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[History of South American musical instruments] Quena: Folk musical instruments

Instrument
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Quena is a unique flute in South America. A vertical flute that originated in Bolivia or Peru in South America. It is said to be a whistle made from various materials including animal and human bones since BC. It’s a very maniac instrument, and you may not have a chance to listen to it except for folk music. However, it is also an instrument that is often used in soundtracks such as anime and movies, and in fact it is an instrument that you often hear without even noticing it.

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Location

This instrument was born in Bolivia and Peru.

History of quena

It is said that a musical instrument called quena existed when the Inca Empire was prosperous. Quena is a vertical flute made from animal and human bones. In the early 1600s, the Peruvian indigenous Guoman Puma document already mentioned the Quena flute. It shows that Quena had already appeared in the history of the Incas. During the Inca reign, food shortages were less common, so festivals, music, and dance became part of everyday life, and it is said that quena was used at that time. In short, the tradition of using quena for festivals and events in South America is more than 500 years old. The Inca Empire was destroyed by Spain, but the Quena survived and is a musical instrument that continues to this day. Quena is said to have originated near Peru and Bolivia, but has spread to Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia and Chile.

Features of quena

Quena is a woodwind instrument with a simple vertical flute that forms a singing mouth with a U-shaped or V-shaped notch at the top. It has several finger holes on the front side and one finger hole on the back side, and you can play by directly closing them with your fingers. The tone of quena is very compatible with other instruments, and it is an instrument that is often used in ensemble.

Quena song

Quena is mainly used in traditional Andean music. Since 1960, quena has been used more and more frequently.

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