Albanian Instruments

E13 8HT

About this record

Music is an important element of Albanian culture, and many people bought instruments with them to continue playing traditional music, passing on this heritage to younger generations.


The Cifetlia is a plucked string instrument, with only two strings, played mainly by the Gheg people of northern and central Albania, Southern Montenegro, and Kosovo. The çifteli is frequently used by Albanians in weddings and at concerts, as well as by many musicians, such as Nikollë Nikprelaj. It is also used to accompany Albanian epics and ballads.

Ciftelia - Shpresa
Ciftelia - Shpresa


The fyell brezi is traditionally hand-crafted out of wood. The wood traditionally used was the inner-most section of the trunk of a Fir tree, as it is the most common type of wood found in Albania. Today it is crafted from any accessible wood source. It consists of 6 holes in the front and has a sharp edge at the upper end of the tube. The sharp edge allows the flutists breath to escape, giving the instrument a different tone from most common end-blown flutes. The instrument was most commonly used among shepherds who played it while tending to their flocks. It is regarded as one of the oldest instruments of Albanian folklore. It is also frequently used in folk music and accompanies traditional Albanian festivities and songs.


fyelli - Shpresa


The davul, tapan, atabal or tabl is a large double-headed drum that is played with mallets. It has many names depending on the country and region. These drums are commonly used in the music of Middle East. These drums have both a deep bass sound and a thin treble sound due to their construction and playing style, where different heads and sticks are used to produce different sounds on the same drum.

The drum shell is made of hard wood, perhaps walnut or chestnut, though many woods may be in use depending on the region where the drum is made.

daullja - Shpresa


The zurna, like the duduk and kaval, is a woodwind instrument used to play folk music.

The zurna, a relative of oboe, is found almost everywhere where the common reed grows because it uses a short cylindrical reed that is tied to a conical brass tube on one end, flattened to a narrow slit on the other end as source of sound.

It requires high pressure to give any tone at all and when it does, it is almost constantly loud, high pitched, sharp, and piercing.

Blow pipe

The blow pipe is a short, conical wooden or bone tube in which the player blows to refill the bag. At the end of the blow pipe that is within the bag, there is a small return valve of leather or felt which allows air into the bag via the blow pipe but not back out.

Additional record details

Heritage newsletter

We would like to send you monthly emails spotlighting heritage content in Newham, as well as updates and opportunities to be involved in next year's festival. Be the first to hear about new projects, funding opportunities and ways to be involved.

1 - 31 May 2021