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Pistalka (6-hole whistle)

Shepherd pipe is an end blown fipple flute about one feet in length with six holes bored along the side held upwards. Flutes of this type are in Slovakia very commonly played and, because of having finger holes (on contrary to overtone flute), are used to play more intricate and highly ornamented songs and melodies.

The player blows through the fipple on the top end and covers the finger holes with the first three fingers of each hand.

>> Dvojacka - combination of koncovka (overtone flute) and pistalka (6-hole whistle).

Shepherd Pipe is played energetically without any intricate half holing or shading of tone by partial covering of the holes. A performance will often begin with a cry or call similar to the opening of a fujara piece. One type of ornamentation involves fluttering the fingers on and off of some of the holes while playing a long note.

One method of playing uses only the lowest three holes to create melodies while the top three remain covered. This imitates the technique of playing the fujara (overtone bass flute). Even though the pistalka is smaller and higher, the use of harmonics and the relative placement of those three holes is the same as on the fujara.

Slovak Name: Pistalka, read [pischtalka], means whistle.
Common Misspellings: pistelka, pistevka, pistavka, pistchavka, pistchalka.

Dvojacka ( drone flute )

The instrument called dvojacka combines the playing techniques of koncovka (overtone flute) and pistalka (6-hole whistle). The dvojacka sounds especially beautiful, because the player can play a drone or harmony at the same time as the melody. A performance commonly begins using only the tube with holes to state the melody. The harmony or drone side is then added for effect on every other performance of the melody.

The dvojacka is more complicated to make than either a single koncovka or pístalka. Two tubes are shaped from a single piece of wood with bores cut into each. The ends of the tubes are then plugged and fipples are created. The player must be able to blow through both at the same time. The whistle side (usually on the player's left) has six finger holes cut into it.

The word dvojca means twin, and the instrument called dvojacka looks like it is made of matching twin flutes.

The decoration of the dvojacka is typically the same on each side. The koncovka side has the shape of six finger holes carved or colored onto it, while

Slovak Name: Dvojacka, read [dvojatschka], means double whistle.
Common Misspellings: dvojatschka, dvojatchka, dvojacska, dvojnica.

>> Folk flutes of Slovakia

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