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Very unusual type of clarinetlike Basque folk instrument, the name derived from Arabic "al-buq" = "the horn" consisting of a crescent-shaped animal's horn, two wooden pieces inserted into the midsection of the horn with holes drilled to produce tones in two-part harmony, a reed inserted, and hidden in, the smaller opening of the horn, and at the bottom of the horn's midsection, a cradle through which the thumbs of both hands are placed to hold the instrument. The instrument produces a piercing, reedy sound reminiscent of the Russian zhaleyka or a small bagpipe, and a common harmonic interval on this instrument is the major sixth. Although the alboka has nearly disappeared from the Basque country since the Franco regime, its use currently seems to be enjoying a rise in popularity due, in part, to Ibon Koteron, the trikitixa (small Basque button accordion) player Kepa Junkera, the group Ortzadar, and the namesake group Alboka.
I love the sound of the alboka and I love the way it looks!
by pentozali January 16, 2011
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