Zampoñas – The Panpipes of the Andes

quena on whiteAlthough you can find this type of instrument in several locations around the globe, zampoñas from the Andes mountains of South America have a beautiful, breathy sound that can be heard playing some of the most haunting melodies on the planet.  And since there are so many variations of this simple instrument, exploring zampoñas can be a great way to learn more about the geography, culture and music of this region of South America

Zampoñas (pronounced zam pon nyas) are a series of hollow “pipes” made from hollow reeds found near lakes in the high mountains.  When these reeds are cut and used one at a time, they often become simple flutes such as the quena pictured here. When the reeds are cut to different lengths and bound together in a flat or slightly curved arrangement, they become part of the the large family of panpipes that can be played solo or in a group. Also called siku or sikuri, many festivals feature groups of men playing together – called sikuriada – where the song is performed by alternating notes back and forth between the players while they walk.

sicuriada en las plazaPlaying the zampoñas is a bit different than many common wind instruments.  Various sounds are created by blowing over the top of the reeds in the same way you might blow over an empty soda bottle to create a musical note.  Although understanding all the different names of zampoñas can be complicated, here’s some basic facts.  The word zampoña is Spanish.  In the Native language of Aymara, panpipes are called siku or sicuri.  In the Native language of Quechua, panpipes are called “Antara”.  In Quechua, the family of panpipes include Ika or Chulli (or Ch’ulli) that are about the size of a fist.  The next largest size are called “mallta”.  One octave lower than “mallta” are the “sanka” (or zanka).  And the largest – sometimes three or four feet long – are called “toyo”.  Just as the names change from village to village and region to region, the manner of playing is also wonderfully unique, making this an instrument that will never cease to amaze those who wish to explore it or learn to play it.

Would you like to listen to this instrument, color one or make your own version at home or in class?  Check out some of the helpful links below.

Resources and Links

Zampoñas Coloring Page

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Zamponas%20Coloring%20Page.pdf

Make Your Own Zamponas Activity

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/MYO%20Zamponas%20Final.pdf

A Child’s Life In The Andes – A 35 Page Book about Music and Culture of This Region

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Childs-Life-In-The-Andes-E-Book

Cancioncitas De Los Andes / Little Songs Of The Andes – On Itunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/cancioncitas-los-andes-little/id602798167

Cancioncitas De Los Andes / Little Songs Of The Andes on Amazon mp3

http://amzn.com/B00BG9ABEE

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New CD and E-Book Share Music From The Andes In An Interactive Format For Kids

Music is a great way to discover and learn about world cultures. Just released is a new cd and E-book designed to not only share the music from the Andes, but to provide an interactive way for kids to learn about the culture that created it.  Officially released on April 2nd, the cd is titled: Cancioncitas De Los Andes/Little Songs of the Andes and the E-Book is called: A Child’s Life In the Andes.  Both have been created by multicultural children’s artist, DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) who has won a variety of awards for her unique approach to sharing world music in various formats with young audiences.

What does music from the Andes sound like?  Most people recognize the sound of zampoñas charango coloring page(panpipes) and traditional Andean flutes called quenas.  The cd also features authentic instruments such as the bombo drum, rainsticks, chapcha rattles (made from the toenails of goats) and a delicate little instrument originally made from the shell of an armadillo called a charango.  Included on the Cancioncitas cd is also the most widely recognized song from the Andes: “El Condor Pasa”.

Aside from exploring the music and musical instruments of the Andes, A Child’s Life In the Andes also covers the geography of the area, daily life, animals, foods and languages spoken in this region.  Most children are surprised to learn that guinea pigs are often kept for food in some areas and that the condor – the inspiration for “El Condor Pasa” – can have a wingspan  of up to 10 feet!  Aside from rich photographs, detailed content, fun facts and coloring pages the book also shares activities perfect for classroom or homeschool play and learning.  There are directions for Make-Your-Own panpipes and rainsticks as a well as one other “Corrido De Cuy” activity.

Although most people might expect the songs to be in Spanish, the majority of tracks on the cd are in the native language of Quechua that dates back to the Incan empire.  Says DARIA:” I was honored to spend several of my teenage years in rural Peru and fell in love with the Quechua language and culture”.  Although Spanish is widely spoken as the dominant language throughout the Andes, great efforts have been made recently preserve and protect this valuable and beautiful indigenous language and resources like this are key to raising awareness.  Appearing with DARIA on this cd are three other musicians from South America who actively work to preserve, promote and perform Andean music.

Available as a cd from Itunes and Amazon mp3, the book and cd package can be purchased from the Teachers Pay Teachers site as well as from DARIA’s Little Village store.  In addition to the complete book that is available for purchase, many of the activities and coloring pages are available as free resources on DARIA’s Parent’s Choice Award-winning website as listed below.

Cancioncitas De Los Andes / Little Songs Of The Andes – On Itunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/cancioncitas-los-andes-little/id602798167

Cancioncitas De Los Andes / Little Songs Of The Andes on Amazon mp3

http://amzn.com/B00BG9ABEE

A CHILD’S LIFE IN THE ANDES (E-book and CD) From TPT 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Childs-Life-In-The-Andes-E-Book-Plus-Music-CD

A CHILD’S LIFE IN THE ANDES (E-book and CD) from Daria’s Little Village Store:

http://dariasvillagestore.storenvy.com/products/1298006-cancioncitas-de-los-andes-cd-and-e-book-combo

DARIA’s World Music For Children’s Craft and Activity Page:

http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php