...how to play Launeddas(II)


The breathing technique is developed by gradually enlarging the hole in the pen and by practicing at every stage (with the water bubbles) until one is able to blow for at least 10 minutes. The amount of time a student will need in order to play a Launedda will not depend on the intelligence of the student but on constant practice. Example: If the student practices three times a day, he will notice that from the first to the third attempt, he will feel pleased with what he has accomplished. If he practices every three days it will be difficult for him to make any sort of progress from the initial practice.


Take the Launedda with your right hand, keeping it in the right position by placing your thumb under it and the index and middle finger over it; bring the stem section-reed to your mouth up to the waxed welded point. Keeping your tongue straight down, blow, making sure that reed does not come into contact with the teeth and is safe from saliva. If the pupil manages recover back his breath for two, three or four times without interrupting the music he should continue, because he will get good results with more practice. If he succeeds in recovering his breath only once he should go back and practice with the plastic pen case immersed in the water. One must remember that if the student is not capable of blowing the Launedda for at least 10 minutes without stopping, he musn't use his fingers to cover the holes.


Take the "Mankosedda or Destrina" of a median or of any other "cuntzertu" with the right hand, put the thumb under the cane, between the second and third hole; straighten the index and with its middle phalanx cover the first hole, then cover: with the phalanx of the middle and ring finger the second and third hole and with that of the little finger the fourth hole, so that the fingers are well straightened and at the same time capable of holding the mancosedda. At the beginning it will be difficult to cover the holes spontaneously, because the fingers are not used to staying in that position and feeling where the holes are. With some practice the problem will be resolved and the skill will be mastered. At this point you can start playing the note; provided that your breath is enough and continuous as well. The notes that you will compose will be semibreves. You will begin by raising and lowering the forefinger up and down, then the middle finger, the ring finger and the little finger. The amount of time breath is kept will surely fade because the fingers do not cover the holes entirely. Sometimes the reed may block up. After a five-minute break you will begin again until the notes are played right and distinctly. When you have managed to play the semibreves then practice the minims, the crotchets and the quavers. When one is capable of performing these exercises with the right hand they must be performed with the left one. After having managed to play one Launedda for at least 10 minutes by moving one's fingers well, practice should be done by putting the "croba" or copia to the mouth, that is "Su Tumbu e Sa Mancosa Manna, trying to resist as long as possible. After some time the "mancosedda" or destrina can be added and they can be played together.