Reflection of transcribing an Algoza piece…

I chose a video of an instrument called the algoza, which is a pair of flutes played together with one being a drone while the other plays a melody. I picked this particular instrument to transcribe because of the way it was played; you have to be very experienced to be able to play this instrument. I found this instrument very interesting because it is two flutes that are being played at the same time and with a constant sound being played throughout the entire tune.

I came upon several challenges by picking this piece. One of the biggest challenges of picking this particular piece is that when playing the algoza, the one thing that you have to master to play the algoza is to constantly blow rapid air into the instrument by using a technique called circular breathing, which is very challenging. Another challenge with this piece is putting it into a time signature, because the melody of the piece is mostly improvised, which puts a lot of grace note like playing. The flute is also played with five tones of the musical octave and no two instruments are tuned the same.

There were definitely some challenges in using this piece for my project but it was well worth it. I learned so much more about the culture of the instrument as well as how it’s played and when it is played. I love that this instrument is so old and that it is used to tell stories. I think it’s very interesting to know that the experience level of the instrument is so high and so difficult to learn to play it well.


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