Name: Midjweh.

Type: Free Reed > Aerophone.

Region: Middle East & North Africa.

Specimens: Mine are from Egypt.

Dimensions: Length of specimen cm.

Acquisition Date: Circa 2000s.

Acquisition Source: Egypt > Randy Raine-Reusch.

Description: The Midjweh is a double reed aerophone that is found through out the Middle East. Historically the midjweh is considered one of the oldest instruments on the Nile in Egypt. In Egypt both names "arhgul" and midjweh are used. Although the name "arghul" applies to a very similar instrument found in the Upper Nile region.

Documentation of the midjweh dates back to ancient times including biblical references. Similar reed instruments are found through out North Africa. Circular breathing is used for playing the midjweh, and a good set of lungs would be of great assistance. Both reeds of the midjweh are fully inserted into the mouth, both pipes are played simultaneously. The midjweh is often accompanied by the doumbek.

Construction: Midjweh are assembled by cut lengths of a millet type cane. Both of the pipes are carved with seven finger holes. The entire assembly of the midjweh is held together by a network of nylon string. Lastly the reeds are carved from sections of cane near a closed node. Midjweh are found in several different sizes varying in length even up to one meter long.