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Lur, the original (classier) vuvuzela?
December 1, 2010 7:08 PM   Subscribe

The Lur is an overblown ancient northern European wind instrument made of bark or carved solid wood, with an incredibly "noble" sound (usually).

Various types of lurs were played by warring Viking and dairy maids, and it (like the Alpenhorn) was often used as a long-range signaling device. Most players can only reach two or three notes, but like a trumpet it's capable of nearly a full octave in the hands of a skilled player (around 2:15).
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out (15 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
The man in the first link looks like he was a bit startled by the incredibly noble sound.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:17 PM on December 1, 2010


Love the sound, especially how the "nobility" of it is subtly undermined by the slightly flatulent quality of the lower notes, and the occasional "out-of-tuneness" of some of the higher notes. These are features, not bugs, IMO.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:19 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those qualities, and I'm guessing, have to do with the fact that the tone is affected by the size of the instrument and controlled entirely by the player - the strength of their breath and the quality of their embouchure.

As an occasional player of the garden hose and the PVC pipe, I would like to try it.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:26 PM on December 1, 2010


the original (classier) vuvuzela?

"Original", that's a big word... the lur would be in competition for that coveted slot with African instruments like these or this or this.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:29 PM on December 1, 2010


Not to be confused with Llyr, ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:38 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Not to be confused with Llyr, ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8.

That would be Lrrr. Spell your future overlord right.
posted by saturday_morning at 7:41 PM on December 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Overblown? Heh. Pardon this ignorant trumpet player; does that mean the lips are pursed and buzzed, like a trumpet? Or how is it played? I'm really interested.

Also, tiny point: a trumpet is capable of much more than an octave in the hands of a skilled player; a novice like myself can attain two and a half octaves, and most professionals could probably easily do three. I think you mean "bugle"? Anyway, this is wonderfully interesting. Thanks!
posted by koeselitz at 7:41 PM on December 1, 2010


New ringtone, thanks.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:35 PM on December 1, 2010


dang, yes I meant bugle :)

Overblown is a phrase I've heard from brass players, but others might be able to explain it better.

I was trying to find a site with a tutorial on making a bark lur, but came up empty, hence this post didn't have that :)
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 8:41 PM on December 1, 2010


Not to be confused with Llyr, ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8.

That would be Lrrr. Spell your future overlord right.


Also not to be confused with Lir (or Ler), roughly the Celtic Poseidon (god of the sea. Welsh: Llŷr - of course.*) Who didn't seem to be of much use against the Viking invasions of the British Isles.

*I sometimes wish my Welsh ancestors hadn't come up with an even more difficult-to-pronounce spelling scheme than my Scottish ancestors did.
posted by Philofacts at 8:41 PM on December 1, 2010


What a coincidence; I'm both overblown and noble.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:53 PM on December 1, 2010


From thesaurus.com:

Main Entry: high-sounding
Definition: sonorous

Synonyms: aureate, bombastic, booming, declamatory, flowery, full-voiced, fustian, grandiloquent, high-flown, loud, loud-voiced, magniloquent, orotund, overblown, powerful, resounding, reverberating, rhetorical, rich, ringing, rotund, swollen, thundering
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:02 PM on December 1, 2010


From '2 or 3 notes' link. It's giving me the Roger Rabbit 'shave and a haircut' effect with him playing the first notes of Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra (from 2001)


BAAAAAAA

BAAAAAAAH

Just play the other note!

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

BA-BAHHHHHHHHHH

bum-bum bum-bum bum-bum
posted by leotrotsky at 9:17 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, this is more like a primitive bugle or natural trumpet, buzzed lips type sound generation. Playing a couple octave range is not too difficult, if you're satisfied with the harmonic series. The good players can get a diatonic or even chromatic scale, all those notes in between the easy ones. At that point, it's almost like playing a kazoo, only a hell of a lot harder.

I've usually heard "overblown" when referring to playing those harmonics, but usually with a flute or reed type wind instrument. I've always been fascinated with harmonic instruments, such as trumpet marine, willow flute, koncovka, fujara, and the whimsical corrugaphone. The simpler, harmonic melodies, and more difficult accidentals have a primal quality about them.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:40 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


there's a butt-lur joke in there somewhere. Maybe by way of a Butt Trumpet reference?
posted by Eideteker at 6:38 AM on December 2, 2010


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