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10 01 2007 - Armenian Duduk Music Proclaimed Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage Of Humanity
Yerevan, November 29, Armenpress: On November 25 in Paris Armenian duduk music was proclaimed by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity together with traditional Indian performances of the Ramayana, the Ramlila, Japan's Kabuki theatre, the Zambian Makishi Masquarade, the Samba of Roda (Brazil) and 38 masterpieces.

That was UNESCO's third proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage, an international distinction destined to raise public awareness of the value of this heritage, which includes popular and traditional oral forms of expression, music and dance, rituals and mythologies, knowledge and practices concerning the universe, know-how linked to traditional crafts, as well as cultural spaces.

The 43 new masterpieces were proposed to the Director-General by an 18-member jury chaired by Princess Basma Bint Talal of Jordan. The jury met from 20 to 24 November to examine 64 national and multinational candidatures. A total of 47 masterpieces were proclaimed in 2001 and 2003.

Twenty-seven of them have already benefited from UNESCO's support, particularly from safeguarding operations which received financial assistance from Japan.

This third proclamation will probably be the last. In 2003, UNESCO's General Conference adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. It stipulates that a Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity be created, alongside a List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. The Convention will enter into force shortly, once 30 States have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, which has already been done by 26 States.

Duduk is an Armenian woodwind instrument. Over its long history it has slowly spread to neighboring countries and is also known as the mey in Turkey, the duduki in Georgia, and the balaban in Azerbaijan. The duduk's roots can be traced back to 1200 B.C. but cannot be found in the Arabic world unlike many instruments. This implies that it is a truly Armenian instrument. The duduk is usually a melody instrument playing against a backdrop of a drone, sometimes played by a second duduk known as the "dam".

Often its music is accompanied by the Dhol drum.

The duduk has been used in many western-made films, notably, it has been used in film soundtracks for "The Last Temptation of Christ", "The Crow" and "Ronin".


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