Talking about MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS the "launeddas" deserve a privileged place as they are the most typical sonorous instrument in Sardinia. The Egyptian "argul" is probable the only instrument similar to the "launeddas". Its predecessor, the "benas" is a flute made of fen cane with a "trumbitta" (small trumpet) that fits in a resonating pipe with three holes. Three fen canes constitute the "launeddas": the "tumbu", which is the longest and is tied to "sa mancosa manna" with a string, and the "mancosedda" or "destrina" on which the melody is played. It takes long years of study and application to master the difficult technique needed to play this instrument.
  Launeddas players
ImageLauneddas players
Luigi Lai from San Vito
ImageLuigi Lai from San Vito
  Its remote origins can be seen in the so called Ithyphallic small bronze which dates back to the eighth century BC. It was discovered in the countryside near Ittiri and depicts a launeddas player.
The tradition of this instrument, preserved by undisputed contemporary virtuosos such as Luigi Lai from San Vito and Aurelio Porcu from Villaputzu, is also secured by cultural societies and schools in Quartu and in the Sarrabus which are attended by young students.
In the last few years there has been a new interest in the "launeddas", which has led to them being used in non-traditional music such as jazz and rock.
In the past the "launeddas" were widely used to accompany the dances in the squares until they were replaced by the two rows melodeon (a kind of accordion) invented by the Viennese Damian in 1829. The melodeon was brought to Italy by Paolo Soprani in 1863 and soon became integrated into the island's musical tradition.
Nowadays Totore Chessa from Irgoli is one of the greatest performers on the island. In this survey of Sardinian instruments we must mention the "serraggia" which is made from a cane pipe, a swollen and dried pig bladder and a stretched string which is rubbed with a lentisk bow; "su pipiolu" that is the sheperd's pipe made from fen cane; among the percussion instruments there are the drums "tumbarinu" from Aidomaggiore and Gavoi.
  Totore Chessa from Irgoli
ImageTotore Chessa from Irgoli

An exhaustive study of Sardinian instruments can be carried out in Tadasuni, a very small village in the area of Oristano, where don Giovanni Dore has founded an extraordinary and unique museum.
Some of these instruments (particularly the "launeddas") as well as many stylistic features of the Sardinian musical tradition are being used nowadays in new musical contexts. In the wake of the growing interest in ethnic music we have seen a growing respect for and a modern development of this heritage. This has led to and interesting mix of traditional and non-traditional styles and instruments.

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