Mulitanky with bellows blown

Smallpipes with a single chanter and three drones without bells. Towards the end of renaissance period they were spread over a large area, from the Low countries, Germany, Bohemia to Hungaria including Slovakia. In some of the places they were in use untill the half of 19th century. We can see them in many depictions and literary sources, as for example the book De syntagma musicum of Michael Praetorius, who calls them dudey. Several specimens are preserved in museums in Czech republic and Hungary. In Slovakia we can find them for example in the pastoral poetry of Jan Holly (1785 – 1849):

Jak sa kolem svarni vesela pastiri a ze vsech
stran radovanky drza! Na hlasnu piscalu jednych
cast piska, cast do chraplavej duje ustami truby,
cast zas inych dechu poslusne mulitanky nadyma
a premile ven z nich zvuky loktem a prstami vabi...

Od tolkeho chudy duchana gajdos Hodislav
bud dudy, bud lubeznohlase mulitanky nafukne.

(Jaroslav, Cestislav, cca. 1830)

How handsome all around rejoice shepherds and from all
the sides merry they are! Sonorous flutes one part of them
play, a part chirpy trumpets blow with their mouths,
a part again of others breath-obeying smallpipes inflate
and sweetest sounds out of them by elbows and fingers they lure.

Skinny from so much blowing, the piper Hodislav
either large pipes, or sweetvoiced smallpipes blows up.

My mulitanky smallpipes are a free reconstruction of this historical instrument. I offer two types of chanters. The first one has open fingering and small fingerholes, on which the accidentals can be crossfingered, enabling easy chromatic playing. The other version, probably more „authentic“, has larger holes and closed fingering - only one hole to be opened for each of the tones. Both have 8 fingerholes, giving a range of 9 tones. The basic scale, major or minor, starts with the second from the bottom.

The three drones are placed in a common stock. The arrangement is: lower octave - third - fifth, or lower octave – fifth – chanter's base note. Each of them is retunable in a range of a whole tone.

Mulitanky can be mouthblown, or bellows blown. The sound is sweet, the volume rather moderate, suitable for indoor playing.

This small instrument offers a great variability of materials and techniques to be employed: horn, bone, antlers, intarsion, pewter inlay, rare woods...

chanter g, drones g-h-d or g-d-g´
chanter d, drones d-fis-a or d-a-d´
chanter g/d interchangeable, 4 drones d-g/a-d´-g´/a´

• according to materials and style 350 to 750 euro