Monday, July 12, 2010
Favourable circumstances sometimes allow a sound of the past to be recovered and brought to our ears again. This is the case of a little bird-whistle from Calixtlahuaca, so far the only instrument from the site found intact (many fragmentary instruments were recovered in the excavations).
When I made a recording of the whistle in the patio of the ex-Hacienda of the Colegio Mexiquense in Zinacántepec (site of the Calixtlahuaca laboratory), Mike and Angela noted a definite effect on the many birds around. These birds made a lot of noise (or song, as the Aztecs would say), and notably were attracted by the sound produced by the whistle.
Click below for a short excerpt from my
recording of this whistle.
For more information on whistles like this and other Aztec musical instruments, see:
Both, Arnd Adje (2002) Aztec Flower-Flutes: The Symbolic Organization of Sound in Late Postclassic Mesoamerica. Studien zur Musikarchäologie III:279-289. Rahden/Westf.
Both, Arnd Adje (2005) Aerófonos mexicas de las orfrendas del recinto sagrado de Tenochtitlan. PhD dissertation. Lateinamerika-Institut, Freue Universität Berlin.
Both, Arnd Adje (2006) On the Context of Imitative and Associative Processes in Prehispanic Music. Studien zur Musikarchäologie V, pp. 319-332. Rahden/Westf.
Martí, Samuel (1968) Instrumentos musicales precortesianos. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City.