I posted previously
about Russian panpipe music
. Here’s another amazing piece from the Kursk
province, this time a hocket
. In this song, each woman is singing and playing simultaneously as well as in counterpoint
with the other players. In other words, each woman is doing her own personal hocket, singing into the pipes and in counterpoint with blown notes—then each individual part is integrated into a larger group hocket!
The placement of these sung pitches is something of a strategic game. Ethnomusicologist Olga Velitchkina writes: “the vocal sound can be inserted in between two different pipes, both in ascending and descending succession. In this case the pitch of the vocal sound can be the same as the preceding pipe sound, the same as the following pipe sound, or different from both. If the vocal sound is inserted between the same pipe sound, it can be either the same as the pipe pitch, or different from it.”
As for the sung sounds, “the vowels used in panpipe playing do not bear any resemblance to the vowels of everyday speech. The effect is heard as two vocables, fiu and ka. The exact pronunciation of both vocables varies. The first one can be pronounced as hiu, fif, fiuf, and fef, the second as ka, kaf, or faf…Phonetically speaking, the vowel in the first syllable belongs to the so-called high or middle positions (of the tongue), while the vowel in the second syllable uses the low position. The type of vowel (high or low tongue position), in turn, is related to the pitch of the vocal sound.”
Recording: Panpipe Ensemble, Olga Velitchkina, Ohio University.