Skudučiai is a set of one of the most popular Lithuanian folk instruments. The set consists of several different sized tubes, each of them producing a particular pitch. Nowadays this instrument is mostly made out of wood (ash or maple), although back in the days musicians used various hollow plants, such as ground elder, chervil, wild celery, elderberry etc. Traditional Lithuanian skudučiai were not tied together, but played separately by a group of several musicians, creating a harmonious polyphonic melody.

Skudučiai were tuned using ancient means of measuring height – according to the palm fingers length ratio. This instrument was used to play sutartinės or to accompany songs (following the traditional formulas of blowing this unique instrument). In olden days skudučiai were mostly played by men: during summers, while travelling by foot from remote villages to a closest market or during long winter evenings playing music helped pass time and lift the spirits of the villagers. During the Inter-War Period skudučiai regained their popularity in the schools of Aukštaitija. Although this time both repertory and the playing technique have changed: children were playing modern tunes on an instrument that now looked as 2 or 3 tubes tied together.


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