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  • Writer's pictureRonald

Zampoñas: Types and Varieties

As I explained on previous posts, a Zampoña is a variety of pan flute broadly used in South-America since Pre-Columbian times. The main characteristic of the Zampoña is that it has two rows of pipes. The one in the front is named "Ira" that means male in Aymara, and the second row is name "Arca" that mean female. The zampoña is a diatonic instrument.

This is a diagram of a standard 13 zampoña. However, there are different types of zampoña with different ranges and number of pipes. In this post, I will present you with some varieties of zampoñas that are popular in Peru.

Zampoña Malta

It is sometimes considered the standard zampoña. Tuned in the key of E minor.

Zampoña Chuli or Chili

The zampoña Chuli or Chili has its notes one octave above the Malta. It is a very small zampoña that you can hold in just one hand. Key of E minor.

Zampoña Toyo

Toyos have a range two octaves below a Malta. It is a Bass zampoña. It is usually very big in size and it has to be held with both hands. It also requires a lot of lung potency to play this type of zampoña.

Zampoña Marimacha

It is a variation of the Malta zampoña that offers a wider range for more versatility. It has 21 pipes. Key of E minor.

Zampoña Basto

Considered a Bass Marimacha. It offers a range that leans to the bass notes. E minor.

Chromatic Zampoña

It is a variation of a traditional zampoña that offers a chromatic scale. Sometimes known as piano positioned zampoña, it differs from the piano's key positioning because the traditional construction of this zampoña locates the bass notes at the right and the high notes at the left (reverse piano). However, a custom left-handed chromatic zampoña can be constructed by request. There are variations of this type of zampoña that add pipes to the bass or to the high tones.

You can find any of those zampoña for sale in my website by clicking this link:

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