Image - Hutsuls playing trembitas.

Trembita (трембіта; alpine horn). A wind folk musical instrument made from hollowed halves of spruce wood and bound with birch bark. Generally conical, with a metal or horn mouthpiece at the narrow end, 1 to 3 meters in length, it has a musical range of over two octaves. The sound is strong and can carry over 10 kilometers. The trembita is found mainly in the Carpathian Mountains region of Ukraine. It has served as a means of communication for people and herdsmen in isolated mountain areas, who would use a series of predetermined signals, especially to give notice of a death, a funeral, or a wedding. Occasionally the trembita is included in modern symphony orchestras as an exotic instrument.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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