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Piri or p'iri

The piri or p’iri is the tubular double reed of Korea used in a variety of different genres in both court and folk music. There are three basic sizes of piri. The Hyang piri, which is approximately 27 cm in length, quite narrow with seven finger holes and one thumbhole, is the most common. The se piri is smaller and very thin and is much quieter. The Tang piri (sometimes referred to as the dang piri) is much wider and shows the close relationship to its Chinese guanzi cousin. There is a more modern innovation that looks more like a western oboe that is called the dae piri. This modern version has keys and a bell, which then takes it out of the tubular double reed family and into the conical double reed family.

The piri tonal colour ranges from musky to strident, and in the hands of a good player is a very passionate and powerful instrument. Although it does not have a extensive range of pitches, it makes full use of wide vibrato and sliding between pitches to create expression.

The piri is part of the Asian tubular double reed family that found its roots in the duduk and includes the hichiriki, and guanzi and bili.

Country: Korea
Region: Asia
Type: double reed
Piri - Korean tubular double reed
©  R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002