Info

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SEKCIA 1 – ABOUT FUJARA

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SEKCIA 2 – HOW TO PLAY FUJARA

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SEKCIA 3 – HOW TO CARE ABOUT FUJARA

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SEKCIA 4 – HOW TO MAKE FUJARA

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  • Uplne novy obsah (vytvorim ja neskor)

SEKCIA 5 – FUJARA HISTORY

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SEKCIA 6 – SLOVAK FOLK WOOD-WIND INSTRUMENS

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About Fujara flute

The fujara is an awesome overtone flute of four to seven feet in length. Fujara is absolutely unique hand made overtone fipple flute and one cannot find similar anywhere but in Slovakia.
Fujara is a typical Slovak folk instrument whose native home is a small region in central Slovakia called Podpolanie.
Fujara flute has 3 holes (vents) but the height of the tone is decided mainly by the strength of in-blown air creating thus various overtones. Fujara flute is designed to play high up into the overtone series as well as in the lowest bass series with a soft haunting voice. That involves shriller tones by playing “scatter” on the beginning of the song (audio samples) and “whoosh” by overblowing the instrument.

See our selection of Fujara flutes.

Fujara is an outstanding flute for solo meditation playing:

  • Fascinating compass of 2 and half octaves in 11 overtone series (“levels”),
  • awesome dynamic range, natural playing technique, overtone-rich, soft haunting voice.

Fujara’s beautiful overtones sounding in perfect harmony with the player’s breath can give very satisfactory meditative feeling even for the very beginner and make the learning process fun, interesting and thus easy.

It means that fujara overtones just won’t let you play bad. Fujara’s unique breathing-like playing technique will lead you in improvisation and its natural harmonics will just “fit” and make the melody sound good. EVERYBODY can play Fujara nicely!

At the same time, every “Fujara” is a unique creative work of art – an original. Traditionally, it’s made completely by hand from deciduous trees (elder, maple, locust tree), and it takes up to one month to build a good Fujara from a seasoned piece of wood.

Fujara names in Slovakia: fujara, fujera, fujarka, fujarocka
(“Loose” translation: “fuu” – adverb imitating the blowing wind, “jar” means spring)
Fujara is pronounced [“FUYARA”],
Common misspellings in English: fuyara, fuyata, fuhara, fuhata, fugata, fugara.

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How to play Fujara

To learn how to play Fujara you need to learn how to hold it right first:

 While trying out this “manual” always check the pictures shown below. They are depicting one of the best Slovak Fujara players playing /and holding/ his Fujara.

Don’t attempt to cover holes with the fingertips, but rather use the ‘pads’ of the first joint of your thumb and middle fingers.
This guide is written for right-handed person.

The Fujara is played standing with legs spread apart slightly.
The Fujara is held mainly by your left hand, particularly by your thumb and fore-finger:
grasp the Fujara with your left hand approximately where the top hole is located, prop it up against your right thigh and place the fingers of your left hand as follows – thumb on the back and fore-finger on the front of the Fujara flute main pipe holding the main weight.
Then cover the upper hole with your middle finger and place your ring and little finger slightly to the left side of the Fujara main pipe. Now you should hold your fujara with the help of your right thigh firmly.
Your left hand should now be located somewhere near your navel.

Cover the middle hole with the thumb of your right hand (root of your thumb on FS FuYara) and the bottom hole with your middle finger. The fore-finger of your right hand lies softly on the front of the flute main pipe – it is closer to middle finger than to thumb. The ring-finger leans softly against the right side of the main pipe. The little finger doesn’t need to touch the pipe at all.

Using your hands prop up the Fujara against your body:
lowest part of the main pipe is propped up against the outer /right/ side of your right knee, then against the front of your right tight, the middle part of Fujara main pipe should be propped up against your chest /or sometimes your belly/ and with the mouthpiece in your mouth and the air pipe propping up slightly against the left side of your nose, sometimes propping also slightly against your forehead you can finally start to play your gorgeous Fujara.

But while reading this “theory” don’t forget that in the end it is you who will play it, thus adjust your holding of your Fujara to suit your needs so that you feel as comfortable as possible.
I wish you endless hours of fruitful and comfortable playing.

Fujara unique ornaments:

Scatter is a high-intensity ornament particular to the fujara overtone flute that is often used at the beginning of songs. It begins with a high-itensity, repeated percussive blow that can be made by saying something like “DA DA DA Da Da Da da da da …” Where the pressure of each “Da” gets less and less and the fujara descends through the overtone scale.
Woosh An ornament added onto the end of some notes in a song. It is done with a steady, rapidly increasing blow of air that cause a very fast ascending scale up the fujara.

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How to care properly for Your Fujara flute

Always keep in mind that Fujara is a wooden instrument, and although it is well made from thoroughly dried and well cured wood,
it still needs your attention:

  • Please don’t leave your fujara flute in the car or in direct sunlight.
  • Do keep your fujara flute at an even temperature and humidity. Protect it from moisture and don’t expose it to freezing temperatures or very low humidity.
  • Oil your fujara flute regularly.
  • After extensive playing ALWAYS pull out the mouthpiece and let out the condensation.

It is very important to READ AND FOLLOW ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS so that you can enjoy crisp sound of your Fujara flute over life time without any derogation.

Specific instructions for FS Collapsible Fujara, FuYara or Fujaridoo:
  • Always Transport your FS collapsible fujara flute disassembled.
  • FS collapsible Fujara usually need much less oiling than standard traditional fujara.
  • Grease the tenon joints of FS collapsible fujara flute regularly.
  • When leaving your collapsible fujara assembled, twist the tenon joints weekly to prevent them from getting stuck.
  • For detailed instructions please refer to:
    FAQ – Maintenance of FS collapsible fujara flutes

Oil Your Fujara flute regularly:

If you live in a low humidity area, periodic oiling is highly recommended. Use only pure oils that don’t degrade/spoil over time.
See the oiling technique in pictures.

Your Fujara flute was thoroughly oiled before packaging to aid it in travel through different temperature changes during shipping. However, you can oil it when it arrives once again as the wood from the beginning absorbs the oil quickly. If you will use suitable non-degradable oil, you cannot spoil anything and your flute will be better protected.
Later on, heavy oiling is not recommended !

Suitable oils:

  • any flute oil (ask in music stores),
  • paraffin oil,
  • linseed (flaxen) oil,
  • food grade oil of your choice – Olive, Black Walnut, Sesame (to prevent rancidity add little vitamin E – a natural, non-toxic preservative)

Oil your fujara whenever you start to feel it is too dry inside:

From the beginning you can oil your Fujara more often, lets say once in 3 – 4 months (depending on the local humidity, on how much you play and how much oil the wood absorbs). Do it for example 2 times. Then, after some time, as you start to feel your Fujara is oiled enough, oil it regularly but no more than every 8 – 12 months and later you can allow even longer and longer pauses …
Please, keep in mind that too much of anything is simply too much!

After playing:

After playing your flute ALWAYS !!! pull out the mouthpiece* and drain the condensation** !!! from the smaller fujara air-pipe.
To pour out the collected saliva either pull out the removable plug (not featured in every fujara) or just tilt your fujara and let out the condensation through the mouthpiece hole. Only then allow your fujara to rest in upright standing position.
Never stand your fujara upside-down or the condensation can get into the flute’s sound device and damage it seriously.

* After long playing, due to the impact of condensation, the mouthpiece can swell up and thus crack the smaller air pipe exactly at the place where it is plugged into it.
** If the condensation is left sitting there every time before it slowly evaporates, the side tube could crack even when you would keep removing the mouthpiece.

Important:

Never play fujara or any wooden/bamboo flute that hasn’t been oiled or played over years! It is dried out and due to sudden changes of moisture levels after extensive playing it can crack easily.
The most liable to crack is the Fujara small air pipe, where most of the condensation is collected. Thus, protect the small air pipe from condensation by regular oiling as well!

Collapsible fujara – greasing the tenons

The joints on collapsible fujara should be greased with cork grease (use commercial cork grease from a music store, make your own from beeswax and vaseline mixed together hot about 50/50). Pure vaseline or ski wax work well too, especially the cosmetic (parafin) VASELINE – buy it in drug store.

How to fix my fujara flute ?

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SEKCIA 4 – HOW TO MAKE FUJARA

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POSTs GRID CAROUSEL

  • Uplne novy obsah (vytvorim ja neskor)

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Fujara flute history

– in short –

The Fujara flute is basically a gothic bass 3 hole flute. Such 3 hole bass flutes have been known, and used in Europe in 12th-13th centuries (this is verified from paintings, and by archaeology).

Because these flutes had just 3 holes, the player often played them with just one hand (it was shorter), and acompanied himself by playing a drum with the other hand.

In Brussels museum there is a similar 3 hole bass flute approximately 93-102 cm long, with 2 holes in the front side and 1 hole in the back side and with side air pipe, origin – Northern Italy. This instrument is very
similar to archaic type of Fujara flute found at Slovakia in the past around a village Priechod (“Priechod’s Fujara flute”).

In this context the place of origin of current Fujara bass flute is now considered north of Banska Bystrica,
brought there probably by a division of foreign soldiers stationed there during Turkish wars.
This 3 hole bass flute was “conserved” there, and later, after movement to Detva region, was the design changed to the current Fujara bass flute design with all 3 side holes in the front side. Also the lenght of bass flute’s main pipe was almost doubled and thus achieved even lower deep bass tunings.
Even today the Slovakian style of enhancing the melody of the Fujara flute by ornaments resembles baroque playing style…

>> Read the fujara history in more details here!

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Woodwinds in Slovakia,
Slovak Folk Flutes

Woodwind instruments play in Slovak folklore central role already for centuries. Especially popular were the woodwind instruments among Slovak shepherds. Various kinds of “shepherd pipes” were produced to accompany the shepherds by herding their sheeps.

Popularity of folk woodwinds closely corresponds with Slovak nature: Slovak forests provided the flute makers with ideal, quality upland wood – the elder tree from which most of folk woodwinds are beeing made. Even today the forests take over 40% of Slovakia territory.

In Slovakia preserved and developed also very unique woodwind instruments designs, as is for example KONCOVKA, DVOJACKA or unique FUJARA.

KONCOVKA [kontsovka] is an overtone fipple flute, has no finger holes and is two to three feet in length. The player opens and closes the far end of the tube while playing in the upper harmonics to create melodies. The tones are from the so called natural harmonic scale.
While such instruments are almost extinct in almost all other cultures, in Slovakia is koncovka (overtone flute) still widely popular. (Koncovka audio sample: play, download)

Another “special” Slovak folk instrument is DVOJACKA [dvoyatschka].
It is a intricate combination of familiar 6-hole shepherd pipe and koncovka (overtone flute). The dvojacka combines the playing techniques of overtone flute (koncovka) and shepherd pipe (pistalka). The dvojacka (double shepherd pipe) sounds especially beautiful, because the player can play a drone or harmony at the same time as the melody. A performance commonly begins using only the tube with holes to state the melody. The harmony or drone side is then added for effect on every other performance of the melody.

PISTALKA is an end blown fipple flute about one feet in length with six holes bored along the side held upwards. The player blows through the fipple on the top end and covers the finger holes with the first three fingers of each hand.

FUJARA [fuyara] is basically a very large overtone flute in bass possition, with additional 3 side holes, has the same basic overtone scale as koncovka, and additional tones are gained by opening the side holes. Fujara is capable to overblow easily to over 11 overtone levels. Each fujara maker creates his own design to carve or stain onto the outside of the instrument.
The instrument itself consists of two carved wooden tubes connected at the top by a short air tunnel. The smaller tube does not produce tone but serves to carry the air up and across to the longer main tube that has the fipple and three finger holes.
The player holds the fujara upright and blows into the shorter tube, often assisted by a small, carved mouthpiece.

Playing technique of the Slovak folk woodwind instruments:

The Koncovka (overtone flute), a holeless flute, produces it’s scale by overblowing to overtones and shading them with a finger on the end to produce it’s scale. The familiar Shepherd pipe (six hole flute) also overblows, but just to the 1st overtone and uses its 6 holes to produce it’s scale. The Fujara (bass overtone flute) is the most dynamic flute and easily overblows to over 11 overtone levels. Fujara simply extends this phenomenon with its three holes to play also more intricate melodies.

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