In China there is an old tradition to attach little light whistles to pigeon’s tail-feathers that produce a pleasant sound during flight. They have simpler forms like pan-flutes and more sophisticated ones with a body of ornamental gourd-shells, separated in two compartments producing a deeper “male” tone and a higher “female” tone at once. The most complex flutes can omit up to 30 tones in one instrument. It seems that the Chinese didn’t had any military purpose for this craft, as the Europeans had with pigeon post being an important means of comunication in the last centuries. Rather it is assumed that the Chinese used pigeon whistles for amusement above all, as they did with the related craft of kite whistles. Please check the website of Uli Wahl, that is abundant in information about every aspect of wind-produced sounds (and thanks to Uli for the picture). Finally here is a very nice recording of Fausto Caceres, who lives (or lived) in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Automomous Region, in the northwest side of China and who catched these pigeon whistle sounds of the occasional flock droning around his 6th floor apartment. Apart from that Fausto collected a lot of brilliant field recordings that focus on the “folk music” of the Turkic muslim culture in this area, a culture that is under threat due to the modernization of the chinese society. You can hear a beautiful live mix of his recordings here and also other interesting stuff under the label Royal Oculus & Gramophone Company.https://silentlistening.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/pigeon-whistle.mp3″
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