The History of Panflute

Description of the instrument, since the oldest times until present

Starting from the simplest type of Panflute, which has the form of a bundle of tubes of various dimensions, it is susceptible to assume that this instrument has accompanied the artistic performances of man, even since the dawn of its existence. Coming from mythology, Pan, son of Hermes and Dryope, was considered the protector of herds and shepherds. He used to live in Arcadia and he was considered the inventor of a blowing instrument, called syrinx. Pan had a strange look, half-man and half-animal, he had horns, beard and hooves of a goat, and its body was covered with hair.

He lived in the heart of the woods, where he was on the watch of nymphs and he often accompanied Dionysos, whose suite he was part of.

In the Antique Greece, the legend of nymph Syrinx, who turned into a reed to get rid of god Pan which was following her, was strongly represented in the local folklore. It was also imposed to the Roman civilization, as Ovidius and Apuleius confirmed. It was also assimilated by the Dacian civilization, the christened Roman people keeping its meaning.

According to other legends, syrinx is attributed to Silenus, which was part of Dionysos suite as well, and Marsias had the merit to have waxed the tubes of this instrument. The archeological vestiges of Panflute, represented on the statues from Callatis or Alba Iulia lead to the conclusion of using this instrument on the old territory of today's Romania.

In the tombs existing since the Hellenistic and Roman ages, at Tomis and Calaltis, there have been found rings engraved with fauns with Panflutes, the bas-relief engraved in the wall of a sarcophagus from the Roman age discovered in Oltenia, shows god Pan with an instrument similar to the one from nowadays.

Under the generic "Pan Flute", a great variety of blowing instruments exist, at many peoples, in Latin America (Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador), Solomon Islands, China, Japan, Egypt and, not in the latest, Romania.

Very many names and hints of Pan Flute are known at various peoples. Panflute ,Panfloete,Pandean Pipe, Panfluit, Panpipe, Flute de Pan, Faluto di Pan, Flauto de Pan, Biwadon, Buebalabala, Dedeco, Fieould, Galeveu, Gaopiti-piti, Kove, Muscal, P'ai siao, Qatra, Rondador, Sa fafif, Siculet Cristodou, Syrinx. The testimonial arguments regarding the ancestor of the contemporary Panflute are pretty few, but convincing.In the 18th century, the fiddler's folk music bands appeared in Moldavia and the

Principalities, made up of Panflute, violin and Kobsa, which amplify in number.

In the first half of the 19th century, the integration of cembalo and double bass in the folk music bands, extended with 8-9 members, leads to the amplification of sound and stimulation of the harmonic taste.

In 1694, in Bucharest, Fanica Luca was born, in a family of fiddlers, from father to son.
Being born with musical skills, he learned to play the Panflute from his father, when he was a little boy, but he approached other folkloric areas, than the existent ones and established the technique of Panflute with fix tuning.

In 1949, he was offered the management of the Panflute Department at the Institute of Folklore and, then, at the Music High-School no. 1 from Bucharest. The fruit of his efforts at the Panflute Department was materialized in the apparition of a pleiad of famous contemporary Panflute players: Damian Luca, Radu Simion, Nicolae Parvu, Radu Constantin and Gheorghe Zamfir.


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