Cover photo © credits: iStock/DmyTo
Cover photo © credits: iStock/DmyTo
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Trembita, a legendary Hutsul musical wind instrument

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Ukrainians are the people with a great courteous and respectful attitude towards their age-old traditions. We preserve our cultural uniqueness and try to share the best achievements with the world. Ukrainians show a special love for music since ancient times. For the moment, about 200 thousand Ukrainian folk songs are collected by ethnographers. The evolution of the Ukrainian folk song is closely related to the diversity of ethnic musical instruments. There are more than 80 original folk instruments - like bandura, kobza, sopilka, etc.  All of them are known all over the world. In this article, I want to share with you the story about the trembita, a legendary musical wind instrument created by Hutsuls.

A unique creation of Hutsuls

Hutsuls are incredible people from the Ukrainian Carpathian mountains. It is an ethnographic group of Ukrainians living in the Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Zakarpattya regions of Ukraine. They are extremely colorful people, whose culture embodies the best traditions of the Ukrainians. Hutsuls have their own cuisine, original outfits and even their own musical instruments. They are people who invented trembita - the longest musical wind instrument inscribed in the Guinness World Records. It is considered that only after hearing the trembit melodies, you can understand how the voice of the Ukrainian Carpathians sounds. If you want to learn more about Hutsuls culture and trembita,  you can visit the National Museum of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttya Folk Art, located in the town of Kolomyia.

National Museum of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttya Folk Art, Kolomyia
National Museum of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttya Folk Art, Kolomyia
National Museum of Hutsul and Pokuttya, Teatralna Street, 25, Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine, 78200
Photo © credits: iStock/Yanosh_Nemesh
Photo © credits: iStock/Yanosh_Nemesh

Impressive details of trembita manufacturing

It’s not easy to create the world's longest wind musical instrument. Manufacturing of trembita takes about two years. The age of the tree used for the production of the trembita should be between 120-150 years old. Hutsuls believe that the perfect tree for the future instrument is a fir tree. Legend has it that this tree should be struck by lightning. An instrument from this tree will be endowed with the force of nature and will sound perfect. The tree must be cut in half with only one stroke and carved the core. The loudness and sonority of trembita directly depend on how long the tree stands under the sun and is blown by the wind. The length of the musical instrument goes from three up to eight meters, and its weight is about 1.5 kg. Trembita is considered as an exclusively male instrument since it is extremely difficult to play on it. The range of sounds of the trembita reaches up to 2.5 octaves and can be heard on the distance of more than 10 km. 

The voice of Ukrainian Carpathians

In the past, the trembita was a peculiar type of communication. The sounds of trembita announced the enemies invasions, the movement of the sheep flock, wedding celebrations, death or birth of a Hutsul. There was no fest without the songs of trembita. The tradition of creating this legendary musical miracle is still supported in some villages. You can buy some examples of trembita for only 100 euros. If you decide to buy this Hutsul wind instrument for yourself, think twice, as eight meters of timber is neither easy to transport nor stock as home.   


The author

Marusia Bilous

Marusia Bilous

Hi, I’m Marusia from Lviv, Ukraine. My life is a permanent movement in a search for unforgettable impressions and interesting people. I promise that your virtual trip to my country will be interesting, and you will definitely plan one of your travels to Ukraine.

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