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Other names HS#:423.121-12
Playing range
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The trembita (Ukrainian: Трембіта) is an Ukrainian alpine horn made of wood.

Used primarily by mountain dwellers known as Hutsuls in the Carpathians. It was used as a signaling device to announce deaths, funerals, weddings.

The tube is made from a long straight piece of pine or spruce (preferably one that has been struck by lightning). This is split in two in order to carve out the core section. The sections are once again joined together and then wrapped in lime bark. It is also used by shepherds for signaling and communication in the forested mountains, and for guiding sheep and dogs. The trembita produces sounds altogether different from those of the Alpenhorn.

The trembita has no lateral openings and therefore gives the pure natural harmonic series of the open pipe. The harmonics are the more readily obtained by reason of the small diameter of the bore in relation to the length.

The notes of the natural harmonic series overlap, but do not exactly correspond, to notes found in the familiar chromatic scale in standard Western equal temperament. Most prominently within the trembita's range, the 7th and 11th harmonics are particularly noticeable, because they fall between adjacent notes in the chromatic scale.

Harmonic Series.png

In the hands of a skilled composer or arranger, the natural harmonics can be used to haunting melancholy effect or, by contrast, to create a charming pastoral flavor.

Today it is often used in Ukrainian ethnographic ensembles and as an episodic instrument in the Ukrainian folk instrument orchestra.

Similar instruments

See also


  • Humeniuk, A (1967). Ukrainski narodni muzychni instrumenty. Kiev: Naukova dumka. 
  • Mizynec, Victor (1987). Folk instruments of Ukraine. Doncaster: Bayda Books. ISBN 0-908480-19-9. OCLC 19355447. 
  • Cherkasky, Leonid Musiiovych (2003). Ukrainski narodni muzychni instrumenty. Kiev: Tekhnika. ISBN 9665751115. OCLC 56112444. 


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