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AlphornQuintessentially Swiss but known in other mountain regions. A wooden wind instrument of varying length and conical bore with a cup mouthpiece and an upturned end called the bell. It is bound with cane to finish. Typically, it's an 8 to 12 foot length of spruce.
It cannot be tuned once made and all sounds must occur in the natural harmonics of the tube, brought out by the skill of the player. Because of this, it is difficult to play with any modern well tempered instrument.

There is an argument in the Alphorn world as to whether the music should stay traditional or evolve. Plus ça change... There is a radical jazz movement featuring Alphorn!

banjolin November 10, 2007