, and it's not very much...
The only instrument I found on ebay under the maker's name is this one: ... 3a7736c686
It seems to be of the type without fipple which means you will have to learn the half-weird embouchure (very much like Bulgarian kaval), but not the totally weird one involving your front teeth (like Persian ney).

Author:  pigwhistle [ Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

Here is the link to the dilli kaval on ebay - ... 2ec520ba59 I have seen the other posting about the Turkish Kaval, here is the link to that particular maker that the person mentioned - ... 2eb2c8c9bd - They look suspiciously like the other ones made by Ali Riza Acar to me.

Author:  MichaelLoos [ Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

Looks interesting - please keep me informed, when you get it!
BTW, has your Kaba Gaida arrived, and how do you like it?
In the meantime, I've seeen and tried a recent instrument by Kostadin Ilchev, and I found it was fantastic.

Author:  pigwhistle [ Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bulgarian/Vlashki Duduk

Hi Michael,
The kaval that I ordered is not the dilli kaval if that is the one your inquiring about, but I intend to order one in the not too distant future so I will keep you informed. I did receive the kaba gaida a little while back, I sent you an e-mail but it probably got lost on the air waves. It seems to be a very nice instrument as far as I can tell but it seemed to take a lot of air, probably due to the reed. Radoslav said that type of reed would take a lot of working in and suggested I try a composite reed in the mean time but I have not tried that as yet, there being no model or craft shops where I live, so tubing is proving hard to find, I will have to wait till I can get up to the capitol city. I spent a fair amount of time mouth blowing the gaida as you suggested but have decided to keep to my original plan to try to convert the gaida to a bellows blown instrument, I realise this may be sacreligious but the consequences will be all on me. To that end I have purchased a Cornemuse bag from Jackie Boyce which has the same dimensions as my Duda bag from Botond Bese and bellows I already have, so I keep my fingers crossed, I can always re-convert. Having said all that I haven't been able to play pipes for quite some months due to a persistant shoulder complaint, hence my concentration on whistles/kavals' etc... If you have any suggestions regarding my gaida experiment as to reeds' etc... please let me know.

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