Learning to play the kaval can be very frustrating, and many people probably give up too soon. Most of the difficulty is in making a tone at all. There is no windway or channel at the mouth end as in recorders or whistles, so you have to use your lips to direct the air against the tube in such a way that it speaks. Training your lips takes some practice, but it will seem natural and become easy when you get it. All the following instructions are for a right-handed player, who will usually play the kaval with the left hand above the right, and the pipe directed from the mouth to the right side of the body. If you are left-handed, or wish to play on the other side, reverse right and left in these instructions. I don't profess to be an expert on the kaval. These instructions work for me, and have helped other people.
Making a Sound
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All Kavals offered on this page are fipple style Kavals, meaning the sound is produced by a fipple and they are fairly easy to learn. No difficult embouchure is required, as it is for playing rim-blown open tube kavals. However, a more simple embouchure can be used to control and manipulate the sound, to create the typical rich, haunting sound these type of flutes can produce. This is done by pushing the lower lip slightly over the edge of and into the sound-window.
It is made of Cornelian Cherry, or Dryan in Bulgarian, which is a very hard, dark, and increasingly rare wood. It comes apart into three pieces at the enlarged black sockets. The mouthpiece the left end is made of cow horn, as are the other black reinforcements.
Cart 0. Please call us at to schedule. A three piece instrument crafted of plum wood, the Kaval offers an approximate two and one half octave, nearly chromatic range. It is a long instrument, measuring approximately 23 inches in overall length, with an ethereal, natural melodic sound. A handcrafted folk flute, pitch is relative, based on the instruments tonal characteristics. Still, pitch interval is true according to the relative root. Overblowing will jump the instrument a fifth higher, with a low note of A. Further overblowing will push the instruments range further, into a low note scale of F.