Ear-flute

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Spoof entry from the spoof article "The New Grove," listing entries that would NOT appear in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, from The Musical Times (Vol. 122, No. 1656, February 1981).

Wind instrument (a free aerophone), which is usually-sideblown, worn in the ear and audible only to the wearer. It is effective only in windy weather when air passing across the mouthpiece sets up resonances in the tube. It is played mainly by solitary people in exposed locations, but it enjoyed a brief vogue in the 1960s among roller-skaters in America. The Faroese ørfloyte, the Falkland Islands lug-whistle, the seaman's 'Onan's fife' and the Tibetan shepherd's dhögbis-khit all use the same principle, though the tuning, number of holes and method of fingering vary in each. The philosophical aspects of this unique instrument, which differs from all others in that the worst player is the most considerate of others and the best the most selfish, have been ably discussed by Rvana.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

J. J. Quatsch: Versuch einer Anweisung die Ohrflöte zu spielen (Tooting Bec, 1752)

J. Eustache: 'Mon tube et ses implications musicales', Revue d'otologie moderne, xxiii (1922), 759

R. G. Arnett, ed.: Otologia otiosa, 20 vols. (Cambridge, 1949-57; Tibetan trans., 1979-)

N. I. Rvana: 'Otiose Confessions of a Musical Swami', Philosophical Transactions of the Oriental-Occidental-Auricular Society, xlix (1953), 381

T. Y. Mpanum: The Trouble with Ear Drums (Bongo Cliffs, 1959)

S. O'Hara: Gone with the Wind: Past Masters of the Ear-flute (Windscale, 1965)

D. Lama, ed.: The khiti-i-khat and its Relation to the dhögbis-khit (Lhasa, 1969)

E. Lobe: 'Ørfloyte og ørmuffler', Faeroske volkeviser, vi (1972), winter, 8

L. O'Reille: 'A New Wave of Ear Wig', Coiffure à la mode (1980), no.1, p.7

J. G. Allways and R. Supwards: New Ways of Playing the Flute (Dun Draoghaire, 1981)

HARDOV HØRING/E. E. RINGAID

See also

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