nohkan (noh flute) (能管)

Nohkan is a sort of the Japanese transverse flutes. It's used not only in "Noh" (traditional masked dance-drama), but also in "Kabuki" (traditional drama performed by male actors), "Yosebayashi" (rakugo theater music), and "Gion bayashi" (Japanese orchestra of Gion Festival). It's one of the air-reed instruments made of bamboo, and is characterized by the part called 'nodo'(throat).

It's 40cm long, and has seven tone holes which circumferences are hardened with lacquer. It's made of "medake" (simon bamboo) or "shinodake" (small bamboo), as well as "ryuteki" (a kind of flute) which is used in "gagaku" (ancient Japanese court dance and music). Dried and sooted bamboos called "susudake" (soot-colored bamboo) are used. In some cases, a bamboo is cut lengthwise and turned inside out to get its hard part inward. Inside of the tube is thickly lacquered. Its exterior is covered with cherry bark (called kabamaki). Overall tapered tube is used.

It is characterized by consisting the narrow part by fitting a 2-mm-thick bamboo tube called 'nodo' between "utaguchi" (a mouthpiece) and the nearest finger hole. This part prevents from forming resonate mode and enables to get the original scales which differ from all sorts of Japanese ones, not to mention the temperament in the West, as well as an extremely high pitched sound called hishigi.

[Original Japanese]