Friday, April 2, 2010

Bukkehorn and lur

All Rams Horns for blowing are not Shofars as used in Hebrew Worship. In Norway the ram's horn and wooden horn (Bukkehorn and lur) are traditional instruments. The bukkehorn is an instrument type which is found over large parts of the world. It was traditionally used on high mountain summer dairy farms by herders at least since medieval times. There are two main types of bukkehorn. The more common type has a plain hole for a mouthpiece and is blown as a brass instrument, with from two to three up to eight finger holes. The other type is called tungehorn ("tongue horn"), and is played like a clarinet; it has a reed made of birch bark or juniper in the mouthpiece. There is far less knowledge of the ritual use of these instruments than of their function as "tools". In Norway, both these instruments and their history are associated with mountain farms and shepherds. The ram's horn was, from its earliest days, a practical tool rather than a musical instrument, used as a means of giving warnings and signals. Later horns were made with two, three, and up to eight finger holes. It is also called the trumpet horn (trompethorn). A variation on the ram's horn is known as the tongue horn (tungehorn). It has a reed made of juniper wood that is similar to a clarinet reed, and has from four to eight finger holes.

Women Blowing Lur

While the ram`s horn was used first and foremost by shepherds, the lur (similar to an alpenhorn) was the instrument of the dairy maids (budeia) who tended the summer farms. The lur`s history can also be traced back to the Middle Ages. We know that the lur was an important tool at sea in olden times, where it was used to communicate between boats. In the Oseberg ship, an elaborate grave from Viking times, a wooden tube was found that researchers believe was a lur. We divide lurs into 3 groups based on the construction technique: lurs that are hollowed out of a single piece of wood, lurs that are made from a piece of wood that is first split and later bound back together, and lurs that are simply bound together by a birch strip. The lur is blown like a trumpet; the thin end where you blow is usually formed something like the mouthpiece of a trumpet. On an ordinary lur it is possible, using overblowing technique, to produce pitches ranging from the 2nd up to the 6th or 8th harmonic of the harmonic series (natural scale). If the lur is very long, it is possible to produce all the way up to the 12th harmonic.

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