Zampona Music Instrument

This wind instrument is from the family of pan-pipe,  and is made using varying sizes of a series of cane tubes bound together, which form one or two rows the musical note is dependent upon the size of tubes. It is available in the variety of length depending upon the region it is manufactured in because the quantity and length of tubes vary from region to region. It is very popular in the region of southern Peru, and played in all the festivities particularly in department of Puno.

Origin of Zampona is in the Tiahuanaco culture, which was flourished near the border of Bolivia and Peru around 700AD.  It was called Siku since its origin and players were called Sikuris. The inspiration behind the notes of this instrument was Andean peaks and players composed music particularly to honor their deities including condor, land, sky and moon. It was performed in the ceremonies as well.

In order to play a scale completely, one out of two split rows of Siku must alternate with every note. Two musicians were required traditionally, to play the siku, each one had to take one row of the instrument. Ira and arka were two parts of the has spiritual significance according to which Ira is male principle and Arka in female principle. When it is played by chorus of musician, which is usually divided into two parts, one play ira and other play arka, gives the stereophonic sound to Andean music.

There are varieties of siku having 3 rows with chromatic scale, with pitch distribution like that of chromatic button accordion. The pipes are braced with the right hand and held in the left hand to play Siku correctly. and braced with the right. Wind is forced right to the bottom while playing Siku. As with most wind instruments the player blows downward and breathes from the diaphragm. Although it is difficult for beginners as they learn to avoid breathing through the pipe. They have to learn breathing techniques in order to avoid dizziness. The experts know how to produce two melodies at once. The sound is between a European flute and a modest tin whistle.  It has a breath-like eminence that evokes the wind of the elevated peaks.

diatonic scale is used in Siku. Siku ch’alla is modified in E minor / G major, arca: D-F#-A-C-E-G-B and ira:E-G-B-D-F#-A. The individual pipes resemble to the standard notes of the scale: Si, Sol, Mi, Do, La, Fa, Re; and La, Fa, Re, Si, Sol, Mi.  The Inca tonal scale consists of five notes.

There are many different sizes of siku, typically tuned is an octave apart. The smallest of the family is called ika or chulli (Quechuach’ulli). The next greater size, the most common, is called malta (Quechuamalta). An octave minor than the malta is the sanka or zanka (Quechuasanka). The prime of the family is the toyo (Quechuat’uyu) or jach’a (Aymarajach’a). The longest pipe length of the toyo is usually around 4 feet (120 centimeters).

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