Also:       dvojenice      dvojnica      dvojanka      slagarka      dvojkinje      vidulice      culedyjare      

Title: Folk Music of Yugoslavia--Čobansko Iz Kijeva; Martin Hercegovac, dvojnice. Label: Topic. Format: LP. Catalogue#: 12TS 224. Track: A-3.

Contextual Associations

The dvojnice is an end-blown duct double-flute aerophone of Bosnia (from whence the gallery #1 instrument originated), Serbia, other Balkan Peninsula countries that were once a part of Yugoslavia, and, in related but varying forms, Hungary (the instrument pictured in the gallery #2 image, although purchased in Hungary, is identical in design to the Bosnian instrument but quite different in design from the Hungarian traditional double flute, the kettősfurulya) and other Eastern European countries. In Slovakia and Macedonia, it is called a dvojanka or slagarka, and in Croatia, a dvojkinje or vidulice. Similar double duct flutes include the Ukrainian dvodentsivka, the Bulgarian dvoyanka, and the Albanian culedyjare. Geometric carvings adorn the instrument. This instrument is strongly associated with rural life and the distinctive singing styles of the agrarian peoples living throughout the Balkans. The dvojnice is played by men as a solo instrument for their own entertainment. While modernity has transformed considerably the lifestyle of this region and quite possibly changed how the dvojnice fits into daily life, it has simultaneously become a symbol of regional distinctiveness as seemingly thousands of these instruments are manufactured for sale to tourists and are also procurable through the internet.


The dvojnice is crafted from a single block of wood that has a narrower width at the blowing end but flares out over the length of the instrument to a greater width at its distal end. Into this block are drilled two parallel cylindrical bore air columns. The blowing end of each air column is nearly entirely stopped with a wood plug (fipple) save for a narrow channel/duct that is left open between it and the inside wall of its column (detail #1). A deep cut is chiseled into the upper side of each column just below the duct to create the sharp edge against which the airstream is directed. The left pipe (from the player’s perspective) has three fingerholes drilled into its topside, while the right pipe has four. There are no thumbholes (detail #1).

Player - Instrument Interface and Sound Production

The player holds the instrument in front of him with both hands so that the blowing end is pressed against his lips and the fingerholes (three for the left hand, four for the right) can be covered with his fingertips; both thumbs rest on the backside of the instrument for support. Both air columns on a given instrument produce the same pitch when all their fingerholes are covered--approximately a D4 (gallery #1) and C4 (gallery #2). These two instruments produce incomplete diatonic scales--their left columns do-re-mi, their right columns do-re-mi-fa-sol. The instruments overblow at the octave. The performance captured on the audio #1 clip includes phrases with a gutterally produced 'growl' that is sometimes incorporated by dvojnice players. Balkan double flutes were used to play polyphonic (two-voice) improvisations (a practice called ‘čobanska svirka,’ lit. ‘shepherds playing’), drawing on the ancient vocal traditions of their region for inspiration.


Aerophones of a variety of types (duct flutes, idioglot clarinets, bagpipes) with a pair of parallel air columns operated by a single player are found widely distributed throughout Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and beyond, suggesting a longstanding cross-fertilization of ideas between people in this vast area of considerable historical depth. However, there were no published sources encountered in which information specifically focused on the origin and evolution of the dvojnice was presented. 

Bibliographic Citations

“Dvojnice.” 1984. Grove Music Online, accessed August 31, 2015: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/L2232409?q=dvojnice&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit

Petrović, Ankica. “Bosnia-Hercegovina II. Traditional Music 4. Musical instruments.” Grove Music Online accessed August 31, 2015: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/40881?q=bosnia&search=quick&pos=2&_start=1#firsthit

Sugarman, Jane. “Albania II. Traditional Music 1. Rural music.” Grove Music Online accessed August 31, 2015: http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/40650?q=albania&search=quick&pos=1&_start=1#S40650.2.1


Instrument Information


Continent: Europe

Region: Eastern Europe

Nation: Serbia

Formation: Balkan

Classification (Sachs-Von Hornbostel revised by MIMO)

421.222.12 aerophone--set of open flutes with internal ducts: the ducts are inside the tubes; with fingerholes

Design and Playing Features

Category: aerophone

Air cavity design: tubular - cylindrical with open distal end

Source and direction of airstream: player exhalation through mouth into air cavity; unidirectional

Energy transducer that activates sound: beveled edge in wall of instrument, indirectly blown against with aid of duct

Means of modifying shape and dimensions of standing wave in air cavity: opening fingerholes to reduce space or shorten length of standing wave in air cavity

Overblowing utilization: overblowing at consecutive partials

Pitch production: multiple pitches - changing length/shape of standing waves within two cavities with fingerholes


12.4 in. length (gallery #1) 1.8 in. greatest width (gallery #1) 12.6 in. length (gallery #2) 1.8 in. greatest width (gallery #2)

Primary Materials




Entry Author

Roger Vetter