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For other uses, see Duda (disambiguation).
Other names bőrduda, tömlősíp
Related instruments

The Hungarian duda (also known as tömlősíp and bőrduda) is the traditional bagpipe of Hungary. It is an example of a group of bagpipes called Medio-Carparthian bagpipes.[citation needed]

Accounts are conflicting regarding the exact form of the Hungarian bagpipe.[1] Cocks describes it as similar to the Bulgarian one which has a chanter and a bass drone but no tenor drone.[1] Baines (pp. 77-79) gives Hungary as one of the countries possessing the duda, which has this construction, also a Hungarian bagpipe with a diple (i.e., twin-bore) chanter, one bore of which gives a variable drone, the bag pipe having a bass drone in addition.[1] Robert Bright in Travels through Lower Hungary(1818), quoted by Flood (p. 79), describes the Hungarian bagpipe as having two drones and a chanter of square section (in other worlds the Dudelsack).[1] Fraser (p. 243) has a picture of a Hungarian bagpipe with one chanter and one drone of medium length, probably a bass drone.[1] It seems possible that all these forms of the instrument may be in use.[1]


The chanter of a magyar duda. Note the double chanter and the carved animal head stock. The single finger hole of the kontra pipe is hidden behind the cow-horn chanter bell

The most characteristic feature of the magyar duda is the double-bored chanter. One chanter bore, the dallamsíp ("melody pipe"), plays the melody within an octave range. The second chanter, the kontrasíp or kontra ("contra pipe") has a single finger hole and sounds either the lowest note on the melody pipe or drops to the dominant (i.e., on a pipe in A it sounds either A or E).

Hungarian piping is characterized by use of the kontra to provide rhythmic accompaniment and to vary the drone sound. The melody pipe has a "flea hole", a common feature in Eastern bagpipes: the top hole on the chanter is very small and uncovering it raises the pitch of any other note by approximately a semitone, making the Hungarian pipe largely chromatic over its range (it lacks a major seventh). In some historic examples, the magyar duda was tuned with a neutral (i.e., between the major and the minor in pitch) third and sixth and the flea hole was filled in with wax.

There is considerable variation in physical appearance of the duda in Hungary, but the most common form has a chanter stock in the form of an animal’s head (usually that of a goat-like animal) and a cow horn bell on both the kontra and the drone. Historically the bag was often made from dog skin (leading to a popular song that stated that prospective bagpipers needed to “go to hell because that’s where the big dogs are from which good bagpipes can be made”), but today goat skin is a much more common material.

Other variations[edit]

Other variations of the duda, especially those played along the Slovakian and Croatian borders, have as many as four chanter pipes. In these examples one hand plays the dominant through the octave on one pipe while the other hand plays the tonic through the subdominant on another (in this case the tonic through the subdominant have no chromatic possibilities except through half-holing since the flea hole is on a separate pipe). If a fourth pipe is added it is a stopped pipe with a thumb hole that sounds the octave when uncovered. (These pipes show the influence of Croatian and Slovakian pipes, both of which commonly have up to four separate chanter bores.)

Hungarian bagpiping[edit]

Hungarian bagpiping is characterized in its styling by hiccupping, use of high notes to articulate lower notes, creating a characteristic rhythmic squeaking while the instrument is played. This playing style greatly influenced certain genres of fiddle music in Hungary, and also characterized early church organ music in Hungary: prior to the introduction of organs, the duda had been used to accompany hymnody in churches.


Up until the 1920s the duda was the preferred instrument at celebrations in much of Hungary. As the Hungarian economy improved and the pastoral lifestyle declined in importance, the lone piper at a country ball or wedding was increasingly replaced by professional Gypsy bands (cigányzenekar) that played an urban repertoire on more complex and capable instruments. The Hungarian bagpipe was essentially extinct except in small pockets by the 1950s but was “rescued” as part of the Hungarian folk revival, and is today a very popular instrument among Hungarian folk bands and their fans.

Béla Bartók's composition "Bagpipe," from Volume 5 of Mikrokosmos, is a piano piece that imitates the sound of the duda.

Duda folklore[edit]

As was the case in much of Europe, bagpipes in Hungary were associated with shepherds and a pastoral lifestyle, and were often used in Christmas scenes to evoke the shepherds of the nativity. At the same time the duda was associated with the pagan lifestyle of the countryside. Aside from the above-mentioned song about bagpipers needing to go to hell, according to János Manga’s article ‘Hungarian Bagpipers’ (Acta ethnographica Academiæ Scientiarum Hungaricæ xiv(1–2):1–97) there were many legends about bagpipes that could play themselves when hung from the wall on a nail or about pipers summoned to Witches' Sabbaths to perform for satanic hosts. Despite these stories, the duda never received the same sort of official censure in Catholic Hungary that bagpipes did in many Protestant nations.


There are a number of excellent recordings of the magyar duda, including CDs from the groups Téka and Muzsikás, the soloist Balázs Istvánfi, and the Magyar Dudazenekar

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Francis M. Collinson,The bagpipe: the history of a musical instrument, Routledge, 1975 , p. 220

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2005255 news items

New York Post

New York Post
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:48:45 -0700

As The Post's Joel Sherman reported on Saturday, the Mets and Duda's representatives have begun preliminary discussions to buy out the 29-year-old Duda's remaining arbitration years and keep him signed beyond the next three seasons. Duda is due to ...

Headlines & Global News

ESPN (blog)
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:47:15 -0700

Manager Terry Collins has pledged not to platoon Duda at the beginning of the season, despite the first baseman hitting only .180 with two homers in 111 at-bats against southpaws in 2014. So Duda's positive performance against left-handed pitching ...
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:02:18 -0700

Mets higherups were correct to show faith in Duda, who had 30 home runs and 92 RBI in a breakout season last year. He was one of only 11 major leaguers to reach 30 homers last year. Duda's talks with the Mets were first reported by Joel Sherman of the ...

New York Times

ESPN (blog)
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:11:11 -0700

“I'm feeling good at the plate,” Duda said. “I feel like my timing is getting back a little bit. Hopefully it'll carry into the season. As far as the injury goes, I was kind of set back a little bit. But it feels great right now. My body feels great ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:26:15 -0700

Slovakia 1-0 Czech Republic: Ondrej Duda goal. Ondrej Duda scored after the interval to lead Slovakia to a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic on Tuesday in a friendly between the two teams that once represented Czechoslovakia. Slovakia 1-0 Czech ...


Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:30:00 -0700

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Last season, the Mets traded away Ike Davis and gave the first baseman's job to Lucas Duda, and before this season begins, they're trying to make sure Duda stays there for a while. A source confirmed Saturday that they are in ...


Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:51:50 -0700

At the start of Day 4, just 56 players remained in the European Poker Tour Malta Main Event, but after five 90-minute levels of play, the field was cut down to the final 23. The man best positioned to make a run at the €810,400 first-place prize is ...
ESPN (blog)
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 15:07:30 -0700

After Sunday's 6-0 victory over the Yankees in which he went 1 for 3, Duda is now hitting .174 (4 for 23) in Grapefruit League play. He got a late start because of an intercostal muscle strain on his left side that prevented him from swinging early in ...

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