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!

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