Manos Amigas

Musical Instruments

Thanks to recent archaeological discoveries of musical instruments, it is known that in Peru the music goes back at least to about 10,000 years of antiquity.  From this long tradition come the quenas, the zampoñas, the pututos (trumpets of sea shells) and a great variety of wind instruments in whose manufacture materials such as cane, clay, bone, horns and precious metals were used, as well as various instruments of percussion.

The Quena – This wind instrument is the most widespread in Peru and comes from pre-Hispanic times. It is made with a tube of cane, wood, or bone with a beveled segment, which constitutes the mouth. It presents 5 or 6 small holes for digitization with which they are composed the variations of the sound produced by the wind of the performer. In each region a different size prevails.

The Zampoña – It is an instrument of the pan flute family, which consists of the assembly of several tubes of cane of different sizes held together by interlaced threads forming one or two rows. The size of the tube determines the musical note. This instrument presents different regional varieties, depending on the length, disposition and quantity of reeds. Their use is frequent in almost all the festivities of the south of the country and especially in the department of Puno. One of its variants is the antara, made with the finest reed reeds.

The Tinya – It is a percussion instrument like a small manual drum made of leather. It has a great diffusion in the Andean area and is played – mainly by women – with a drumstick, in dances and ceremonies referring to the peasant life, especially during the seasons of harvests and marking of the cattle.