Born in the early eons of Armenian history, the duduk is considered the most “Armenian” of all folk instruments, because of its origins and its ability to express the soul of the Armenian people.
The Armenian duduk is a double reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood, and it is indigenous to Armenia. The history of the Armenian duduk music is dated to the reign of the Armenian King Tigran the Great, who reigned from 95-55 BC.
Duduk is commonly played in pairs: while the first player plays the melody, the second plays a steady drone called ‘dam’, and the sound of the two instruments together creates a richer and more haunting sound.
The sound of the Armenian duduk has become known to wider audiences through its use in popular film soundtracks, such as the Peter Gabriel’s score for Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ”.
The world famous Armenian duduk player Djivan Gasparyan played the duduk in “Gladiator”, “Syriana”, and “Blood Diamond”, among others. It was also used extensively in “Battlestar Galactica”, in the TV series “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for a Lullaby”, in the “The Russia House”, and many others.
UNESCO proclaimed the Armenian duduk and its music as a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005 and inscribed it in 2008.
You can buy original duduk from the Vernissage market in Yerevan and few other great souvenir stores in the city. Armenian national restaurants are one of the most popular places where live music is played in the evenings and you can listen to the duduk over there. You can also listen to duduk at the Geghard Monastery’s entrance, where the local villagers are playing to earn something. Sometimes it is played inside the Garni Temple.
You can listen to the traditional Armenian duduk in the videos that we have posted at the bottom of this post.
Visiting the Vernissage market is on the itinerary of our many tours. Otherwise, get in touch with us, and we will gladly assist you for your shopping trip to Vernissage. For more information, please visit our TOURS page or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org