Found amongst the Tai minority of Northwestern Vietnam, pi doi means literally "double pipes" (similar terms are also used to describe double pipes with oboe-like reeds) and consists of a pair of 1cm diameter bamboo pipes about 40cm long, each with a small brass free reed placed near the upper closed end of the pipe. The two pipes are bound together and played as a single instrument. One pipe has five finger holes (four on the front of the pipe and a thumb hole at the rear) and a tuning hole, the other has a single tuning hole and functions as a drone pipe. In some versions, the player places the ends of both pipes directly into the mouth, but in the one shown here the pipes are inserted into a larger diameter piece of bamboo to serve as a winchest, much like the gourd of the hulusi.
This particular pi doi plays a pentatonic scale rooted on D, with the drone pipe sounding a high A:
Vietnamese Institute for Musicology has some outstanding pages on the music and musical instruments of the various minority groups of Vietnam.
A Brief History of Mouth Blown Free Reed Instruments
What Is A Free Reed?
Origins Of The Free Reed
Eastern Free Reed Instruments
A Selective Discography Of Asian Free Reed Instruments
Western Free Reed Instruments
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