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help in identifying an unusual stringed instrument.

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Author Topic: help in identifying an unusual stringed instrument.  (Read 465 times)
« on: September 29, 2012, 05:45:34 pm »

That was my first thought, too, though I didn't see anything but flat-bottomed ones when I spent a year in Bolivia. Get any Bolivian and Peruvian folk music and you are likely to hear it, I also think Simon and Garfunkel used it in their music to El Condor Pasa, which, with the quena (a reed flute) taking the melody and the charango accompanying, is just about the most descriptive music you will find to express the emotions one feels high in the Andes mountains, even if you are an outsider. I was there in the early '70s and some of the Bolivian people were angry at what they called the theft of their traditional melody. There was also a folk explanation of the origin of the quena, which is a simple hollowed out reed flute that has a most plaintive and beautiful tone, even more other-worldly than the native American flute you probably have heard, esp in New Age music. It was thought to have been originally carved from the tibia of an Incan warrior's beloved wife, who was accidentally killed in a battle--he couldn't leave her body in his grief and when she was skeletal he made the flute so he could hear her voice forever. I love that story. Anyway, hope that all was of interest to you.

Here is a picture of a quena, to go with your charango picture!
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