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pcwino
post Mar 20 2009, 04:24 AM
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I bought what was supposed to be a duduk about 10 years ago and never learned how to play it. There was very little information in English about it back then so I had no way of educating myself.

After looking around recently I realized that I may actually have a Turkish Mey. It is a little over 32cm long without the reed, has 7 holes plus a thumb hole and sounds out a strong B right below middle C when nothing is fingered.

I can't afford another instrument so I would like to learn to play this one for now. Where should I go from here?

Thanks
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RonsMusic76
post Mar 20 2009, 06:37 PM
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Sounds like a mey just judging by the number of finger holes. Mey also usually have thinner walled, less elaborate reeds than duduk and a thinner bore compared to the overall width of the body, both factors that probably contribute to it having a more harsh (some would say "nasal") tone. The natural scale is different as well I think. I think the mey has a couple half-flats where most duduk are now made in normal western tuning.

And don't worry, I did the same thing, my first couple were mey as well. If you look up "duduk" on amazon.com you'll see that almost all that comes up is actually mey, labeled as duduk. It's hard to say whether this is false advertising or not since even the Wikipedia entry for duduk now describes "duduk" as a generic term for all the reed instruments in this family (duduk, mey, balaban, aeol, etc). I suppose it's an honor to duduk-players that Armenia's version of the instrument has become the standard for the whole family but it does tend to complicate things when trying to sort out one from the other online and in searches!

QUOTE(pcwino @ Mar 19 2009, 10:24 PM) *

I bought what was supposed to be a duduk about 10 years ago and never learned how to play it. There was very little information in English about it back then so I had no way of educating myself.

After looking around recently I realized that I may actually have a Turkish Mey. It is a little over 32cm long without the reed, has 7 holes plus a thumb hole and sounds out a strong B right below middle C when nothing is fingered.

I can't afford another instrument so I would like to learn to play this one for now. Where should I go from here?

Thanks



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pcwino
post Mar 20 2009, 07:13 PM
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QUOTE(RonsMusic76 @ Mar 20 2009, 02:37 PM) *

Sounds like a mey just judging by the number of finger holes. Mey also usually have thinner walled, less elaborate reeds than duduk and a thinner bore compared to the overall width of the body, both factors that probably contribute to it having a more harsh (some would say "nasal") tone. The natural scale is different as well I think. I think the mey has a couple half-flats where most duduk are now made in normal western tuning.

And don't worry, I did the same thing, my first couple were mey as well. If you look up "duduk" on amazon.com you'll see that almost all that comes up is actually mey, labeled as duduk. It's hard to say whether this is false advertising or not since even the Wikipedia entry for duduk now describes "duduk" as a generic term for all the reed instruments in this family (duduk, mey, balaban, aeol, etc). I suppose it's an honor to duduk-players that Armenia's version of the instrument has become the standard for the whole family but it does tend to complicate things when trying to sort out one from the other online and in searches!



Thanks, it seemed to me that I was dealing with some micro-tones as well but I wasn't sure if it was my embeture. It's seeming more and more like this think is not western tempered. Any ideas as to what I can do about that (technique, reed adjustments)? Also how does this bamboo choke looking thing on the reed work?
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RonsMusic76
post Mar 24 2009, 10:13 PM
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Take this with a grain of salt as I'm both working from memory right now and I only have limited experience with Turkish music theory...

I think the scale on the normal mey is identical to a western major scale, starting on the So (5th), except that your Mi and Ti will be half flats.

Three immediate options come to mind for avoiding the semitones:
1) Pinch your embouchure a little more on those notes which should sharpen the notes up, you'll have to depend on your ear to know when you've hit it and it'll take a while to learn. This could bring you into a normal western major scale.
2) Try using tape to partially cover the hole to change the pitch down on those notes to turn the whole thing into a western minor scale (or a major scale starting on La). I don't know if this will work on the mey because of how thick the walls are but it works on thinner walled instruments like flutes.
3) If you have a digital tuner and a rasp or circular file and you're willing to potentially ruin the instrument you can widen the holes for the two "off key" notes and bring it up to a normal major scale permanently. Again I don't know how well this will work for the mey and I wouldn't even consider this unless you're okay with possibly ruining it!

The choke thing is called a bridle in English, duduk have them as well. Reed instruments require the reed to be slightly moist and warm in order to play properly and with less danger of cracking. With duduk and mey this allows them to open up enough for them to have room to vibrate with passing air...and it also means they'll keep trying to open past the point of playability as well! So the bridle helps hold the opening in just the right position and helps keep it from opening too far. Be aware that this also alters the pitch! If you're playing with someone else and need to stay on pitch you may need to add some thread wrapped around the base of the reed to make it sit in the instrument slightly further out and thus lower the overall pitch back down to normal. "Playing is tuning" as they say.


QUOTE(pcwino @ Mar 20 2009, 01:13 PM) *

Thanks, it seemed to me that I was dealing with some micro-tones as well but I wasn't sure if it was my embeture. It's seeming more and more like this think is not western tempered. Any ideas as to what I can do about that (technique, reed adjustments)? Also how does this bamboo choke looking thing on the reed work?



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========================
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pcwino
post Apr 6 2009, 08:48 PM
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QUOTE(RonsMusic76 @ Mar 24 2009, 06:13 PM) *

Take this with a grain of salt as I'm both working from memory right now and I only have limited experience with Turkish music theory...

I think the scale on the normal mey is identical to a western major scale, starting on the So (5th), except that your Mi and Ti will be half flats.

Three immediate options come to mind for avoiding the semitones:
1) Pinch your embouchure a little more on those notes which should sharpen the notes up, you'll have to depend on your ear to know when you've hit it and it'll take a while to learn. This could bring you into a normal western major scale.
2) Try using tape to partially cover the hole to change the pitch down on those notes to turn the whole thing into a western minor scale (or a major scale starting on La). I don't know if this will work on the mey because of how thick the walls are but it works on thinner walled instruments like flutes.
3) If you have a digital tuner and a rasp or circular file and you're willing to potentially ruin the instrument you can widen the holes for the two "off key" notes and bring it up to a normal major scale permanently. Again I don't know how well this will work for the mey and I wouldn't even consider this unless you're okay with possibly ruining it!

The choke thing is called a bridle in English, duduk have them as well. Reed instruments require the reed to be slightly moist and warm in order to play properly and with less danger of cracking. With duduk and mey this allows them to open up enough for them to have room to vibrate with passing air...and it also means they'll keep trying to open past the point of playability as well! So the bridle helps hold the opening in just the right position and helps keep it from opening too far. Be aware that this also alters the pitch! If you're playing with someone else and need to stay on pitch you may need to add some thread wrapped around the base of the reed to make it sit in the instrument slightly further out and thus lower the overall pitch back down to normal. "Playing is tuning" as they say.


Thanks alot for your help.
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Duduk
post Apr 6 2009, 10:29 PM
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in 1998or 99 we ave made some reed's for a local artist who owns some may's, it was a challenge wink.gif he just had to use a may for a recording

if you can't find good reed's for it, ship the may to us and we will custom make reed's for your may

MOses


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