The secrets of Peruvian Whistling Vessels

The question we all wondered when we saw that, just after “Where can I buy one?“, is :

“How does that work?”

Here is a radiography that reveals the inside of the object: two vessels connected by a narrow channel, one fills with water through the right opening, the exit on the left one is the whistle. We can get a sound by blowing:

But more interesting is the sound obtained by water movement. When the water fills the left vessel, it expels the contained air into the whistle, producing a sound. The size of the duct between the two vessels also modifies the sound, a wide duct will make a continuous flow (the wolf), a strangled duct will make the water ripple (the parrots).

If you’re interested in, I recommend the Youtube channel Sonidos de América with beautiful videos about these instruments.

I’m working on whistling vessels PVC versions, work in progress, I’ll share it here when it’s done!

About Nicolas Bras 10 Articles
Homemade Instrument maker, rare and strange instrument seeker / Bricoleur d'instruments, chercheur d'instruments rares


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